Wednesday, 18 October 2017

How I Prioritize and Take Care of Myself Without Feeling Selfish

a blog post by Sara Fabian for Tiny Buddha

“I am worthy of the best things in life, and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.” ~Louise Hay

Looking back on my life, I see that for a long time I struggled to take care of my own wants and needs and didn’t make them a priority. I used to find that very uncomfortable, and sometimes even selfish. I was a master of giving, but I faced serious obstacles to receiving.

By nature, I am a nurturer. I find tremendous joy and fulfillment in giving, so the old me used to offer plenty of time and energy to everyone else (my family, friends, and employers). I was always doing my best to please others and make them happy. I still believe there’s nothing wrong about that, and that my only mistake was treating myself as unimportant.

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How to Befriend the Unknown

a blog post by Margarita Tartakovsky for World of Psychology

We fear the unknown. Which is why we stay in bad relationships, in jobs we hate and in other situations that are not good for us. Because what if the alternative – the nebulous, nameless alternative – is worse?

We find comfort in the familiar – even if that comfort isn’t very comfortable. It’s the known, and the known feels as cozy as an old, tattered and torn sweater, even if it keeps us cold.

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My comfort zone is not comfortable. It has not been comfortable for years but like many people I have reasons (perhaps they are just excuses) why I stay. I can happily tell someone to get out, but I am unable to do it myself.

Do as I say not as I do!!!

Younger supervisors, older subordinates: An organizational-level study of age differences, emotions, and performance

an article by Florian Kunze (University of Konstanz, Germany) and Jochen I. Menges (WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, Düsseldorf, Germany) published in Journal of Organizational Behavior Volume 38 Issue 4 (May 2017)


Younger employees are often promoted into supervisory positions in which they then manage older subordinates. Do companies benefit or suffer when supervisors and subordinates have inverse age differences? In this study, we examine how average age differences between younger supervisors and older subordinates are linked to the emotions that prevail in the workforce, and to company performance.

We propose that the average age differences determine how frequently older subordinates and their coworkers experience negative emotions, and that these emotion frequency levels in turn relate to company performance. The indirect relationship between age differences and performance occurs only if subordinates express their feelings toward their supervisor, but the association is neutralized if emotions are suppressed.

We find consistent evidence for this theoretical model in a study of 61 companies with multiple respondents.

Job loss and the mental health of spouses and adolescent children

an article by Melisa Bubonya (University of Melbourne, Australia) Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (University of Sydney, Australia; University of Queensland, Australia; Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)) and Mark Wooden (University of Melbourne, Australia; Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)) published in IZA Journal of Labor Economics Volume 6 Article 6 (2017)


Panel data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey are used to examine the impact of involuntary job loss on the mental health of spouses and adolescent children.

Estimates from fixed effects models show that the mental health of women (but not men) declines following a spouse’s job loss, but only if that job loss results in a sustained period of non-employment or if the couple experienced prior financial hardship or relationship strain.

A negative effect of parental job loss on the mental health of adolescent children is also found but is restricted to girls.

JEL Classification: I31, J10, J65

Full text (PDF 27pp)

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Strategic thinking in children and adolescents is determined by underlying network abilities

a column for by Isabelle Brocas and Juan Carrillo

Strategic thinking is intrinsic to societal expectations in adulthood, but the ability to think strategically develops in childhood and adolescence. This columns studies how children learn to think strategically. The results show that strategic behaviour is multifaceted, and depends on a network of interacting abilities that develop gradually. Understanding how the development of these underlying abilities impacts the development of strategic thinking is important to assess how children and adolescents react in their own environments.

Strategic thinking – the intrinsic ability to anticipate actions and act accordingly – is a cornerstone of rational decision-making. It is required to predict and internalise future choices in inter-temporal decisions, and to best respond to anticipated moves of others in games of strategy. This ability is of paramount importance in our day-to-day lives. It guides us through our education and career choices and helps us avoid being manipulated by others or suffering abusive relationships.

Strategic thinking is not only important to make adult decisions, but it is also critical in the day-to-day decisions of children and adolescents.

  • How to avoid risky options?
  • How to react to an abusive ‘friend’ or a bully?

These are all too common questions that children and adolescents have problems addressing. A natural explanation is that young brains are not developed and that thinking abilities required to strategise are not yet in place. However, little is known about their development.

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I was thinking as I was reading this that I, along with many of my friends with mental health issues, have problems with this business of strategic thinking.
I think a lot of it has to do with consequences in relationships. I learned that putting my hand on the hot stove *hurt* but I did not realise that allowing someone to walk me home would lead to … [take your pick of possible hurts resulting from this action].

And so on and so forth!!
Perhaps this also explains my inability to play chess or bridge or, indeed, any game which requires at least as certain amount of “if … then”.

Information sharing as strategic behaviour: the role of information display, social motivation and time pressure

an article by Nicoleta Bălău and Sonja Utz (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands) published in Behaviour & Information Technology Volume 36 Issue 6 (2017)


In today’s knowledge economy, given the increasing number of online collaborative platforms, it is even more important to understand and manage the sharing of information. Although it is widely accepted that technological design affects how people use a platform, it is a real challenge to constantly stimulate information sharing (IS), also because individuals often behave strategically, that is, share relatively unimportant information, but keep the important private information for themselves.

This research aims to understand how people’s motivations and aspects of communication technology interact to affect IS. Specifically, we expand the view of IS as strategic behaviour by investigating
  1. how social motivation (prosocial vs. pro-self) and time pressure (high vs. low), interactively, impact strategic IS and
  2. how technological features (push- vs. pull-information display) can increase the sharing of private information.
Across two experiments, we found that push-information displays increase the sharing of private information. This held especially for individuals with a prosocial motivation. Additionally, we found that actual and not perceived time pressure impacts (private) IS. Implications for technological design choices and knowledge management are discussed.

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Older workers’ representation and age-based stereotype threats in the workplace

an article by Eduardo Oliveira (Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto, Portugal) and Carlos Cabral-Cardoso (University of Porto, Portugal) published in Journal of Managerial Psychology Volume 32 Issue 3 (2017)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which negative age-based metastereotypes mediate the relationship between the representation of older workers and two forms of stereotype threat in the workplace: own-reputation and group-reputation. Adopting a social identity perspective, this paper also explores whether age diversity beliefs moderate the relationship between negative age-based metastereotypes and stereotype threats.

A cross-sectional design was adopted with bootstrapped mediation and moderation analyses. The data were collected from 567 older workers working in 15 manufacturing companies.

The analyses provide support for partial mediation and for a moderation effect of age diversity beliefs in the relationship between negative age-based metastereotypes and own-reputation threat. The results hold while controlling for age, objective organizational age diversity, and organizational tenure.

Research limitations/implications
The limitations of this study include its cross-sectional nature and the need for further work regarding older workers’ metastereotypes about middle-aged workers.

Practical implications
For stereotype threat interventions to be effective they must identify beforehand the target and the source of the threat. Moreover, interventions should aim for the development of a sense of identity on the organization as it may pave the way for members of different age groups to build bonds and for intergenerational boundaries to be blurred.

This paper contributes to the literature by showing the importance of negative age-based metastereotypes in workplace age dynamics. It also provides further support for a multi-threat approach to the experience of age-based stereotype threats in the workplace.