No, music isn’t helping you become creative

LONDON: Listening to background music “significantly impairs” people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity, say scientists who challenge the myth that music makes us more creative.

Psychologists from University of Gavle in Sweden, University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster University in the UK investigated the impact of background music on performance by presenting people with verbal insight problems that are believed to tap creativity.

For example, a participant was shown three words

(e.g. dress, dial, flower), with the requirement being to find a single associated word (in this case “Sun”) that can be combined to make a common word or phrase (ie sundress, sundial and sunflower).

Researchers used three experiments involving verbal tasks in either a quiet environment or while exposed to background music with unfamiliar lyrics, instrumental music without lyrics, or music with familiar lyrics.

“We found strong evidence of impaired performance when playing background music in comparison to quiet background conditions,” said Neil McLatchie of Lancaster University. Researchers suggest this may be because music disrupts verbal working memory.

The third experiment — exposure to music with familiar lyrics — impaired creativity regardless of whether the music boosted mood, induced a positive mood, was liked by the participants, or whether participants typically studied in the presence of music.

However, there was no significant difference in performance of the verbal tasks between the quiet and library noise conditions.

Researchers said this is because library noise is a “steady state” environment which is not as disruptive.


Donald Trump Isn’t Exempt From Hate-Speech Rules, Twitter Clarifies

Donald Trump Isn't Exempt From Hate-Speech Rules, Twitter Clarifies
Twitter recently banned hundreds of accounts that violated its rules and the micro-blogging site said no one is exempt from its hate-speech rules – not even President-elect Donald Trump.

“The Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies,” a company spokesperson told online magazine Slate.

“The Twitter Rules apply to all accounts, including verified accounts,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying, and that could mean, hypothetically, Trump, who has a track record of using social networking sites to flag conspiracy theories, attack reporters and even threaten political rivals, could too be banned or suspended.

Twitter recently suspended the accounts of several leading pundits and activists from the “alt-right,” a pro-Trump movement that is linked with notions of white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-Semitism, Slate reported.
Twitter lays down that a user “may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism” and “may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others”.
“In order to protect the experience and safety of people who use Twitter, there are some limitations on the type of content and behavior that we allow. All users must adhere to the policies set forth in the Twitter Rules. Failure to do so may result in the temporary locking and/or permanent suspension of account(s),” the Twitter Rules state.

Facebook, one the other hand, indicated that it would not apply its normal community standards to posts from President-elect Trump, given their newsworthiness and the widespread popular support for his views, the report said.

Tags: Twitter, Social, Donald Trump, Hate Speech


Productivity Habits: Working Until All Hours Isn’t Being Productive

productivity habits book

While we all may strive to be as productive as possible, at the end of a day we often feel like we should have achieved more, or could have spent our time in a better way. “The Productivity Habits: A Simple Approach to Become More Productive” aims to get the reader to focus on how they manage their time, process information, and prioritize tasks, and suggests eight techniques which can help you to become more organized and efficient.

What “The Productivity Habits” is About

Most of us will admit that there are times when we just don’t know where to start or what to do first due to the sheer volume of tasks that we believe need our attention. As a result, it can feel like we are getting no where as we waste much time switching our attention from one thing to another. Additionally, we often have a tendency to carry out what the author describes as “fake work” such as constantly checking for emails.

“The Productivity Habits” discusses eight habits/processes that can be used to help us to spend our time more efficiently. It looks at the limitations of our mind and what we can do to help become more efficient. It contains ideas on how to follow a more disciplined approach to the way we gather and store information and how and we allocate our time to carryout related tasks.

As the author states:

“Productivity is not about how much stuff you’re able to produce, how smart you’re able to work, or your ability to juggle lots of spinning plates. Nor is it your ability to succeed at a job that you hate. Rather, it’s a matter of mastery and perspective. Mastery over yourself and your resources, and perspective to decide what’s truly important and what deserves your attention.”

Much of what is contained within “The Productivity Habits” is common sense. But it requires discipline to use and stay with the techniques put forward. Outlined are consistent but manageable solutions which will allow you to focus on what is important, and how to store the lesser important, but potentially useful information, for future use and at a more suitable time.

About the Author

Ben Elijah (@inkandben) is based in London and freely admits that, in his youth, he had a tendency to procrastinate and was unable to multitask effectively. He has overcome these common problems and is now a trainer, consultant and writer in the field of creating strategies to increase productivity and personal effectiveness.

