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Corporate trainer, coke zero fiend. Writing on human behaviour, psychology, productivity, philosophy and other stuff. Join my newsletter @

The evolution and science of lying

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

When we see such universality in moral rules, we know that they combat a tendency for people to do otherwise, and serve an important human need. The pancultural condemnation of lying is clear evidence that all humans are tempted to lie, and that lying is a threat to group cohesiveness…

On the human fear of uncertainty and the certain end to 2020

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Scientifically speaking, I think we could call 2020 a shitstorm.

The hedonic treadmill and why one shiny new thing won’t change it all

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

I’ve been exploring new work opportunities lately. And I’ve found myself thinking some silly thoughts.

Things like, “if I get that work, my life will be made.”

And, “This is going to change the game for me, I’m going to level up my happiness x100 if this happens.”


The ultimate foes of productive teamwork

Photo by Alex Hudson on Unsplash

If you’ve ever been to university and had a group assessment task, you’ve probably encountered the social loafer.​

You know who I mean: That person who is technically in the group, but if they weren’t it would make precisely zero practical difference to everyone else.​

The loafer will rock up…

The planning fallacy, optimism and what to do

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” — Douglas Adams

The Sydney Opera House is one of my favourite buildings. I think it’s a stunning reflection of Sydney’s beauty and energy, and I’ve spent many an evening there, seeing a play, having a…

How reactance influences human behaviour

Photo by Richard Hoskins on Unsplash

Freedom has been a hot topic in 2020.

Most of the world has seen restrictions over many of the little things we took for granted.

While many (myself included) would argue that such impositions were an integral part of the best-known approach to a greater threat at the time, of…

The power of habit loops

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According to Aristotle, how we choose to behave defines who we become.

When confronted with an ethical business dilemma, how we respond is what makes us a just or unjust person. How we choose to deal with anger and emotion determines whether we are temperate or self-indulgent or irascible.

Context, expectations and inattentional blindness

Photo by Stefany Andrade on Unsplash

One morning in 2007, just before 8 am, a Metro station in Washington saw its usual rush of commuters pass through on their way to work.

Little did these commuters know, this was no ordinary morning.

Because at the Metro, set up and ready to start busking, was one of…

The Spotlight Effect and Illusion of Transparency

Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash

Humans are self-conscious creatures.

If you’ve ever accidentally worn mismatching socks, or woken up with a pimple you can’t hide, or worn an outfit that defies your usual wardrobe style, you have probably felt it. That sense that everyone is looking at you; judging your appearance or noticing that flaw.

Patience and the kids these days effect

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

​“No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”- Epictetus

There are suggestions that patience is close…

Sonia Diab

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