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What’s Good About Gossip: Shimul Melwani

What’s Good About Gossip: Shimul Melwani

Shimul Melwani is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests meet at the intersection of emotions and interpersonal processes in organizations. She is conducting (and will be presenting) research on the influence of gossip – the negative and positive consequences of initiating and participating in it – for individuals and groups in the workplace. She also investigates how emotions such as boredom, contempt, compassion and anger influence performance and relationships in work contexts. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology and Psychological Science and has been covered by media outlets, such as the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Forbes and Science Daily.

Shimul received her PhD and master’s degree in management and organizational behavior from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Mumbai.

 

3-D Printer Makes Customized Cookies

3-D Printer Makes Customized Cookies

The researchers at Cornell University have been cooking up a new appliance for your home — a 3-D food printer. They’ve been experimenting with all kinds of goo, including cheese, cookie dough and liquid turkey.

 

3-D food printer makes dessert

3-D food printer makes dessert

Cornell University has developed a 3-D food printer that allows users to create edible designs.

 

Jeff Hancock: The future of lying

Jeff Hancock: The future of lying

Who hasn’t sent a text message saying “I’m on my way” when it wasn’t true or fudged the truth a touch in their online dating profile? But Jeff Hancock doesn’t believe that the anonymity of the internet encourages dishonesty. In fact, he says the searchability and permanence of information online may even keep us honest.

Jeff Hancock studies how we interact by email, text message and social media blips, seeking to understand how technology mediates communication.

Why you should listen to him:

Jeff Hancock is fascinated by the words we choose when sending text messages, composing emails and writing online profiles. An Associate Professor of Cognitive Science and Communications at Cornell University, his research has focused on how people use deception and irony when communicating through cell phones and online platforms. His idea: that while the impersonality of online interaction can encourage mild fibbing, the fact that it leaves a permanent record of verifiable facts actually keeps us on the straight and narrow.

Hancock has also studied how we form impressions of others online, how we manage others’ impressions of ourselves, and how individual personalities interact with online groups.

“[Hancock and his fellow Cornell researchers] tackled what they call deceptive opinion spam by commissioning freelance writers on Mechanical Turk, an Amazon-owned marketplace for workers, to produce 400 positive but fake reviews of Chicago hotels.”  The New York Times

 

Billionaire Donates $600 Million To Cornell

Charles Feeney, a billionaire, recently gave 600 million dollars to Cornell University. Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss Charles’ donation and lifestyle.

David Pizarro: The strange politics of disgust

What does a disgusting image have to do with how you vote? Equipped with surveys and experiments, psychologist David Pizarro demonstrates a correlation between sensitivity to disgusting cues — a photo of feces, an unpleasant odor — and moral and political conservatism.

David Pizarro is a psychologist interested in how certain emotions (disgust, fear, anger) affect our moral judgment.

Why you should listen to him:

It’s common knowledge that our emotions can have a strong effect on our behavior and judgment. But why would an emotion like disgust, evolutionarily developed to protect us from poisons and other dangerous substances, have any influence on our political leanings today? David Pizarro, associate professor at Cornell University, is studying this surprising phenomenon: Sensitivity to disgusting sensations (like a photo of feces, or being reminded that germs are everywhere) correlates to moral and political conservatism. In his studies he has demonstrated that exposing people to an unpleasant odor can increase negative feelings toward homosexual men.