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We’ve moved to Centives.net. You can view the same post over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

Deciding where to get coffee can be a daunting task. Should one stick with the tried and trusted combination of Donuts and Coffee? Or is it time to upgrade to the more expensive Starbucks? And where does McCafé fit into all this? You could always turn to the professionals and look at online reviews. But which one to believe? Consumer Reports believes that McDonald’s offering is “flawless”. Yet The Saint Petersburg Times concludes that it tastes “like it had cooked on a burner”. Centives decided to conduct a meta-analysis of all the reviews that had evaluated the three chains against each other, in an effort to come up with a definitive answer to the question: Who brews the best coffee? Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks or McDonalds? View full article »

We’ve moved to Centives.net you can view this same post over here. We’ll continue to update this site until August 31st.

In honour of the release of the final Harry Potter Film, Centives decided to investigate what it would cost to go to Hogwarts.

Hogwarts is believed to be the best wizarding school in England. The average tuition for a year at England’s five most prestigious boarding schools is about £25,800.

On page 51 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry receives a letter detailing the equipment that he is required to purchase for Hogwarts. The letter is reproduced here. Centives went to Amazon.co.uk to estimate how much each of the items would cost.

Three sets of plain robes

Each set of robes costs View full article »

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

During the past recession, many people worked less hours due to either unemployment or underemployment. So what did they do with that extra free time? Well, it appears that they used it mostly for leisure activities. It was allocated to sleeping more than anything (20%). Other leisure activities was a close second (15%) and watching TV was also near the top of the list (12%). There were also some interesting differences between men and women. Men spent 19% of their extra free time watching TV while women only spent 13% of their time doing so. Women also spent more time catching up on sleep than men (24% to 12%).

Source: Freakonomics Blog

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

PsyBlog recently published ten tips to negotiate a higher salary. They include:

  • Negotiate for something higher, no matter what the initial offer is.
  • Humour can be an effective negotiation tactic.
  • Persuade, Assert, Misrepresent and Threaten
  • Compromise and Accommodation don’t work.

Click here to read more about the research supporting each of the tips described above, as well as the full list of strategies that you can use to increase your salary during your job interview.

Source: PsyBlog

Via: Life Inc.

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

It’s pretty common for fashion retailers to give money to models if they’ll take off their clothes so that they can be photographed in various states of undress with the purpose of producing alluring advertisements for shop windows and billboards. But in a twist that goes against this familiar script and the traditional rules of product placement, Abercrombie & Fitch offered to pay money to the cast from Jersey Shore if they promised to take off their Abercrombie & Fitch threads, with the guarantee that they’ll never put them on again. Apparently senior management was worried that the cast “could cause significant damage” to the brand’s “aspirational nature”. Viacom dismissed it as a PR stunt. Abercrombie and Fitch’s shares fell by 8.7% soon after, although analysts attributed this to comments made by senior management about the company entering a period of uncertainty.

Source: Reuters

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

In a recent study, the leadership ability of narcissists was tested. It has often been thought that narcissists make good leaders due to their self-confidence. However, in the study, it was shown that groups led by narcissists often made poor choices (in the case of this study, the choice was in deciding who to hire). These groups also were shown to share less information with each other. However, the study also showed that the narcissistic leaders were rated more highly by their group members than the leaders who were not narcissists. Thus, the study shows that while narcissists appear to be good leaders to those around them, they actually are not.

Source: Freakonomics Blog

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

A professor of economics at Harvard researched the benefits of attending a selective high school in New York City. The three high schools he took data from were Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Technical, and Bronx High School of Science. However, he found that attending one of these schools actually had a negative impact on students. Students attending one of these schools actually faced worse graduation and college enrollment statistics than similar students at other schools. The impact on their SAT scores was also found to be minimal. However, marginal students were helped by attending one of these schools as they were pushed to take more rigorous courses than they likely otherwise would have taken.

Source: ArtsBeat Blog

Via: Economix Blog

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

A new study has apparently proven that being a king is the most dangerous occupation of all time. Manuel Eisner, a professor at Cambridge, researched the deaths of over 1,500 monarchs between 600 and 1800 AD. He found that almost 25% of them died violently during this time, and almost 15% of them died from being murdered. Their risk of dying violently was about 700 times greater than those they ruled, and was also greater than the risk facing those living in even the most dangerous places on earth today.

Source: guardian.co.uk

Via: Freakonomics Blog

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

We’ve previously covered some of the odd things that can alter our approach to life. You can add weather to the list of things that can significantly alter the decisions you take. This blog took a look at just some of the ways that weather can influence you:

  • Cloudiness during a college visit can increase the probability of you attending that college by almost 10%.
  • Bad weather is likely to negatively affect your job interview.
  • Men shift about half an hour of their time from leisure to work during rainy days.

Read more about how weather can also affect consumer spending, company profitability, art auctions, and street violence over here.

Source: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

We’ve previously covered how college sex conforms quite well to the laws of supply and demand. A Florida University Social Psychologist recently decided to apply the same type of analysis to see how gender equality changes the ‘market forces’ involved in sex. He concludes that “gender equality means more sex”. In an interview with Salon he answered some questions about his research. The highlights of the interview include:

  • In the sexual market “women have the supply and men represent the demand.” The price of sex is the amount that men have to commit to attain it.
  • On describing how women treat sex the researcher argued that “It’s a bit like OPEC.” Sex is a resource that women control, and to ensure that the price of sex remains high women restrict each other’s sexuality through the use of tools such as gossip and shame.
  • Because gender equality means that sex is no longer “a woman’s only ticket to a good life” she no longer needs “to get a really good return” and this brings down the price of sex thus increasing the promiscuity of a society.

Read the rest of the interview over here.

Source: Salon

We’ve moved to Centives.net. Please visit us over here. We’ll continue to update this blog until August 31st.

Manhattan has 1.6 million people and 4,000 pizza places. Moscow has 13 million inhabitants and just 300 pizza restaurants. This explains why some believe that Russia is the next lucrative market for fast food outlets. One journalist from The New York Times decided to find out more about the nascent industry:

  • Russians have about a sixth of the income that Americans do, but because they do not have much debt, have low taxes, own mortgage free property, and have low medical bills, a greater proportion of their income is disposable and can be spent on ‘luxuries’ such as fast food.
  • Fast food chains are wise to this and have increased the prices of their products in Russia. A pizza at Papa John’s can cost 33% more than what somebody in the United States would pay
  • Papa John’s in Russia is growing at 21% a year, and its Russian properties are the most profitable among all countries in which Papa John’s operates.

Read more about why Campbell left the Russian market, and the difficulties that Russia’s weak and corrupt state infrastructure can pose for chains operating in the country over here.

Source: The New York Times

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