Recently, in the other Blog…

For those of you who might not know, that is, despite my relentless self-promotion, I have recently begun blogging as a so-called “expert” at Psychology TodayMy blog over there is called The Dark Side of Work.

The PsychToday blog will focus almost exclusively on the dark side of work experience, especially the dark side of personality. I may occasionally cross-post items on both blogs, but expect this one to focus on other aspects of my research in psychology, leadership, and research methods.

But, if you’re interested in the dark side, specifically:

The Pros and Cons of Having a Dark Side

How Do Narcissists Get Ahead?

Healthy Self-Esteem Versus Healthy Narcissism

How Narcissists Fail

Enjoy, if that’s your thing :)


How to model counts as outcomes

downloadOne hahaha, two hahaha, three hahaha…

(Picture of Count von Count taken from from

I just posted a working copy of a paper my co-authors and I received our proofs for today, over at, entitled “Count-based Research in Management: Suggestions for improvement”, by Dane Blevins, Eric Tsang, and me!

Counts of events are frequently used as outcome variables in a wide range of disciplines, including strategic management and OB. For example, the number of patents obtained could be an outcome of interest to researchers in either camp, and things like number of acquisitions, or number of corporate board interlocks could be of interest to a strategic management researcher. Even to a humble industrial psychologist, such as myself, a count of words or lines of code written might be an interesting index of performance/effectiveness.

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Practice, skill, or talent? The nature of nurture

Warning! What follows is long, somewhat technical, and boring to look at. It may also be rambling, and at least somewhat incoherent.

This NYT caught my eye recently:
I’d heard about this study, and even praised it, somewhat, to my
Gladwell-quoting wife. So, basically, 10,000 hours alone does not make
you an expert, or highly skilled at doing something.


Some things to think about: the meta-analysis shows that “practice”
broadly construed, “explains”[1] about 20 – 25 percent of the variance in
performance across a wide variety of tasks. This is about the same
amount of variance in job performance measures explained by measured
cognitive ability (what we psychologists usually term “g“,
loosely, IQ test scores; the meta-analytic correlation between cognitive
ability and job performance is somewhere in the neighborhood of .5,
which equals about 25 percent of variance explained in the
outcome). General cognitive ability does seem to me to be the most
natural measure that we have for “talent”, but that’s a complicated
statement that I’d like to break down.

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What’s the deal with Batman, anyway?


(Bruce Wayne and his alter ego in The Dark Knight, photo from Empire magazine via

I was recently asked what personality traits characterize Batman, in
particular, does he have a personality disorder. First, we’ll deal with
the normal aspects of Batman’s personality. If Batman has a cardinal
trait, it seems to me likely to be conscientiousness: what does
Batman do? He plans…and he carries out those plans, to the degree that
he can fight alongside and against characters classed as
“gods”. Batman’s determination and persistence, which themselves border
on the superhuman, also go hand-in-hand with this characteristic.

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In the media…

So, my work was featured in the Wall Street Journal:

Which led to an appearance on CBS This Morning:

And Southern California Public Radio’s Airtalk, with Larry Mantle:

And the Gil Gross Show in San Francisco:

And Binghamton’s own Public Radio, WSKG, with Charlie Compton:

And Al Jazeera America’s “Consider this” with Antonio Mora:

In addition, I will be on “Capitol City Recap” with Mike Cohen, on 1320
in Lansing, Michigan, sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, I am scheduled to appear, with Sue Shellenbarger, author of the
Wall Street Journal piece, on NPR’s “On Point”, with Tom Ashbrook, on
July 24.

New publication

My review of issues surrounding behavioral genetics and neuroscience in
organizational behavior appeared recently, which was coauthored with
P.D. Harms of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (Peter Harms). In this
paper, we focus on a variety of issues associated with the use of
genetic-and other physiological-information by business organizations.
These issues are both ethical and practical. That is, even if
we can somehow pass through the ethical minefield that modern genetic
mapping techniques pose, can we hope to use such information well.

To begin answering this question, we provide a relatively high-level
overview of a modern biological perspective called “sociogenomics”.
This approach answers psychology’s traditional “nature versus nurture”
dichotomy by pointing out that both nature-an individual’s
inherited set of genetic polymorphisms-and nurture-an individual’s life
experiences-operate by modifying gene expression. We also provide a
rough field guide to some of the epigenetic (i.e., gene expression
regulation) mechanisms that drive this whole process. We therefore
conclude that, while much can be learned from genetic and physiological
research that can be used in the study of organizational behavior, we
have only begun to scratch the surface of actually using that

The paper is available at:

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, an open-access journal