Scene from the Westeros Human Resources Department

“Thanks for coming everyone. We’ve had some more . . . unexpected turnover in senior management, and need to consider some new candidates to sit the Iron Throne. You know what we say around here, chaos is a ladder.” Our first candidate is Cersai Lannister. She has been filling the role on an interim basis, and is very keen to […]

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The Collateral Damage of a Competitive Workplace

One of the very first Social Psychology studies, conducted over a hundred years ago, pitted children against each another in a contest, and found they outperformed their own solo efforts. Why? It’s in our brain chemistry. Competition causes a stress response that activates energizing hormones (such as adrenalin). Success brings the activation of our brain’s reward system: feel-good hormones (such […]

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Insincerity: What is it Good For?

The customer is always right. Greet every customer with a smile. Always greet your employees enthusiastically. Always go to the office holiday party. The American work experience is riddled with these tiny moments of insincerity that are often scripted or actively encouraged by employers. But is exhibiting insincerity with customers or co-workers helping or hurting an employee’s chances of success […]

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The Hidden Danger of Hiring the Confident Charmer

Confident. Resilient. Charming. For many hiring managers, these words evoke an image of the perfect employee — a true “go-getter” — self-assured in a crisis, but also likable. They favor people who exhibit these qualities in interviews and are more likely to promote them. Unfortunately, these qualities may come with a hidden price. Confidence, resilience, and charm are also key […]

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The Origin and Future of Psychometrics

Psychometrics is a rigorous and long-standing field of study that attempts to measure personality and aptitude. Lately, however, the most accessible prototypes are Buzzfeed quizzes that tell you what Disney Princess you are – needless to say, its reputation in popular media has faltered. Despite this bad rep in the pop psych consciousness (i.e. Cambridge Analytica), psychometrics has wide-reaching implications […]

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