2012/Keynote: Fear, Uncertainty, and Dopamine

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Beer, cookies, psychopathy, happiness, regret—these are all things the world’s greatest scientists have studied in detail. Learn how humans work, and how to get the most out of interacting with them.

Speaker: Paul Fenwick

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Contributed notes


Paul provided some statistics regarding a study on regret. Where can one find more information about what people statistically regret?

Citations Provided

  • Aronson, Elliot, and J. Merrill Carlsmith. “Effect of the Severity of Threat on the Devaluation of Forbidden Behavior.” The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 66, no. 6 (1963): 584–588.
  • Freedman, J. L., and S. C. Fraser. “Compliance Without Pressure: The Foot-in-the-door Technique.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 4, no. 2 (1966): 195.
  • Noller, Patricia. “Misunderstandings in Marital Communication: A Study of Couples’ Nonverbal Communication.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39, no. 6 (1980): 1135–1148.

A Zotero collection can also be found at: https://www.zotero.org/pjf/items/collectionKey/H4ZCTNH6

Additional Notes

  • For an excellent discussion on the mechanics of happiness, Dan Gilbert's book "Stumbling on Happiness" is fantastic.
  • For an excellent discussion on how to persaude people, Cialdini's book on Influence is also fantastic. It contains a very detailed chapter on the "foot-in-the-door' technique.
  • For an overview on how happiness appears to be 50% genetic, along with oodles of further references on the topic, see Happiness is a Privilege
  • If you want a totally kick-ass, free, open-source, cross-platform, cross-browser citation manager with cloud-sync, check out Zotero! You can also use this to get all these talk's citations in one hit.
  • How Paul leverages fear to motivate himself when he doesn't have an upcoming keynote talk: Beeminder

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