Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | April 13, 2012

Friday Five – April 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th. I hope you don’t suffer from paraskevidekatriaphobia (also known as friggatriskaidekaphobia), the fear of Friday the 13th. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13, and not necessarily Friday the 13th. Personally, I like the number 13. (I also like black cats, and I’m not afraid of walking under ladders.)

It has been an odd week. It has felt busy, but no one thing occupied a lot of my time. Maybe it’s just the fact that we’ve entered the final push of the semester. There are only three weeks left before final exams. Also, the end of the spring semester always seems a lot crazier than the end of the fall semester because there are all the end-of-year awards and recognition events.

Anyway, I did manage to select five links that I’ve retweeted this week to share. Here they are:

Jamaica Observer (Alicia Sutherland) – April 9, 2012

Jamaican Family Psychologist Dr. Barry Davidson recently made a statement claiming that the history of slavery is the reason Jamaican men are bad fathers. Davidson states that, during slavery, men were viewed as breeders and not as fathers. He argues that this role is still evident today even among middle-class and wealthy men who provide financially for their children, but are not emotionally connected to their children.

Unclutterer (Erin Doland) – April 12, 2012

I love a lot of the tips and posts on Unclutterer (and particularly like when they poke fun at supposedly “useful” items on Unitasker Wednesday). I often retweet some Unclutterer tweets, but I believe this is the first post I’ve linked here on Friday Five.

In this post, Erin discusses using timers to help with productivity. Last summer, when I began doing consulting work, I found setting a timer extremely helpful in tracking my time and keeping me focused. I used a timer set for 15 minutes, because that’s generally accepted as the smallest unit of billable time. It was great, because I could easily keep myself motivated to work for 15 minutes. If I was still in a groove at the end of the 15 minutes, I’d simply set the timer for another cycle. If my mind was wandering, I’d let myself take a break.

PsyPost (Springer Select) – April 12, 2012

Wait?! Didn’t I just post last week that texting in class is related to poorer learning? Now, I’m sharing a study that suggests multitasking isn’t so bad?

Well, one of the things about science is that there are a lot of contradictory findings out there. Some explanations are better than others, and sometimes, like this instance compared to last week’s, it’s a matter of studying different aspects of the phenomenon. In this study, by Lui and Wong, participants engaged in a much simpler cognitive task than last week’s study. Additionally, the findings of the Lui and Wong study do not dispute the findings that multitasking is related to cognitive impairments both in the laboratory and in real life.

Shots: NPR’s Health Blog (Scott Hensley) – April 11, 2012

I feel a little guilty that I still haven’t finished translating the statistics from the study on NASCAR and traffic accidents for my friend Bill over at Talking Traffic. Maybe now that I’ve publicly called myself out on it, I’ll make it a higher priority to translate it from statistical jargon to intelligent person.

But on a different traffic-related note: this link from NPR reports on a study by Canadian researchers who found there is a 6% increase in fatal car crashes on tax day compared to other days. Yes, they studied U.S. traffic statistics.

So, before you start panicking about getting in a car, or being on the roads on Tuesday, April 17th (which is Tax Day this year), realize that this is a correlational study. Correlation does not mean causation!

(APS) Association for Psychological Science (Lucy Hyde) – April 9, 2012

I struggled over whether to lead with this link or finish with this link. Obviously, I opted to finish with this link this week. I figured if I lead with this link, many of you wouldn’t give much thought to the rest of this week’s links.

Basically, if you think Friday the 13th is unlucky, then it may just be – for you. Why? Because of things like illusory correlations, the confirmation bias, and self-fullfilling prophecies.


  1. •Multitasking – not so bad for you after all?
    After reading this article, I feel better about my learning skills. In high school I always had to have music on when I did homework. It was then my parents drilled into my brain that it doesn’t help to be distracted with the music while doing homework. I stopped listening to music while doing homework for the whole year because I thought they were right. Turns out that without music I get more distracted! Right now I’ve done about two assignments with the music on blast! When I attemtped on doing homework yesterday it took me forever to get it done because I had the music off. As for the internet, It’s true that I’m never focused on one subject, but It’s way easier to just have many pages open then having to re-type the link!

    •No Bad Luck This Friday Unless You Think It Will Happen
    I don’t believe in superstition. But Like the article states there are many people who do and some people actually cause their own “bad luck”. There are just so many out there that takes it way too serious. In my opinion the more you think about having bad luck, the likely you are to cause it yourself! It’s proven here in this article.

  2. “Multitasking – not so bad for you after all?” made a lot of sense to me once I read it because I think multitasking is like anything else, if you do it enough than you’re bound to get good at it. I know for a fact that I can concentrate on certain things better when I’m listening to music rather than the background noises of my room. I feel like this study is proving that while technology might be impairing some of our cognitive functions, it is at the same time preparing the younger generation for what will eventually be complete nonstop media exposure as our technology improves.

