I love learning and writing about the changes in our digital era. My topics are future of work, productivity, writing, education & personal stories.

According to Gustave Le Bon‘ s „Psychology of Crowds“

During the corona pandemic, we are witnessing how society has split. Again and again we read the terms “Corona denier”, “Corona-belittled”, “Corona fearful” and “Corona believer” in all the headlines.

Many people ascribe themselves to certain groups, although they couldn’t be…

Auditor Doing Tax Fraud Investigation, a woman’s hand with a magnifying glass and papers on a table
Photo by Andrey Popov on Adobe Stock.

„You have already made many choices when you sit down to write, but you probably don’t know what they are”— Howard Becker

Sociologist Howard Becker, in his 1998 book “Tricks of the Trade”, examines how we use research to support or add value to our own ideas.

„We need ways of expanding the reach of our thinking, of seeing what else we could be thinking and asking, of increasing the ability of our ideas.”

He describes four areas of thought:

  • Imagery: how we think about what we’re going to study before we start our research
  • Sampling: cases we have in mind when formulating our general ideas
  • Concepts: taking up the making of our ideas
  • Logic: ways of manipulating ideas through methods of more or less formal logic

“Serious researchers repeatedly move back and forth among these
four areas, […] each affects the others.”

Is this the last method to finally manipulate us humans forever?

Cat sitting in a box, with eyes staring out of the image
What have I done again, human? — Kito in his favorite box. Photo by the author.

If we observe the behavior of animals, especially cats, we have to admit that they are particularly clever at wrapping us humans around our fingers for their purposes (mostly food).

A good example of this is our tomcat “King…

Is it knowledge, talent or maybe something else?

Image by Olly on Adobe Stock.

Are you curious what has more impact on your writing performance? Talent or knowledge? Or maybe something else?

So you ask yourself whether your talent for writing makes you more successful or whether a solid education with knowledge of writing is more crucial?

Maybe you think that having a certain…

Image by Cristina Conti on Adobe Stock.

A study reveals that „observing others might not only trigger expression of the same behavior, but also the adoption of the goal that the other person pursues with this behavior.” This process is called goal contagion:

  1. It triggers goal-directed behavior that is highly flexible and persistent. We adjust behavior to reach the goal to given opportunities and circumstances.
  2. Activated goals tend to influence our behavior over a long period. When activated, it directs attention and behavior to the pursuit of goals until it is replaced by other competing goals.
  3. Goal-directed behavior can occur automatically, outside of our awareness and without recruiting additional cognitive resources.

“Goal contagion could be powerful, because it unfolds automatically and results in flexible and persistent goal pursuit. However, it is also vulnerable. Two crucial steps are necessary, goal inference and goal adoption, and both could be interrupted.”

Nicole Hilbig

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store