“Clap along if you know what happiness is to you,” Pharrell Williams sings on his smash hit, “Happy.” For many, happiness is defined as an abstract goal, but that can set up unrealistic expectations. The most effective way to achieve happiness, according to a Stanford University researcher, is to set concrete goals, because they are more likely to be met.
“Although the desire for personal happiness may be clear, the path to achieving it is indefinite,” said Jennifer Aaker, the study‘s co-author and the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “One reason for this hazy route to happiness is that although people often think they know what leads to happiness, their predictions about what will make them happy are often inaccurate.”
To understand how benevolent acts may increase personal happiness, Aaker and her colleagues conducted six experiments involving 543 participants. The experiments focused on the level of abstraction of a person’s “prosocial” goal. Prosocial acts are voluntary actions done to benefit another person.
The researchers found that concretely framed goals, such as causing a smile, let to greater happiness for the giver, as opposed to abstractly framed goals, such as making someone happy. This was due to the givers’ perceptions that their acts met their expectations of creating happiness for others.
Consider these findings the next time you set out to help another person. By making your goals more concrete, you’ll both be happier.
Looks like AARP can lower its age requirement to 24, because that’s now when you’re over the hill.
Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada came to that conclusion by studying digital performance records of 3,305 StarCraft 2 game players, ages 16 to 44. The researchers used complex statistical modeling from massive amounts of data to understand how players reacted to opponents and how long they took to react in gaming situations.
“After around 24 years of age, players show slowing in a measure of cognitive speed that is known to be important for performance,” said Joe Thompson, a psychology doctoral student and lead author of the study. “This cognitive performance decline is present even at higher levels of skill.”
However, it’s not all bad news.
“Our research tells a new story about human development,” Thompson said. “Older players, though slower, seem to compensate by employing simpler strategies and using the game’s interface more efficiently than younger players, enabling them to retain their skill, despite cognitive motor-speed loss.”
Thompson said that our cognitive-motor capacities are not stable across adulthood, but are constantly in flux.
“Our day-to-day performance is a result of the constant interplay between change and adaptation,” he said.
I’m just happy that I’m old enough for some sweet discounts at Luby’s.
One of my favorite things to do when I visit a city is to shop at local stores and eat and drink at local restaurants and bars. Sure, you know what you’re getting by patronizing a chain operation. The fun, though, is in discovering something new and knowing you can only experience it in one place.
The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) feels the same way. The AEG Facilities-operated venue recently selected the Groundwork Coffee Co. as its official coffee and catering supplier and operator of the venue’s retail coffee locations.
“We felt utilizing a local company with a great product, sustainable business model, and social responsibility as part of their culture was the way to go,” said Brad Gessner, CFE, senior vice president and general manager of the LACC and an IAVM member. “From field to cup, Groundwork’s goal is to provide the highest quality product to customers while maintaining the well-being of our communities, both locally and at origin.”
New retail Groundwork stores are being installed in the West and South Halls of the LACC and will be open for business in mid April. Guests who come to the LACC will have the opportunity to visit the full service, stand-alone Groundwork concession stands that will provide coffee beverages. Groundwork certified organic coffee will also be served at all other food and beverage locations throughout the South and West Halls of the LACC.
“For almost 25 years, we have taken great pride in serving the finest, specialty-grade organic coffee on earth to our customers at our seven retail locations in Southern California. Groundwork proudly offers certified organic coffee from every growing region in the world, always freshly roasted at our local Groundwork Roastery,” said Eddy Cola, principal for Groundwork Coffee Co. “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to partner with AEG and the City of Los Angeles in sharing our diverse coffee, tea, and food offerings with patrons of the LACC. We’re confident that our steadfast commitment to quality—reflected in all of our products and service—will be appreciated and enjoyed by all.”
The announcement is part of the venue’s “Taste of LA” food and beverage experience.
“We are looking forward to continuing developing the Taste of LA brand with the addition of more local flavors,” said Rian Hanneman, director of food and beverage for LACC’s Taste of LA. “When people come to Los Angeles, a big part of the experience is the local food and beverage…things found only in L.A. We think the attendees will enjoy exploring L.A. through the food offerings here in the Los Angeles Convention Center.”
There was a lot of news this past week. Here are some stories that caught our eyes.
Security Management Firm for HARD Summer, EDC, Insomniac, Live Nation Acquired by U.S. Security Associates
“Together Staff Pro Inc. and U.S. Security Associates form a team they say will have a ‘depth of experience and broad based service offering with no peer in the security industry today,’ according to an announcement released by Staff Pro.”
Live Nation Lands New Outdoor NYC Venue
“The seasonal venue will likely remain open through late September or early October, weather-depending, and double as the latest showcase for JBL in midtown Manhattan.”
Has CrowdOptic Found Its Niche with Google Glass and the NBA?
—Mobile Sports Report
“What will really be interesting to watch from a stadium technology perspective is how Google Glass use, for both team-approved activities as well as casual fan use, will affect things like in-stadium networks.”
On the Scene at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Nirvana, Kiss, chaos, and… Lorde?
“Even among the participants who did show up, there were a lot of shots taken at the Hall over the course of the evening…”
The Seemingly Harmless Habit Killing Your Productivity
“Formulating a witty comment on a favorite blog is more exciting than double checking the numbers on a spreadsheet pertaining to a project you’re pretty sure will be canceled anyway.”
(Image: Billboard/Philey Sanneh/FilterlessCo)
From Fitbits to smart watches to Disney’s MagicBands, companies are lining up to know more about you all in the name of customer and guest experience. Let’s add Lightwave to that list.
Lightwave is new wearable that debuted at the 2014 South by Southwest conference in Austin. Attendees at a Pepsi-sponsored event linked the wristbands to personal information, such as age and hometown (the wristbands can be linked anonymously, too). The wristbands measured audience movement, temperature, and sound levels, and the DJ and audiovisual team adjusted the environment and song selection based on the information received. Lightwave uses low-energy Bluetooth for events with fewer than 500 people, or it uses a radio-signal for larger crowds. Real time analytics are available to organizers.
“At a trade show it might be used to tell you how people are feeling during a keynote or what talking points are resonating [by measuring applause levels], or what booths people are spending time at,” Rana June, Lightwave founder and CEO, told BizBash. “And that can be broken down by gender. Or it could be very helpful to know this bar has a wait, but the one over there doesn’t, and we can redirect people.”
Want to watch a short, rave-inspired promo video about this new bio-reactive device? Good, because we have it for you below.