Daniel McGinn in the Sunday New York Times

New speaker Daniel McGinn, author of Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed, has penned a new piece for the NY Times, “Why I Wrote This Article on Malcolm Gladwell’s Keyboard.”

Do lucky objects actually help us perform better? If we believe in their special power, research suggests that they can. Professor Block has done experiments in which students prepared for an exam with a study guide used by a previous student. Some students were shown the grade point averages and exam scores of the people who had previously studied from the guide, and the research found that those relying on a guidebook previously used by a high performer tended to do better than others. [NYTimes.com]

What’s Your American Dream Score?

Bob McKinnon has launched a new project called Your American Dream Score, a simple online tool which helps people discover what was working for and against their efforts to achieve success in life.

A new project from GALEWiLL and funded by the Ford Foundation, called the Your American Dream Score, deflates that idea that success–or lack thereof–is purely one’s own doing. The calculator is a part of a larger initiative, Moving Up: The Truth About Getting Ahead In America, which comprehensively examines the factors that contribute to mobility in America, and why changing one’s circumstances is far more difficult than the folklore leads up to believe (Fast Company has syndicated some of Moving Up’s articles). The reasons are myriad: wide disparities in educational quality, access to resources like healthy food, and social and familial support are just a slice. But too often, McKinnon says, when someone “makes it out”–like him–the only reason offered up is: “He worked hard.” When someone doesn’t make it out, the reason is: “He didn’t work hard enough.” [FastCompany.com]

Michelle Segar on “How to Make Yourself Love Exercise”

Michelle Segar has been profiled at TIME.

It’s not just you: Many people are turned off by the thought of exercise because they think it has to be intense or time-consuming. But the findings of a new study published in the journal BMC Public Health suggests that people could learn to enjoy being active simply by tweaking those beliefs and expectations. So says the study’s lead author Michelle Segar, director of the University of Michigan’s Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center, who’s spent years researching what motivates people to get and stay physically fit. (She’s also author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness.) Too often, she says, people begin exercise programs to lose weight, and quit when they don’t shed pounds right away. [TIME.com]

Read Marc Dunkelman at the NY Times

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Marc Dunkelman published “Invite Your Neighbors Over for a Barbecue This Weekend.”

Imagine if someone challenged you to sort your acquaintances into categories. You’d place your most intimate ties — your spouse, children, parents, siblings, best friends — in one bucket, and your least intimate contacts — people with whom you might share nothing but a single common interest — in another. The people with whom you maintain merely a familiar relationship would fall into a distinct class. Those middling ties might comprise your neighbors, friends from your book club, buddies from your basketball league or members of your church choir. [NYTimes.com]

Read an in-depth interview with Gerald Posner

Gerald Posner was interviewed by the Online Review of Books recently about many of the books he has written.

Gerald Posner is an author and investigative journalist originally from San Francisco and living today in Miami. He has written twelve books and has had his work as a freelance journalist published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Esquire, and Time. [OnlineReviewofBooks.com]

Subscribe to Bob Sutton’s newsletter

Bob Sutton just launched a brand new newsletter in connection with the launch of his refreshed website.

Welcome to my first newsletter. I will send one out every month to anyone who subscribes on my new All Things Bob Sutton website. And past issues will be archived on the site. The new site provides one-stop-shopping for my various stuff. If you read my old my Work Matters blog, it is in semi-retirement, but you can still visit it; 1180 posts that I wrote between 2006 and 2017 are there and I will (lightly) maintain that blog. [Subscribe here]