What’s Best About “The Productivity Habits”

Many books have been written on efficiency and time management. “The Productivity Habits” takes a slightly different view on how we are able to become more effective in our work. Rather than being a book which lists a variety of tools and techniques that can be used to be more productive; rather it prompts the reader to look at how they work, and suggests forming efficient habits so that you create order rather than chaos.

The book is very general in that it does not look at being more efficient in a particular type of work environment. This may sound less useful, but might actually be more beneficial as it forces the reader to look at the ways that they are working and how they could apply the recommended habits to their own situation.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

“The Productivity Habits” contains diagrams and work flows to highlight many of the points that the author is making. Personally I found them to be slightly overused. However, if you are someone who benefits and learns better through visuals, then you may find them quite helpful.

Why Read “The Productivity Habits”

Not only is life today more hectic than ever, advances in technology have also caused us to be bombarded with even more potentially useful information. Some of the information can be usefully used at some point in time, some needs to be acted on immediately, while other information may be totally redundant. Yet, we still need to determine how and whether to capture and process this information and this task in itself can be both distracting and overwhelming.

“The Productivity Habits” is an ideal read for anyone who feels inundated with information and tasks that they need to do, and want to find a better way to manage their time and priorities. The book provides eight thought provoking ideas on how to be better organized, to improve on your ability to prioritize, and to be able to retain a variety of information so that it is not lost and can be used at a more appropriate time.


don’t worry, Twitter isn’t always going to broadcast all your replies

Twitter simply announced massive adjustments to how tweets worknamely, getting rid of pictures, video hyperlinks and mentions from the one hundred fortyindividual restrict, to help deliver posts someinnovative respiration room. some adjustments to the manner “@” replies paintings imply you are going to see even more tweets on your feed from humans you comply with. maximum essential, theorganisation desires to reduce confusion for new customers — which it sorely desires more of.

however while the social network attempts to streamline and clarify, a number of the adjustments arebarely difficult. After studying the enterprise‘s short blog put up announcing the news, we have a fewlingering questions. Do the modifications imply limitless mentions in tweets? (Spoiler: of direction not.) Will your fans see all of your respond tweets? well, that depends.

Twitter is eliminating the paintingsaround people use to reply to others in any such way that theirfollowers can see the communique in their feeds. in place of[email protected]while citing this web site, as an example, (which inside the beyond allowed your followers to see the tweet), “@engadget” will now suffice. (One person saved!) consider this as a “point out tweet,” commenced from scratch. Yourfollowers might see this while the modifications come into being.

but, in case you were replying to an present “@engadget” tweet, this would be in a “respond style” andmight most effective be visible by way of users who follow each you and @engadget — not all of yourfans. (if you want your followers to look a respond, you could take gain of the brand new ability to retweet your self.)

Usernames in tweets may not be counted against your “respondcharacter restriction, but they willcount number in “mention” tweets. when I placed it that way it makes greater feel but yes, it is first of alla bit difficult. (it is worth remembering that up till 2009, you saw each tweet of someone you follow: theentire Twitter firehose.)

whilst usernames may not remember toward your person assume replies, there may be still a limit of 50. A Twitter spokesperson introduced that while this can exchange later, that is the current cap. high-quality with us: Fifty usernames sounds pretty severe as it’s far.

Now let‘s cross back to the loss of the “[email protected]” hack. New tweets that begin with a username will now be broadcast in your followers with the aid of default — even in case you only wanted some humans to see it. Sorry, Twitter, but no longer everything starts with replying to someone else’s tweet. With thoseadjustments, even in case you wanted to make a snarky in-joke to a chum, every body following you maysee it. it’s like your hushed, one-on-one communication in a pub is now broadcast on loudspeakers toanyone else in the bar. happily, Twitter users will probably find approaches around anything featuresthey don’t like.

For its component, Twitter may be happy, as those tweaks will nearly clearly stimulate greatercommunique, extra retweets, greater replies and more likes. The social network may want to get very may make the maximum vocal Twitter users you observe appear even more vocal — possibly to a cloyingdegree. The same will be said for the capacity to retweet and quote your self. we’ll reserve judgement tillthe adjustments move into impact, but don’t forget: the mute and block buttons are there for a reason.