I hope you enjoy this talk with Jennifer Dennard from Responsive Conference 2016. Jennifer is the co-founder of Range Labs and the former Head of People and Culture at Medium, focusing on organization design, people operations, and diversity & inclusion.
Jennifer is passionate about helping teams work together better. In this talk, Jennifer talks about human resources and a future of work that is best for our employees.
Ryan Avery is the violinist behind the electronic violin duo Chance’s End, which Ryan began in the early 2000s to feature violin music in contexts where it usually isn’t. Ryan began practicing classical violin as a young boy, but began experimenting with electronic violin music as early as middle school when he played his violin over his own recorded audio cassette.
In the last decade and spurred on the by the rise of well-known electronic violinists such as Lindsay Sterling, Ryan has begun performing his violin electronica around the world alongside his partner Emily Zisman. Chance’s End most well known song Diamond in Disguise has been listened to 23 million times on Pandora alone.
There’s a concept in cognitive psychology called priming. In its most abstract, this means that if we are given a reminder of a stimulus before being presented with that stimulus, we are more likely to behave favorable towards that stimulus. People who are shown pictures of money before being asked to calculate the cost of groceries are more rapid in their calculations and people who are reminded of aging through subtle cue words like “Florida” and “retirement” are more likely to walk slowly immediately afterwards.
Some of these priming examples have unfortunate consequences (like the so-called old-aging “Florida priming” example) but I’d like to look at how we might use these realities to improve our performance, too.
Here are two cases studies:
Asian Test priming: asian students who are reminded of their ethnicity prior to tests, perform better than the same students not reminded that of asian-students-make-good-test-takers stereotype. In this case, students are simply being reminded of the biases they themselves might hold. My curiosity then is how else might we use our current beliefs to stimulate behavior in accordance with those beliefs?
Age priming: In the “Florida priming” example, participants in the study walk more slowly due to the reminders of behaviors of the elderly. In this example, participants are performing according to the dictates of a different stereotyped group. How then could we stimulate performance according to the group different then our own?
I am going to examine both of these cognitive biases from the perspective of learning ballet, but the lessons can be applied across any physical or mental discipline.