Tag: could

How targeted ads could affect our self-esteem and make us better people

happy frogs

Behaviorally targeted ads tend to get a lot of criticism for appearing to invade our privacy. However, a new report in the Journal of Consumer Research argues that targeted ads can beneficially alter a consumer’s perception of themselves — not just the brand that’s advertising to them.

The study, published on March 27, says that targeted ads could even make you donate more money to charity.

“Behavioral targeting” is an online marketing strategy that sends ads to people according to their past browsing history. This contrasts from ads which are targeted according to demographics (your age, gender, location, occupation,) or those ads which are not targeted and are shown to every person viewing that web page.

So how could behavioral targeting make you into a better person?

It all comes down to flattery

rolex watchesIn the first study, which used 188 undergraduate students, there were two test groups. Both groups were offered a Groupon voucher for a “sophisticated” restaurant. Group A was told that this was as a result of their earlier browsing history, while Group B was told the ad had been targeted to them because of their demographic information. Group A were considerably more likely to purchase the voucher.

But why was this? The study goes on to suggest that we like ads targeted to us if they portray sophisticated tastes. More than this, if we realize that an ad is targeted, and that it portrays sophisticated tastes, we will in turn believe that we are more sophisticated than we did before seeing the ad.

To prove this, the behavioral scientists again divided participants into two groups. Both were shown ads for a high-end, “sophisticated” watch brand. Group A was told that the ad was targeted at them, while group B was told that it was not. After this, Group A evaluated themselves as more sophisticated than Group B. Group A was also more likely to buy the watch than Group B.

So, this kind of flattery can get consumers to buy more products. This encourages advertisers to be more transparent with targeted ads, when the ads they are targeting imply positive qualities, according to the researchers.

green peaceHow targeted ads have an effect on users in the longer-run

However, where this gets really interesting is when we look at the effect of targeted ads on our behavior, beyond our immediate purchase intentions.

The third and final study claimed that the message behind the targeted ad (e.g. that we are sophisticated, or pro-environment) will stay with us in other contexts. Group A was given a behaviorally-targeted ad for a “Green, energy-free speaker crafted from sustainably sourced Colombian wood,” — i.e. an environmentally friendly product. The control group was given an ad for the same speaker but with a different description: “sleek, powerful speaker crafted from the hollow body of Colombian wood.”

After this experiment Group A perceived themselves as more green than the participants in the control group. They were more likely to buy the product, and even more likely to donate to a pro-environmental charity.

So, according to the report, by making consumers aware that the ads they are seeing (which imply positive qualities) are targeted to them because of past internet browsing, the viewer can be made to view themselves in a more positive light.

However, the study says nothing about the reverse. What about ads targeted by behaviour that imply more negative traits, like greed, or even un-sophistication? It seems likely that ads which imply these traits could have a correspondingly negative impact on our self-esteem.

SEE ALSO: Inside the anti-advertising movement that’s recruiting ad agency workers to destroy billboards and replace them with art

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Scientists say 4 characteristics could predict whether you’ll become a CEO & and they don’t include people skills

leader speaker

If you aspire to one day take the reins of your company, it helps to know if you’ve really got what it takes to become a chief executive.

According to a new study led by Steven N. Kaplan at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Morten Sorensen at Copenhagen Business School, there are four key characteristics that can predict whether you’ll become a CEO: general ability, execution skills, charisma, and strategic skills.

The conclusions are based on an analysis of 2,600 interviews with candidates for top executive positions (like CEO, CFO, and COO). During four-hour interviews with a professional firm, candidates were rated on 30 different traits, such as integrity, creativity, and persistence.

Researchers boiled down those 30 traits into the four groups of characteristics mentioned above.

In an interview with Business Insider, Kaplan explained that general ability is basically overall talent, or your score on all 30 traits. Execution skills refer to your ability to get things done — being efficient, proactive and persistent. Charisma is about being persuasive and enthusiastic. Strategic skills are about creativity and big-picture thinking.

As it turns out, CEO candidates scored highly on all four characteristics. CFO candidates, on the other hand, tended to score low on all four characteristics, while COO candidates were somewhere in the middle.

An additional analysis found that candidates for other top executive positions (besides CEO) who scored high on these four characteristics were more likely to get hired as CEOs later in life, maybe five to 10 years down the line.

Steve Jobs One especially interesting finding is that CEO candidates were typically rated low on interpersonal skills, which involves behaviors like being a good listener and treating people with respect. In other words, leaders who have the ability to get things done aren’t necessarily the most agreeable individuals.

Previous research Kaplan and Sorensen helped conduct suggests that execution skills are strongly correlated with CEO success. Kaplan cited Steve Jobs as an example of someone who was probably high on execution and low on interpersonal skills: He led Apple to greatness, but was notorious for shouting at and criticizing employees.

Yet the study found that interviewers tended to overvalue interpersonal skills in recommending hires. Candidates for all positions who wound up getting hired scored higher than average on interpersonal skills.

For those who hope to become CEOs, it’s helpful to know which characteristics you should work to develop. Other research suggests that you can learn to be more charismatic, for example.

In the interview, however, it might be wise to flaunt your people skills.

And the lesson for those making hiring decisions is to make sure you aren’t getting charmed by smooth candidates who don’t necessarily have the ability to execute. “Don’t hire a jerk,” Kaplan said, “but make sure the person you hire has a track record of getting things done.”

SEE ALSO: 7 science-backed ways to become more charismatic

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Psychologists say a common cognitive trap could be sabotaging your success

chess thinking Decisions are the worst.

What time are you available for a phone call tomorrow? Can you sign off on this project proposal? How much pizza should we order for tomorrow’s staff meeting?

