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Going With Your Gut May Mean Harsher Moral Judgments

Going with your intuition could make you judge others’ moral transgressions more harshly and keep you from changing your mind, even after considering all the facts, a new study suggests.

The findings show that people who strongly rely on intuition automatically condemn actions they perceive to be morally wrong, even if there is no actual harm.

In psychology, intuition, or “gut instinct,” is defined as the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for reasoning.

“It is now widely acknowledged that intuitive processing influences moral judgment,” says Sarah Ward, a doctoral candidate in social and personality psychology at the University of Missouri.

“We thought people who were more likely to trust their intuition would be more likely to condemn things that are shocking, whereas people who don’t rely on gut feelings would not condemn these same actions as strongly,” Ward says.

Ward and Laura King, professor of psychological sciences, had study participants read through a series of scenarios and judge whether the action was wrong, such as an individual giving a gift to a partner that had previously been purchased for an ex.

The researchers then wanted to determine if getting people to think about these actions—asking...

Winning the War for Talent In The Public Sector

We’ve been talking for years about the war for talent and the challenges organizations face in recruiting and retaining talent. A 2015 study by Accenture reports 64 percent of 70 public sector leaders across 18 states report difficulty attracting and retaining talent. Similarly, a recent Pew Research study found that state HR organizations were challenged to recruit and retain skilled workers.

Recruitment and retention is exacerbated by an aging workforce and changing employment preferences among younger workers. Gen Z’s are incredibly resourceful, resilient and entrepreneurial. And over half of millennials (ages 21-37) and generation Z’s (ages 7-21) dream of starting their own businesses.

Further, prolonged hiring times, bureaucratic and hierarchical management models also make it harder to attract workers, especially people 35 and under, who increasingly want to work for innovative and agile organizations.

Studies show competitive salaries and a stable organization are basic needs when it comes to attracting and retaining employees. What differentiates employers, however, is organizational reputation and an aspirational mission and purpose. So what are agencies to do?

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

To drive change, employers should focus on what they can control -- a work environment specific to the agency or work...

LinkedIn and Microsoft Will Now Write Your Resume For You

Finding the right words to describe your last job no longer needs to be a thesaurus-combing ordeal. Microsoft and LinkedIn can automatically do it for you.

The software company and social-networking service—the former of which acquired the latter in 2016 for $26 billion—together have launched Resume Assistant, a Word-integrated tool that will help spruce up your CV-writing by suggesting work experience descriptions pulled from similar LinkedIn profiles and requirements from real job postings. The feature is available to Microsoft Office 365 subscribers, but one does not need a LinkedIn account to use it.

What’s more, when you’re done, Resume Assistant promises to “surface relevant job opportunities for you directly within Microsoft Word.”

The tool is the newest product to come out of Microsoft’s takeover of LinkedIn, the high price of which raised more questions than it answered. Industry analysts speculated that Microsoft might have more up its sleeve than just trying to snag more users—offering companies an entire hiring, learning, and training package, perhaps.

“Microsoft can drive the evolution of the competency marketplace in ways LinkedIn as a standalone company couldn’t,” Ryan Craig, managing director of private equity fund University Ventures, which focuses...

How to Avoid Spreading the Flu at Work

Workplaces remain hotbed of possible flu contagion, despite recommendations that people get their vaccinations.

Even an ordinary seasonal flu epidemic will still kill several thousand people every year in the US alone.

This year’s flu, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates caused more than 125,000 illnesses since the beginning of the season, shows no sign of abating.

Nellie Brown, a certified industrial hygienist and director of Workplace Health & Safety Programs at Cornell University’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations, offers tips on how to minimize the potential for virus spreading at the office.

Did you touch the stapler? “Think about what you touch in and out of the office. Did you use an ATM? Did you put gas in your car? If you were in a conference room—did you touch the table and chairs at the meeting? Did you borrow a stapler? Did you go to the water cooler and touch the handle? We touch a lot of things in common and that’s how diseases are spread.

How to contain germs: “Clean with germicide. In order to prevent the spread of germs, clean surfaces with an EPA-registered germicide that kills influenza. Do...

The Difficult Person at Work Probably Isn’t a Psychopath

  • By Katarina Fritzon, Joanna Wilde and Rosalind Searle
  • February 9, 2018
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As workplaces become increasingly difficult and damaging environments, there are plenty of articles and books on dealing with “psychopaths” among your colleagues.

But psychopathy is heavily contested as a diagnostic category. And labelling a coworker a psychopath fails to account for how our workplaces can encourage bad behavior.

From an “always on” work culture to badly designed work practices, there are many reasons why a colleague could be behaving badly. This is partly why clinicians are prohibited from diagnosing someone from afar—there may be many other factors influencing the behavior.

The research on criminal psychopathy is based on thousands of casesand involves statistical prediction of future actions based on these cases. The articles that set out how to tell if your boss is a psychopath simply do not have the same evidence base.

Of the 20 criteria used to assess criminal psychopathy, many do not translate to the workplace (other measures have not been tested in work environments either).

What about the workplace?

As we have seen in recent sexual harassment scandals in media and politics, when workplaces don’t punish employees for unacceptable or harmful behavior it gives tacit permission, in effect encouraging it to continue.