    “No Bad Luck This Friday Unless You Think it Will Happen” wasn’t all that surprising. I know someone who was born on August 13th 1993, which was a Friday, and everyone always says, ooh what bad luck. He is a excellent tennis player and was ASB president his senior year of high school. I see no bad luck in that. Also since the fear of bad luck was developed by Christians because it was the pagan number of good luck, it just doesn’t hold the sway it used to. I’ve never believed in bad luck on a Friday the 13th, all I like about it is that the month started on Sunday the 1st. I’ve always thought that seeing how pretty the weeks look in the Friday the 13th months was one of my favorite things.

  3. Breeders, not fathers
    This article had was on an adapted human culture. In the article it states that Jamaican males don’t know how to be fathers because they don’t know how. I found this to be sad because there is a lot of neglect from the father not being close to their children. Even though the father have no specific training ,being a father should come naturally. Furthermore attempts to have connections with their children.

    Multitasking – not so bad for you after all?
    Multitasking can prove to be very helpful. Certain times you may find yourself overwhelmed with things coming close to deadlines. Multitasking effectively helps you accomplish everything you need to get done in time. I am always multitasking because I cannot just focus on one thing at a time , I need slot thrown at me because I work well under pressure. Being smart about the way you multitask is the best hung to do because not everyone is good at it , and some tasks really do require 100% of our focus.

  4. “Using Timers to Increase Productivity,” is a very good article. I will definitely start using his advice on using timers to keep on schedule and effectively complete the tasks that I have trouble focusing on. Using a timer is a great way to to do this because it actually creates motivation by giving a time limit. It creates an end to the horrible task that you can look forward to and you can possibly create competition with yourself by trying to complete more during the time.

    “Multitasking-Not so bad for you after all?” is an article that discussing the benefits that multitasking actually can have on work. Authors of a study have found that multitaskers do possess some cognitive abilities that people who do not multitask are not as good at. Multitasking is not necessarily the best way to complete all tasks. Some projects do need full attention, however, there is finally proof that multitasking is not completely bad for you.

  5. •No Bad Luck This Friday Unless You Think It Will Happen
    I think it is crazy that people are afraid of Friday the 13th. I understand people do have a real fear but I think it is silly. It is just another day on the calender. Anyone can get bad luck on any other day of the year.

    •Breeders, not fathers: Psychologist says slave past created bad Jamaican fathers
    I believe that regardless of someone;s past, they should understand what it means to be a good father. I do understand that slavery may have had an impact on how fathers treat children. However, being a good father should be a natural instinct

  6. No Bad Luck This Friday Unless You Think It Will Happen

    I don’t believe in superstition at all but like the article says there are many people who do and some people actually cause their own bad luck. There are just many people out there that takes it way too serious. In my opinion the more you think about having bad luck, the likely you are to cause it to yourself.

    Using Timers to Increase Productivity,
    I found this article to peak my interest. Using a timer is a great way to get things done effectively and it actually creates motivation by giving a time limit. Although it will make you work faster it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put quality into your work. It creates an end to the horrible task that you can look forward to and you can possibly create competition with yourself by trying to complete more during the time limit.

  7. Multitasking – not so bad for you after all?

    Multitasking is a very important talent. It takes serious dedication and skill to multitask. In this article is explains that it is proved by working with
    different types of media will be better at intergrating information from
    different areas. This is very interesting because media is said to be bad for us. But it actually helps us. It also increases our abilities to see and hear and focus.

    No Bad Luck This Friday Unless You Think it Will Happen

    Friday the 13th is a world wide phenomenom feared by many. Friday the 13th deklays alot of transaction around the world, wether it be flying, traveling, making a buisness deal, etc. People really believe friday the 13th will bring you bad luck. It is simply just an idea in your head. Why should Friday the 13th be different from thursday the 12? It is not. Get it out of your head and your luck will change.

  8. -Multitasking- not so bad for you after all? This article seems to contradict last weeks article about how multitasking in the form of texting in class inhibited proper learning. The study conducted examined how multitasking in the form of multiple simulations like music, videos, web surfing, and checking e-mails can be beneficial. According to the study, those who were heavy multitaskers did better on a task when stimulated in various ways than those who were light multitaskers.

    -No Bad Luck This Friday The 13th unless you think it is going to happen: I’ve always used Friday the 13th as a joke whenever it occurs but I never realized how many people are actually scared of this coincidental date. This article shows how it’s all just a big superstition with an even bigger name ( friggatriskaidekaphobia). An event might happen regardless of the date but our human minds like to associate events with reasons why they occurred so Friday the 13th is all in our minds.

  9. No Bad Luck This Friday The 13th unless you think it is going to happen:
    I Never really understood why this day was soo fearful to people.And to be super honest, I never even cared. I think that this Friday the 13th thing is mental. Something people choose to have some fear. I also blame the media for adding on to crazy, ridiculous, nonsense beliefs. The movies, rumors,and superstitions. I thought that’s what Halloween is for? At some point I felt like a myth buster. I seen black cats, I have walked under the ladder, opened an umbrella indoors, even picked up a faced down penny. Nothing bad ever happened to me.

