All of the topics this week seem to have a military side to them. This was completely unintentional – they were queued up to match our usual innovation/psychology/design/thought-provoking themes. I just noticed the trend as I wrote the weekly recap.
Monday talked about the way the use of language can frame human behavior. The military dimension is that the source article used the militarization of the police as the subject matter.
Tuesday talked about how to reduce the recurrence of traumatic memories by blocking visuo-spatial working memory. How is that military? The study used military veterans with PTSD to test their hypotheses.
Wednesday talked about creating valid tests to screen job applicants. The military dimension here is that the idea came from the current debate about allowing female Marines into front line combat jobs.
And then Thursday looked at the influence of culture on economic decision making. Most of the research so far has attributed a lot of the differences to culture. But I found a flaw in their methods – based on framing. I am reaching a little to find a military dimension here, but to have a good recap topic I am taking that liberty. We learned in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts that our soldiers are often misunderstood by locals. When they are engaged in activities designed to help the locals, violating cultural norms sometimes causes more damage than the good they are doing. This is perhaps one of the most important areas that we need to improve our cultural awareness, so when decades of research might be wrong, we need to know.