Category Archives: Research

Espresso yourself: Coffee thoughts leave a latte on the mind

For millions of Australians, each day begins with a hot cup of coffee in order to activate our brains for the working day. The morning coffee run also acts a social lubricant, a creature comfort and, for some, a non-negotiable ritual.

But what if coffee aficionados could get the same effects from their morning latte by simply responding to cues that make them think of coffee – including the smells, sights and sounds?

New international research by Monash University and the University of Toronto has found that the placebo effect of coffee can heighten arousal, ambition and focus in regular drinkers without them actually consuming the beverage.

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Why do corporations like Boeing and VW Prematurely launch killing machines?

Professor Janek Ratnatunga is the CEO of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants and asks the question…. He has held senior appointments at the University of South Australia, Monash University, University of Melbourne, and the Australian National University in Australia; and the Universities of Washington, Richmond and Rhode Island in the USA. Prior to his academic career he worked as a chartered accountant with KPMG.   He has also been a consultant to many large Australian and international companies and to the World Bank.

Cost-benefit analyses that compare quality-cost relationships, profits, and market share with the risks of failure may be at the heart of decisions to prematurely launch products that are known to be faulty, according to Professor Janek Ratnatunga, CEO of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA).

Professor Ratnatunga believes it is time to consider the management accounting implications, “when the faults of some of these products are so great that corporations are actually launching glorified killing machines.”

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Top 10 Data and Analytics Technology Trends for 2019

Augmented Analytics and Artificial Intelligence were in the Spotlight at Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Sydney last month.  Augmented analytics, continuous intelligence and explainable artificial intelligence (AI) are among the top trends in data and analytics technology that have significant disruptive potential over the next three to five years, according to Gartner, Inc.

“The story of data and analytics keeps evolving, from supporting internal decision making to continuous intelligence, information products and appointing chief data officers,” said Rita Sallam during her presentation. “It’s critical to gain a deeper understanding of the technology trends fueling that evolving story and prioritise them based on business value.”

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Recruitment bias and ageism: Is it really a thing?

Shelley Stevens of Platinum Face and Body Clinic says much of the motivation cited by clients levitating to her beauty services is often to enhance professional opportunities.  “It wasn’t just the women who thought their appearance might result in discrimination. Men who visit our clinic often say that’s why they paid us a visit.” she said.

Inferences in social science suggest the appearance of youth is subconsciously associated with vitality, energy, health, and creativity.    It’s a biological instinct.   Unfortunately, the opposite is true once one begins to look a little older.   “The keyword here is ‘subconsciously’.”  continues Stevens. “Recruiters and managers may consciously consider your ability and nothing else, but even if they do, their subconscious reactions affect the overall impression.”

In a 2017 study on the effect of facial ageing on hiring choices,  subjects evaluated younger and older candidates based on a photograph only and then rated them according to perceived hire-ability.   The findings suggested a relationship of significance, however not so much with a lower or job entry position.

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World-first research wins Erik Denison the inclusion award at 2019 VicSport Awards

Monash University researcher Erik Denison has received the Vicsport 2019 Peter Norman inclusion award for his work on a world-first study testing the effect of a program designed to end homophobic language in sport.    The program was delivered during the 2018 season to teenage rugby teams by current and recently retired players from the Melbourne Rebels.

The research by Mr Denison, from Monash University’s School of Social Sciences, also examined why homophobic and sexist language remains so common in male team sports and how this language drives girls from sport.

The research was supported financially by the Federal Government, Rugby Australia, Rugby Victoria,  the Woollahra Colleagues Rugby Club and by Australia’s first gay and inclusive rugby team, the Sydney Convicts.
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5 misconceptions of Artificial Intelligence

Fueling the future of business, Gartner debunked  five Artificial Intelligence (AI) misconceptions while discussing trends at its Data & Analytics Summit last week.

For many in the private sector, the picture on how that integration looks for them is still a little hazy.   “It is crucial that business and IT leaders fully understand how AI can create value for their business and where its limitations lie,”  said Alexander Linden, research vice president at Gartner.   “AI technologies can only deliver value if they are part of the organisation’s strategy and used in the right way.”

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