    “Using Timers to Increase Productivity,
    My favorite article this week. I completely like the timer idea. I am a big procrastinator, i have noticed that lately i waste a load amount of time just sitting and doing nothing. Before i know it i run out of time and have to squeeze my plans before the day ends. However i wonder, the author uses the timer technique for almost everything, is this a compulsive disorder? Maybe it is not because its not affecting the person in a negative way, but what if it did? Just a question to wonder about. But i will definitely consider the timer idea for homework time. I am sure it would be a good help and more productive. It will help me re-organize myself.

  10. Drive On Tax Day At Your Own Risk:
    While reading this article I couldn’t help but think how much sense it was making. Like think about it, everyone is in a hurry to get to the bank, or office of some sort. Its ridiculous everyone is literally on edge on this day.It’s also pretty sad that many accidents happen to be on this day. Is it just a coincidence or does this day have something to really do with it? Researchers said that this could possibly be a coincidence but this happens every year and the trend holds up. When the article says that this is probably do to the stress of the deadline, or drinking more makes total sense to me. I really do think it has a lot to do with the stress and how people want to make sure they get everything done that is needed to.

    Multitasking-Not So Bad After All? :
    I never though multitasking was a bad thing for you, I just thought that at times you should definitely not be doing it. Like driving, you should not be trying to put make-up on or reading the newspaper; these things are to do while your at home. I am someone who does multitask and I think I do it well. I am guilty of listening to one person saying something and then I will answer another persons comment and back to the other person I was talking to before. When the article states that “those who frequently use different types of media at the same time appear to be better at integrating information from multiple senses like vision and hearing.” It makes perfect sense to me. The more you multitask the better you are at it. I also believe that women are better multitasks then men. If you think about it when you ask a man a question while he is reading the paper he most likely will answer with a short response. Or he may loose his place on the paper.

  11. No bad luck this friday:
    I enjoyed this article very much! i have never been one to believe in superstition, and have always thought it was a load of hoopla. Although i am still a skeptic, the past two friday the 13ths i have had very bad life altering events happen. Bad enough for me to question my own beliefs on the subject. I will make a conscious effort to not let this form a bias for me on the subject , but after the two events it will be difficult.

    Using Timers to increase productivity:
    this article would be a very useful one for me and many other people my age. Time is a valuable thing especially for someone in my situation, i personally have two jobs and go to school full time so time management is a huge problem. On the other hand i am extremely competative and always try to do everything as quickly and efficiently as possible. this would be a great strategy for tricking myself into doing things i need to do, and it may even make them a little bit more fun!

  12. Using Timers to increase Productivity.
    this article should be shown to many college student. manyy of us have an issue of time managment. such as me so i can easly relate to this article. Having an set schedule make life easy in college.

    Drive On Tax Day At Your Own Risk
    This article is very interesting. i would think that accidents will more likely happen on a day like black friday or such. On tax day i would never think that. i can understand why because want to spend that money quick or get there taxes in.

  13. No Bad Luck This Friday Unless You Think it Will Happen
    Everyday something odd or bad can happen, however on Friday the 13th, when something odd happens, some people will immediately associate it with the date. Personally, I do not pay attention to Friday the 13th, and have no fear of the superstitious date. Things are much more noticeable when you are conscious of it. On a regular day when a bad thing happens, its normal, but when it happens on Friday the 13th, its because of an outside force.

    Using timers to improve productivity
    Many times when I am planning my day, I plan it according to a time schedule, and at what time i would like things done. I find this to be extremely helpful and allows me to stay on track with my tasks.

  14. Breeders, not fathers
    There is no way that slavery could possibly be the main cause for men not to know how to be good fathers. People have to also keep in mind that women were forced to have sexual intercourse with men and were basically sex slaves. They had to bear the pain of carrying and giving birth to a child knowing that they were rape victims. Women too had “women pain” but you do not see them saying they can not fulfill their role as being a good mother, therefore, there is no excuse. Parenting is how you make it. If a father wants to be a great father it can be done. From my experience, I have witnessed great fathers who are involved in everything their child does. Males can be good fathers if they choose to be. Everything starts at home. If men are taught to be good fathers and to treat women right during childhood, it would most likely happen that way. There are many absent fathers in this generation, but it is all due to the choices they make, and having the responsibility as being men.

    Using timers to improve productivity
    This is personally a new method that I have never tried. It may be a good source for someone that uses it constantly, but for someone like me, it probably would not work. If i were to time myself in everything I do, it would make me unstable in my daily activities and feel completely off schedule. I do believe that time is everything, but I personally do things at a good pace so that I will not be rushed with time and be overwhelmed.


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