The 7 Irrational Behaviors of Black Friday

Center for Advanced Hindsight

Every day of the year, American shoppers act irrationally. On Black Friday, however, shoppers’ irrationality and wildness climb to dangerously high levels. Why does Black Friday lead shoppers to grab and fight, especially when the stakes are often as low as fifty percent off toasters?

Over the last few decades, social scientists have cataloged the many different factors that lead to irrational consumer behavior, and Black Friday touches on nearly that entire list.

Luckily though, if shoppers stay aware of how Black Friday is designed to make them irrational—and if they take breaks, eat snacks, plan ahead, and keep a clear mind—then they can avoid falling victim to the “holiday.”

Here are seven reasons shoppers become so irrational and committed to deals on Black Friday, as well as a few ways you can protect yourself.

#1
Black Friday is like a hazing ritual

Black Friday shoppers are dedicated—they sacrifice sleep…

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Required Reading from Journalism Professors

Longreads

Below, six syllabi from journalism professors on what you should be reading.

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1. Journalism 494: Pollner Seminar In Narrative Non-Fiction With Esquire’s Chris Jones (University of Montana)

“The purpose of this course is to teach students how to write publishable magazine-length narrative non-fiction: In other words, my aim is to help you learn how to write good, long, true stories. The course outline will mirror a typical writer’s progress through the birth of an idea to a finished, polished piece, including reporting, writing, editing, and fact-checking. In addition to classroom discussion, course readings will help students understand the difference between good and bad work. My hope is that by the end of the semester, you will have written the Best Story of Your Life So Far (BSOYLSF) and it will help you reach your future potential as an award-winning literary journalist.”

2. Journalism 141: Professional Problems and…

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Beyonce’s Sexy ‘7/11’ Video: Fans Freak Out On Twitter

Hollywood Life

Fans were in for a sweet surprise when Queen Bey dropped the music video for her new track ‘7/11’ on Nov. 21. Fans are now freaking out over Beyonce’s fun and sexy dance moves, claiming that she broke the Internet!

Not that we need any other reason to bow down to Beyonce, but her latest music video proves she’s still on top of the world. Fans are obsessing over Beyonce’s new music video for “7/11,” and adding it to their dance playlists! Fans took to Twitter to share some pretty priceless reactions — a few even put Kim Kardashian in her place, by saying Beyonce was the one to break the Internet!

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How to Choose the Right Featured Image for Your Post

The Daily Post

Confession: my favorite part of the drafting process, other than the writing itself, is choosing a featured image for my posts.

To me, it’s that final drizzle of olive oil, that last turn of the pepper mill over a plate I’m about to serve (usually to a toddler who couldn’t care less). It’s an anticipation-builder, an element that announces something good is about to happen while tying together disparate details into coherence.

Note: Featured images are displayed differently on each theme, from modestly-sized blocks to full-width explosions of color. You may want to experiment with a few themes, if only to get a sense of the different effect featured images can have.

It seems I’m not alone — with more than 220 themes offering featured images, including some of our newest and most popular — many bloggers and readers clearly like featured images, too.

In a world in which we all have bulging image libraries…

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Create a Custom Image Widget: A How-To for Non-Designers

The Daily Post

Widgets on WordPress.com are handy features: they display important information and visually enhance our sidebars and footers. For those of you who want to personalize your site a bit more — for free — consider creating a custom Image Widget, which you can use to:

  • promote a book, project, or event
  • call attention to specific links, like your social channels
  • shape your visual identity

Here, we’ll show you how to design your own image, which you can insert into an Image Widget.

Custom Image Widgets can be simple — consider the colored blocks of text for Bethany Meyer’s social media accounts on LifeAbsorbed (seen at left).

Or, you can mix image with text to create an even more personalized Image Widget, like this “2014 Reads” widget that appears at the top of Sasha Martinez’s sidebar at Other Sashas:

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 3.02.24 PM

The layer of text, the subtle vintage filter, the rounded corners…you don’t need to…

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Muchado about Spanking

The Weary Blues

“To spank, or not to spank: that is the question: Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles”. To paraphrase the famous quote written by Williams Shakespeare with “spank” taking center stage. In the quote Hamlet was asking the question of whether he should commit suicide. Hamlet then began to way the moral ramifications of living and dying. Is the question of spanking a moral one and is the answer worth dying for?

Let’s look at some of the numbers first. In data gathered by parenting.com 74% of mothers believe spanking is acceptable for children 1 to 3 years old. 61% of parents believed spanking was acceptable for preteen children. The data supported the idea that children in the South get spanked the most. The data also pointed to black mothers being the largest…

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Five (More) Posts to Write Right Now

The Daily Post

Next time you think you have nothing left to write about, think again. Beyond our daily prompts and weekly writing challenges, it’s always good to have a few trusty post ideas you can rely on. Here are five — give them a try next time you feel stuck.

Write a meta post

Sure, we’ve advised you in the past against starting a post with a generic “sorry for my absence!” apology. Sometimes, though, the story behind your silence can itself be a worthy topic to explore, whether your reason is mundane (work, finals, kids) or not (you’ve been hiking in the Andes). Instead of apologizing for not writing, find an engaging way to tell us why you haven’t posted anything recently.

Prompt yourself

Writing prompts are useful because they come from the outside, ready for us to take them apart and make them our own. Nothing stops you, however, from reverse-engineering the process. Write a…

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