Tag Archives: authenticity

Why Great Design Will Never Be 100% Effective

No matter how well-designed, well-researched, and well-implemented any given product or experience is, it will never work for 100% of people. This is true for health interventions, consumer products, financial services, you name it. And while it sounds pessimistic to say that, the reason why is both obvious and (at least to me) interesting: Everybody is different. Continue reading Why Great Design Will Never Be 100% Effective

From the Archives: Competition, Collaboration, and Writing

From the ArchivesI was browsing through some of my old documents, and came across a piece I wrote in grad school about competition and collaboration in academia, and how academics practice their craft via writing. The course was on creating an academic career for yourself, in the loftiest and most philosophical of ways. The professor was someone I admired deeply; he was generous with his feedback and so smart you couldn’t help but learn from him. This particular paper caught my eye because even though I opted out of academia entirely (no fault of this course!), it presages some of the themes I still think about: Balancing individual and group success. Being authentic. Expressing yourself through writing. Continue reading From the Archives: Competition, Collaboration, and Writing

Yes, Be Yourself: In Defense of Authenticity

Yes, Be Yourself!Over the weekend I saw a NY Times op ed article pop up in my RSS feed (yes, I maintain an RSS feed) that rebuts the idea of being yourself as a path to success. I’ve gone on record a few times advocating for authenticity as a way of life. I believe–and research supports–that being true to oneself is a way to feel happier and perform better. So why the sudden pushback from this particular author? Continue reading Yes, Be Yourself: In Defense of Authenticity

Motivation and Authenticity: Old Bedfellows

Motivation & Authenticity-For all of my interest in both motivation and authenticity, I was stunned to realize in reading a book about con artists (of all things) that the two have lived side-by-side in psychology for decades. It’s something I should have realized–I was familiar with the work in question–but hadn’t pulled back my perspective in so long that I missed the link. It turns out that Abraham Maslow, best known for the hierarchy of needs that continues to inform work on motivation and engagement, saw an important place for authenticity at the top of the hierarchy, self-actualization. Continue reading Motivation and Authenticity: Old Bedfellows

BART Tells It Like It Is: When Corporate Social Media Gets Real

BART Tells It Like It IsLast week, San Francisco’s public transit system, the BART, experienced electrical problems that negatively impacted service. As people are wont to do, riders flocked to Twitter to complain to the agency about their poor service. What was unusual is that on the evening in question, instead of offering a bland apology or canned corporate statement, the people behind the BART Twitter account replied candidly and openly. In getting real, BART demonstrated how a faceless civic entity can leverage psychology to form relationships. Three things BART did right are: Continue reading BART Tells It Like It Is: When Corporate Social Media Gets Real

Measured Authenticity for Art that Resonates

Measured Authenticity for Art that ResonatesI’m very interested in the concept of how much a person’s self-expression for an audience (whether it’s writing, performance, art, or something else) should be personal.  I’ve certainly struggled with it on this blog, which I intended to be a professional project but is ultimately informed by my personal experiences and interests. I want this to reflect who I am (both personally and professionally) but definitely prefer to hold back highly personal information, especially since it would rarely advance my purpose which is to geek out about psychology, health, and happiness in everyday life.

Continue reading Measured Authenticity for Art that Resonates

Shonda Rhimes Joins The Authenticity-Is-Happiness Club

Shonda RhimesI recently talked a bit about the book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. Let’s be honest: I became mildly obsessed with the book after reading it and discovering how astute and funny Ms. Rhimes is. Many of her insights align well with the psychology of happiness and health.  One theme she hits particularly strongly is authenticity, namely how being true to yourself can lead to better happiness and engagement with life. Continue reading Shonda Rhimes Joins The Authenticity-Is-Happiness Club

Saying Yes and Saying No: A Purpose-Guided Agenda

Saying YesIn further evidence that I’m a product of my era, I decided to read Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes. For those of you downloading this blog post from your cave in the wilderness, Rhimes is the creator of some of network tv’s most popular shows, including Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.  It also turns out that she wrote a pretty good guide to personal happiness in Year of Yes, with strong themes of purpose and authenticity. Somehow, I was surprised at the depth and quality of her advice, despite having written a past blog post on how Rhimes endorses authenticity in Scandal. Continue reading Saying Yes and Saying No: A Purpose-Guided Agenda

Is Freedom the Pursuit of Happiness? The Boston Public Library Liberty Tree

amybucherphd.comI was wandering through the Boston Public Library‘s main branch at Copley Square (a truly enchanted building) when I stumbled across an interactive exhibit to accompany their current exhibit about the Revolutionary War. The exhibit is called The Liberty Tree, and is a human-sized framework covered in visitor-created paper leaves describing different definitions of liberty. The library explains: Continue reading Is Freedom the Pursuit of Happiness? The Boston Public Library Liberty Tree

I Gotta Be Me: When Authenticity is Hard

I Gotta Be Me- (1)Being yourself is the quickest path to happiness, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do. Sometimes being true to yourself involves making hard decisions. You may have to choose between a job that pays well and a career that is more personally meaningful, or between doing something you hate with your friends or having a better time solo but knowing you’re missing out. Continue reading I Gotta Be Me: When Authenticity is Hard