Jason Dana on the utter uselessness of job interviews: “In one experiment, we had student subjects interview other students and then predict their grade point averages for the following semester. […] Unbeknown to our subjects, we had instructed some of the interviewees to respond randomly to their questions.[…] Strikingly, not one interviewer reported noticing that he or she was conducting a random interview. More striking still, the students who conducted random interviews rated the degree to which they “got to know” the interviewee slightly higher on average than those who conducted honest interviews. The key psychological insight here is that people have no trouble turning any information into a coherent narrative. […] People can’t help seeing signals, even in noise.”

Pamela Paul in the New York Times Book Review: “Sure, it’s nice when people like the books you like. But an even more stimulating excitement comes from finding someone else who hates the same book as much as you do.”

Yet another study finds significant differences between male and female brains.

From Dierdre Coyle’s essay, “Men Recommend David Foster Wallace to Me”: “I’ve never heard a woman express shock or horror on hearing that a man has never read Beloved. It wouldn’t occur to most women to recommend books by women to men the way men recommend books by men to women.”


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