Four Questions With Maria Ivanova scored a chat with professor David Canter himself! Dr. Canter is known for his work in the field of the psychology of architecture, but more so - for being a major mind who contributed to the formation of modern investigative psychology.
Dr. Canter, what’s your favorite concept/theory in the psychology of architecture?
D.C.: I have to mention my own widely quoted Theory of Place first outlined in my book The Psychology of Place published in 1977. This makes clear that we experience places as conceptual entities shaped by our experience of what is possible there and the emotions associated with those possibilities. This gives emphasis to what people bring to places that helps them make sense of them.
It is not just a matter of the environment shaping people. This works at all levels of places from the desk I am working at just now to the room, the building, the locality and the city and even the country or the globe. We deal with each of these using the same psychological processes.
When did you first find yourself interested in investigative psychology?
D.C.: I was asked to help a major investigation into a series of rapes and murders around London in 1985. It was when I was told how successful my contribution had been that I realised there was a whole new discipline emerging that I named ‘Investigative Psychology’. This is all described in my award winning book Criminal Shadows.
If you could only pick one thing, what would be the top advice you’d give to an investigator tracking a fugitive?
D.C.: Think of who they are and what they are familiar with. People find it hard to break their habits.
Does the good cop - bad cop investigative interview technique really work?
D.C.: It is probably illegal in most civilised countries for there to be a ‘bad cop’. All the research on interviewing suspects shows that forming a relationship with them is much more effective than any sort of threatening activity. So generally, if you want to reduce it to a sound bite, the Good Cop will always get better results. It is worth mentioning also that this is a reason why torture is pointless.
Empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. But they can also absorb the impact of stressful emotions, and trigger panic attacks, depression, food, sex and drug binges, and a plethora of physical symptoms. If your an empath learn how to find balance.
Are you a highly sensitive, empathetic person? Than this set of advice from Judith Orloff MD, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA and intuition expert, is just for you! [I particularly like how she notes empathetic people are prone to experiencing “too much togetherness” at times))) Spot-on.
Yesterday Russia decided to send troops to Ukraine in order to ‘protect Russian citizens and Russian-speaking residents.’ Basically, declaring a war for no good reason but sick ambition of world domination or something.
The absurdity of the situation aside, many people both in Ukraine and outside are trying to contribute to the crisis resolution right now - often by working 24/7 in a complete emotional overdrive. Taking a break and focusing on something else is not an option. We are here to suggest a few tips for work under such unprecedented pressure.
1. Drink water.
Many can’t eat in stressful circumstances, but non-stop drinking plain water is mandatory.
2. Do NOT stimulate.
Coffee? Energizers? Alcohol, god forbid? Pick your poison (mine is chocolate) and put it away. Eat nuts and some kind of dry bread or non-flavored crackers to inject some calories, but do not add additional stimulation to your body when it is already stimulated enough.
3. Focus on the issue at hand.
There is a reason we get tunnel vision when stressed - focusing on one thing at a time helps us handle it better. Set your priorities straight (make a list, if you need to), and start doing things one by one.
4. Leave one channel of communication.
Don’t multitask, let everyone you think necessary know that one channel of communication you leave open and shut down everything else, e.g. leave only email and turn your phone off, or only read smses and unplug the landline, etc. If you have someone you can ask to help you handle all the incoming messages - do that.
5. Accept exhaustion.
When stressed, you might not be able to relax or sleep at all. But listen to your body for those signs of complete exhaustion - you will be able to catch that moment when you really need a break and don’t care if it all goes up in flames.
Lie down and do head to toe relaxation exercise. Start with your forehead, saying, “Relaxing forehead” (and trying your best to relax those muscles). Then go around your whole face - relaxing eyebrows, eyelids, temples, cheekbones, nose, cheeks, upper lip, lower lip, jaw, cheekbones, ears, scalp, gums, tongue, throat… Move to relaxing neck, shoulders, the rest of your body - and make it as detailed as you can. Repeat.
Maybe you will manage to sleep a little bit, maybe not, but this will definitely help your body restore.
6. Celebrate the emotion!
In an extremely stressful situation it is normal to feel sad, angry, useless, helpless, afraid, aggressive - to name just a few… or go on a rollercoaster of emotions when you start laughing hysterically only to turn it into sobbing. Everyone reacts differently - some seem to not react at all. Yet, no one behaves the way they usually do.
Emotions are part of our defense mechanism where bodies are helping us cope with the crisis. Hearts are beating faster, lungs inhale more air - everything to prepare the body for action. Be thankful for this miracle of being a living creature, able to actually change the environment in your favor by making informed, intelligent decisions about further action.
Four Questions With Maria Ivanova are back with an interview with Psychotactics creator Sean D’Souza.
Dear Sean, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Your website Psychotactics contains advice on marketing and a bunch of related topics, so we’d like to start our conversation with the following question, Which publication on your website you consider the most successful to date and why?
S.DS.: The interesting part about this question is that there’s no ONE topic that gains eternal favour. What’s interesting is a few factors, rather than topics.
1) When I admit a mistake, readers love it. They write back saying, “Oh, it’s so nice to know that YOU made a mistake.”
