Who are the best salespeople?
"When people think of a stereotypical salesperson they're likely to conjure up someone who's extroverted, gregarious and assertive," says The Daily Telegraph. "However, new research reveals that 'ambiverts' – people who are neither introverted nor extroverted, but fall somewhere in between – tend to be the most effective salespeople." Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania conducted a personality survey and collected sales records for more than 300 salespeople, both men and women. As he predicted, people who had intermediate extroversion scores turned out to be the best; they raked in 24 per cent more in revenue than introverts, and 32 per cent more than extroverts. Grant was surprised to find that extreme introverts and extreme extroverts brought in relatively equal amounts of revenue.
Bank makes a bloomer
A silver 10-euro coin issued by Ireland's central bank to commemorate James Joyce's Ulysses misquotes a line from the modernist masterpiece, reports The Guardian. The quote comes from a scene when one of the two main characters, Stephen Dedalus, is walking along Sandymount Strand in the writer's native Dublin. Joyce wrote: "Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read." The coin has the extra word "that" inserted into the second sentence.
When pets visit a hospital
A few U.S. medical institutions have thrown open their doors to patients' dogs and cats, letting them visit along with spouses, children and friends, says The New York Times. A doctor's order allowing the visit is typically necessary, as is a veterinarian's attestation that the animal is healthy and up to date on all its shots. Dogs are the most common visitors, by far. "We have not had any problems," said the Rev. Susan Roy, director of pastoral care services at the University of Maryland medical centre, whose "your pet can visit" policy has been in place since 2008. If anything, she said, the visits can be hard on dogs, who often respond viscerally to an owner's illness and may take a day or two to recover from a visit.
"Rudeness and throwing insults are cutting online friendships short, with a survey Wednesday showing people are getting ruder on social media and two in five users have ended contact after a virtual altercation," reports Reuters. As social media usage surges, so does incivility, the survey found, "with 78 per cent of 2,698 people reporting an increase in rudeness online with people having no qualms about being less polite virtually than in person. One in five people have reduced their face-to-face contact with someone they know in real life after an online run-in."
At 30, a Twitter adult
"Looks like 30 is the age at which everyone grows up on Twitter," says the New Scientist. "It's nigh on impossible for computers to guess the age of people on the network by analyzing the type of language they use once they leave their 20s, [according to] researchers in the Netherlands. They found that while their software could take a decent stab at guessing a tweeter's age if they were between 17 and 30, it was much harder [with] older users. They found that language use in Twitter's 140-character missives barely changes with their advancing years. … The language switch at around age 30 seems related to a change in moving from youthful exuberance – using many capitalized words and acronyms – to more complex language, as what the researchers dub 'impression management' becomes more important to the thirtysomething professional."
Thought du jour
"Youth is a thing not to be proud of, but rather a thing to be grateful for."
Edgar Watson Howe, U.S. novelist (1853-1937)