Harvard Business School Announces New Online Courses

Factual, Or Warm & Fuzzy? Why Choosing The Right Words Matters

News from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

“People use words to communicate what they think, feel and believe. But for social psychologists, words can do far more than convey one’s thoughts and emotions. The right combination of words can boost persuasiveness; it can forecast which ads will prompt people to share them and thus go viral. Exposure to the right kinds of words also can spur behavioral changes; word choices can encourage readers to keep perusing long-form content. Words can even predict how well a business could do.

“At the second annual Behavioral Insights from Text Conference held recently at Wharton, academics from various disciplines came together to share their research on text analysis using natural language processing and related tools. Several of the studies shared a common trait: persuasiveness. Whether it is prompting someone to adopt a pet, click on an online dating profile, share content on social media or keep reading a long blog, choosing the right words can make one more persuasive.”

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Sunny Shen photo

UC-Berkeley Study Finds Electric Scooter Market Divide

News from Berkeley Haas

“With electric scooter ride-sharing on the rise and a Berkeley pilot program on its way to the city and the UC-Berkeley campus, a recent study conducted by the Haas School of Business revealed that nearly half the market may prefer owning to renting electric scooters.

“The study, which was conducted in collaboration with Unagi Scooters, attributes the aversion to ride-sharing to shared electric scooters’ unreliable availability and potentially poor condition. Owning an electric scooter may even be safer and more cost-effective, the study suggests. The industry — including prominent companies such as Lime and Bird Rides — has also faced community backlash throughout California regarding traffic blockage and safety complaints, prompting regulations and bans.”

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Tareq Hisham Hawasli. LBS photo

It’s Who You Know – And How You Create Value

News from London Business School

“Tareq Hisham Hawasli casually lists off the various business projects he has on the horizon — real estate consultancy, advisory, and management. So far, it’s pretty standard fare. Then he mentions one of his more unexpected ventures.

“’I have a landscape-hardscape business in Atlanta with some very good friends of mine — my best friends,’ Hawasli says offhand.

“The 39-year-old sits outside in the crisp air just a stone’s throw from London’s Regent’s Park. His appearance, here in this moment, makes him a surprising investor in a United States landscaping business based in peachy Georgia, more than 4000 miles away.”

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Research: People Use Less Energy When They Think Their Neighbors Care About The Environment

News from HBS

“Last November the U.S. government released a report detailing the devastating impact of global warming for the U.S. economy: they predicted that GDP would shrink by more than 10% by the end of the century if nothing was done to reduce rising temperatures.

“The report makes clear that a significant reduction in energy consumption is needed to help meet critical temperature thresholds. New research we conducted points to a way to help consumers work toward this goal – one that doesn’t rest on changing people’s personal beliefs about climate change. It turns out that something else matters even more. Our research suggests that whether you believe your neighbors care about energy conservation is an important motivator for how you consume energy.

“We partnered with the utility provider Opower, acquired by Oracle in 2016, to find out what predicts whether someone will or will not reduce their energy consumption. Opower’s flagship product is their Home Energy Report (HER), which tells residential energy customers not just how much energy they use, but also how much energy their neighbors consume. Prior research finds that this single-page document helps customers reduce their energy use, on average about 1-2% per year.”

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Which Gold Medalists Do We Tweet About? Liberals and Conservatives Differ

News from Northwestern Kellogg

“There’s a growing cultural awareness that the contributions of historically disadvantaged groups often go unheralded. For example, the Academy Awards faced outrage — and a trending hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite — over the paucity of nonwhite nominees. In tech and academic circles, the all-male panel has picked up a derogatory nickname: the ‘manel.’

“Such criticism recognizes that being overlooked can have real consequences, both to individuals and to the group to which they belong. Winning an Oscar or a seat on a prestigious panel can further a career, but it can also reinforce or refute existing stereotypes about which groups can succeed in an industry.

“Given the stakes, might some people go out of their way to ensure that disadvantaged groups are recognized?”

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