2) When the article is a non-business article, it goes well with our audience. Most people sign up to Psychotactics.com for marketing articles. And yet, when we send out or post articles that are based on life or nonbusiness, there’s a substantial uptick in readership.
3) When the steps are very quickly achievable. This article is a kind of 1-2-3 article. It has a few steps and all of the steps are achievable. It’s one thing to write [about] fancy concepts. And we do write [about] fancy concepts such as ‘price increases’ and ‘consumption.’ Readers love that, but they also want something that they can implement right away.
Sean, Psychotactics is focused on answering the question why customers buy (and why they don’t), can you please list for the Welcometomentalward readers a few of the reasons why customers don’t buy?
S.DS.: Customers don’t buy because they’re not given the right information. We may think we’re giving the right information, but there’s a sequence (just like there’s a sequence when we’re getting on a flight). If you break the sequence, it gets customers confused and they back away. The crux is to give the information (and in [my book] The Brain Audit, there are seven specific elements mentioned) but then to get those seven elements out in the right sequence.
With aggressive advertisement attacking an average person continuously throughout the day, do you have any advice for advertisers to keep their marketing campaigns inoffensive?
S.DS.: This is done through pre-sell. It’s a lot like dating. You get to take your time. As a marketer, you need to take your time getting to the person and wait as they go through getting to know you/ your product etc. Most of us on the Internet think that everyone should buy now. This concept is popularized by creeeps online who insist that there’s a method to ‘persuade’ the customer to buy. You can persuade me once, or twice, but then I’ll get wary. Customers are keen to know the answers; to solve their problems, but over time they get very smart. They will not be pushed into another blind date. You need to have patience. Pre-sell is the answer.
What do you think is more important a quality product or good marketing strategy, and why?
S.DS.: A good marketing strategy will make a good product sell faster and a bad product fail faster. What does this mean? If you produce crappy stuff, yes you can use a great marketing strategy and sell loads of the product. But you will not be trusted in the future. But by the same token a great product will not sell itself. There are a ton of great products that never see the light of day because of average or non-existent marketing.
A good product is like a good dish. If you make it, someone must eat it. It’s not much fun eating alone. So a solid marketing strategy is vital. You need to have both, and plan for both. You need good products and a good strategy. And you need to use pre-sell or you’ll just irritate customers if you keep rushing them around.
Haphazard way of handling bad employee attitude should change. Specific laid down procedures must be followed to systematically discipline or correct an employee. This is referred to as progressive discipline.
Employees should be well informed about various sanctions that apply to specific behaviour and offences in the workplace. In all cases, the employee must be informed and aware of the schedule of offences, be educated on them, be advised and counselled or warned upon initial minor infringements before a more high handed sanction may be applied.
Today the guest of Four Questions With Maria Ivanova is John Kammeyer-Mueller, PhD, Associate Professor at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Prominent for his work in the field of organizational psychology, John talks about new hiree adaptation, employee motivation and more in the interview below.
Dear John, in your opinion, what would be an ideal first day at work for a new hiree?
J.K.-M.: The two things that seem to make a great first day include having an experience that’s consistent with what you are looking for in a job, and having a supportive social environment.
The biggest complaint I’ve heard from new employees in focus groups and surveys is that organizations entice them into a job that promises challenge, advancement, and good rewards, but that these features don’t really match the job they experience. This can range from little things, like making sure people are enrolled for benefits and have their work areas ready with equipment and supplies all the way to big things, like a culture that doesn’t match the one that’s been promised.
Is there such a thing as too much work engagement?
J.K.-M.: I don’t know if I think there can be too much work engagement, but I think there can be specific varieties of engagement that are unhealthy.
A person who is really engaged, based on work that has been done by people like Bruce Rich, Jeff LePine, Marcie LePine, and Eean Crawford, is a person who feels motivated by their work, and who takes pleasure in going in and doing their best. I think people sometimes mistake pure motivation to get ahead and get rewards for engagement, and that’s where you see problems. Chasing down the extrinsic benefits of work, without considering the intrinsic rewards, drives dissatisfaction and burnout.
What would be the first thing on your list of things that motivate an employee?
J.K.-M.: The first thing employers need to attend to is the feeling of purpose and meaning in what one does. Organizational culture should appeal to people’s deeper personal values, and effective leaders are people who point out how work effort fulfills a higher purpose.
What an employer can do to help hirees avoid burnout?
J.K.-M.: Burnout seems to result when people lose sight of those deeper values I just mentioned, and start doing their work with a sense that their efforts are not leading to meaningful outcomes. A person can burnout because there are too many demands that go nowhere, too much red tape and bureaucracy, and because they are always pushed to achieve immediate goals rather than stepping back to see the big picture.
The first two issues can be addressed with the job characteristics, culture, and leadership dimensions. Stepping back can be achieved by allowing reasonable, focused breaks following especially stressful periods. These breaks need to be truly recuperative to be effective.
Inspiring talk by Christopher Ryan promoting acceptance for the variety of human sexual behaviours based on the knowledge anthropology helped uncover. He finishes his talk with a humbling:
The truth is that men are from Africa and women are from Africa.