Ugh. 2 p.m.; yes; 10 pies. Done.

You might feel incredibly productive after making these decisions, simply because you checked three items off your to-do list. But efficiency isn’t the same thing as productivity, especially if you’ve just made all the wrong choices.

That’s according to Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist and author of the new book, “Smarter Faster Better,” about the science of productivity.

In the book, Duhigg writes about the concept of “cognitive closure,” which psychologists describe as “the desire for a confident judgment on an issue, any confident judgment, as compared to confusion and ambiguity.” (You can test your need for cognitive closure here.)

The need for cognitive closure can be helpful, and Duhigg says that some level is necessary for success — no one ever got anywhere from debating a single decision forever.

On the other hand, a high need for cognitive closure can mean that you need to get stuff done even if you’re not necessarily getting that stuff done right. It’s the difference between feeling productive and actually being productive.

In an interview with Business Insider, Duhigg explained how a need for cognitive closure might play out in a meeting. You turn to the person next to you, a presumed expert on the topic, and say, “What should we do?” They give you an answer, and that’s the end of that.

Again: efficient, but not necessarily productive.

 So how do we prevent the need for cognitive closure from sabotaging our decisions?

Duhigg said it’s about building systems that force us to “make sure that we’re giving a choice the time it deserves.”

During his research, he studied the most successful teams at Google, which are characterized by “psychological safety.”

One hallmark of psychological safety, Duhigg said, is that “everyone has the opportunity to weigh in on big choices.”

“That’s not necessarily because everyone has a great idea,” he said. Instead, it helps groups come to better decisions because it’s “forcing people to justify the choices that they’re making.”

When you have to explain your decision to other people, you might spot some holes in your reasoning that you would have missed if you’d simply forged ahead.

Once teams form a habit of talking through big decisions, they’ll minimize the impact of individuals’ need for cognitive closure. Ultimately, that means they’ll save time and energy because they won’t have to revisit poor decisions and fix them in a frenzy.

SEE ALSO: Too many of us make the same mistake with our to-do lists — and it ruins our productivity

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A leadership coach says there’s one type of mentoring relationship that could help you rise faster in your career

job interview, boss, meetingThe concept of soliciting feedback on your performance at work might sound strange.

Mandatory performance reviews are stressful enough — it seems almost masochistic to subject yourself to hearing about your failures and “areas for improvement” when it’s not required.

Yet experts say the most successful leaders are often the ones who actively seek feedback and advice from the people they work with.

According to Suzanne Bates, CEO of Bates Communications and author of the new book “All the Leader You Can Be,” successful leaders often have peer mentors, or coworkers who they regularly exchange feedback with.

Bates says seeking feedback on your performance is a critical step on the path to developing executive presence, which she defines as  “the qualities of a leader that engage, inspire, align, and move people to act.”

In an interview with Business Insider, Bates said that “people who have peer mentors (and mentors) tend to rise faster through their organization” than people who try to go it alone.

A peer mentor — i.e. someone who holds a similar level position as you — is especially valuable because it helps you “think of yourself as someone with something to give,” Bates said. Not only is your mentor telling you about your apparent strengths and weaknesses, but you’re also giving that person your advice.

“The best mentoring relationships grow out of some mutuality,” she said. “When it’s a two-way street, the relationship is more real and valuable.”

Bates added that it’s valuable if your peer mentor works in a different business or department at your organization. It’s even better if you’ve worked with that person on a cross-business or inter-department project.

all the leader you can beTo start the conversation about mentorship with that person, you might say something like:

“We’ve gotten to know each other and I’ve enjoyed working with you. I don’t know much about finance [or whatever department the person works in] and I would love to spend time and learn more about it.”

Bates’ ideas about peer mentorship are especially important in the context of research from leadership development consultancy Zenger/Folkman. According to their findings, younger people tend to make better managers, partly because they’re receptive to feedback and always trying to improve.

Meanwhile, bestselling author Simon Sinek says the most successful leaders have a “buddy,” or someone who also aspires to leadership. Buddies regularly exchange knowledge and advice in order to keep each other from getting too caught up in the trappings of wealth and fame.

The takeaway here is that, while receiving feedback might be scary, it’s crucial for leadership development. And asking for feedback reminds us that leadership is hardly a one-person experience — instead, it’s a process that requires constant input and tweaking from others.

SEE ALSO: A leadership expert says most bosses are missing this one crucial quality

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19 unprofessional habits that could cost you a job

boss meeting coworkers

Finding a new job can be a nerve-racking experience.

From crafting your ideal résumé to acing the interview, there are a lot of opportunities to screw things up.

To help you avoid letting bad habits shine through at the worst moments, we asked experts to highlight some of the least professional behavior you could demonstrate that will almost certainly cost you a job.

Here’s what you could be doing all wrong that makes you look unprofessional in your job search:

SEE ALSO: 25 annoying things on your résumé that make hiring managers cringe

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Being sloppy

Your résumé is your first contact with HR or recruiters, Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, an etiquette and civility expert and the author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom,” tells Business Insider. And typos, grammar mistakes, and formatting issues will land it in the “no” pile within a few seconds.

If your résumé is sloppy, they’ll assume you are, too,” she says.

Not doing your homework

“Employers take note of candidates that are educated on the responsibilities of the job opening in question and on the company itself,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human-resources officer for CareerBuilder, tells Business Insider. “This demonstrates that you made the decision to apply for the job after considering the facts, rather than out of desperation.”

Trying too hard to garner attention

If you want your résumé to stand out, for instance, “let it be because of its content and format,” Randall says. “Using colored paper, a multitude of fonts, or even including confetti with your resume will attract attention, but not the right kind.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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