The Year in Ideas

The New York Times has put up their 8th Annual Year in Ideas as part of their Sunday magazine. You can browse A to Z (well, W) and find short pieces on some of the outstanding developments across a breadth of arenas and disciplines. Definitely one of my favorite magazine issues of the year.

Here is one I found on Women in Power Are Set Up To Fail, or the “glass cliff” based on experimental research by Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam:

83 businesspeople — roughly half of them women — [had] described to them two companies, one that was steadily improving in profitability and an-other that was steadily declining. The subjects were told to pick a new financial director for the firm and were presented with three candidates: a man and a woman who were identical in experience and a lesser-qualified male. The subjects were slightly more likely to pick a man to lead the successful firm but were far more likely to pick the woman to lead the failing one. Two other experiments with similar designs yielded the same result: When presented with men and women to lead a company that’s going down the tubes, people pick the woman.

The same issue also features a fun interview with Jonah Lehrer, who runs The Frontal Cortex blog and has a forthcoming book on How We Decide. Gotta love this quote, “I wrote the book because I would spend 10 minutes in the cereal aisle choosing between Honey Nut Cheerios and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.”

One thought on “The Year in Ideas

  1. Rgd’ing, ““I wrote the book because I would spend 10 minutes in the cereal aisle choosing between Honey Nut Cheerios and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.” – There was a great RadioLab podcast last month on choice, including how we decide which cereal to purchase. Interesting thoughts on the matter from Malcolm Gladwell. Have a listen at:

    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2008/11/14

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