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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
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Entries in decision (3)

Wednesday
Feb232011

Do you want a bigger bonus? Perhaps not! Money and performance.

Would you work harder, and do better work, if you were paid more?  I am guessing that most of us would answer 'absolutely'!

However, this great video by Daniel Pink (that deals with the research he did for his book 'Drive') suggests otherwise.  In short his research shows that the relationship between monetary reward and performance does applies differently to manual and cognitive tasks.  Persons who performed basic manual tasks did better work for higher rewards.  However, persons who performed cognitive tasks seemed to perform worse when presented with a financial incentive to do so!

In the video he suggests three alternative rewards that motivate better performance among skilled, technical, cognitive workers.

 

What do you think? I sure would love to have 'the question of money' taken off the table! If I had the freedom not to worry about money I guess I would be able to concentrate on doing better work.  How about you?

Saturday
Jun142008

The neuroscience of selling your stuff... Here's why it hurts!

Before getting to the interesting 'brain' stuff story, the good news is that I have completed the text for the next book that Dr. Wessel Bentley and I are working on! The working title of the book (that is being published by the Methodist Publishing House) is 'What are we thinking: Reflections on Church and Society by Southern African Methodists' We intend launching this fantastic book at the Methodist Church of Southern Africa's annual Conference in Bloemfontein (September 2008). So, keep an eye on this space!

Now that I have done with that project I am returning to a perennial project that seems to have been a part of my thinking for some years now... A book that considers and discusses some elements of the relationship between neuroscience and Christian theology. I have not yet decided on the final title for the book, the working title is 'Why you're not who you think you are! Adventures in neuroscience and theology'.

Whenever I am working on a project I tend to notice posts and publications that relate to my topic much more frequently. So, my 'neurons' have become quite sensitive to just about everything I can find about... well, neurons!

I came across this interesting post on Boingboing late last night and thought it was quite informative. As my wife (and friends) will tell you, I tend to like gadgets, and I tend to be quite fond of holding on to them! I still have my tiny little Libretto 100CT computer (with a 486DX 233Mhz processor and 32MB of ram...)

Well, this may explain why we struggle to sell things that we own (and like):

We sometimes say that it "hurts" to part with our stuff even if it's junk, and we know it's junk. Behavioral scientists call it the endowment effect, a theory that people put higher values on things once they own them. Turns out though that it actually does hurt to sell something you own, and it has nothing to do with overvaluing. Stanford University and University of Pennsylvania psychologists recreated the endowment effect in volunteers while scanning their brains with MRI. From Nature News:

If the reason for the endowment effect came from the products being overvalued by their owners, (professor Brian) Knutson’s team expected to see a part of the brain called the nucleus accumbus change during the test. It didn’t, “whether buying or selling, the activation in the nucleus accumbus looked the same”, says (co-author professor Scott) Rick.

 

But others part of the brain, the insula, which has a role in the experience of pain, and the greater mesial prefrontal cortex became activated when the subjects contemplated selling one of their items. If they had ranked that item as one they particularly liked, the change in the insula was greater.

According to this research, this is because of loss aversion, says Rick. “It is not because people are overplaying the positive [aspects of a possession].” Rather, we just become attached to objects we own — so much so that it takes a lot to convince us to part with them.

Link

 

Monday
Feb112008

Neuroscience meets mail room...

I love the mind... I love the way the brain, the most complex of human organs, functions to help us construct reality... It is truly one of God's most wonderful creations - much more than just a 'sack of neurons' floating in an 'electrical storm' and a 'chemical bath'...

NOW, my love for Neuroscience has found a new application - postage stamps!!! Heck I would LOVE to receive a letter with a 'brain' stamp on the front of it!!!!

Here's what I'm talking about:

 

 Images  Chudler Stamps Stampr1  Images  Chudler Stamps Stamps2  Images  Chudler Stamps Stampda1  Images  Chudler Stamps Isrlas
The University of Washington's Neuroscience For Kids site has a fantastic gallery of postage stamps from around the world that feature neuroscience-related themes. From left: USA/Medical Imaging, United Nations/Drug Abuse (opium poppy in background), Belgium/Drug Abuse, Israel/Medical Engineering. Link (via Mind Hacks).