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Study: Happiness Improves Developers' Problem Solving Skills

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the think-happy dept.

Programming 91

itwbennett writes "Researchers at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy have found that happier programmers (or, more specifically, computer science students at the university) were significantly more likely to score higher on a problem solving assessment. The researchers first measured the emotional states of study participants using a measure devised by psychologists called the Scale of Positive and Negative Experience Affect Balance (SPANE-B) score. They then tested participants' creativity (ability to write creative photo captions) and problem-solving ability (playing the Tower of London game). The results: happiness didn't affect creativity, but did improve problem-solving ability."

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or, alternatively (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470355)

People good at solving problems are happier.

Re:or, alternatively (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470601)

People good at solving problems are happier.

The rest cry about how it's someone else's fault. Meanwhile they take no steps whatsoever to observe what is right in front of them, to use their literacy and RTFM and at least *try* to comprehend it, to at the very ultimate least look at their options and see if they can make sense of them.

Helplessness is the new American status symbol. Helplessness means you're so important, you got somebody else to spend their time and energy on _your_ problem. That's sure to beat the Jones'es!

Of course these people are less happy. They are a leaf in the wind, bandied about by each breeze, total victims at all times. Everything that happens to them is "luck". Nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, is ever their own poor planning, their decision to bite off more than they could chew, their inability to understand that actions have consquences, etc.

If you want a model for this behavior, consider the poor person who has multiple children and wouldn't be poor except that they got knocked up before they were financially and emotionally prepared for the responsibility of raising a child. I mean it's not like we don't know where babies come from, or how to use birth control. That is, in fact, the number one way to be in poverty in America: lots of children you failed to plan for and aren't prepared to raise. But everyone will demand that we have deep sympathy for these adult people who couldn't plan ahead, not even in the short-term, not even for something half as important as children.

Mod me down now, for I am the High Priest of the Church of the Painful Truth. It's true, you know it's true, so you won't waste everyone's time telling me why I am wrong. You know I am not wrong. Or you could do the poverty research yourself and see the data with your own eyes. But you won't bother to do that. You will decide you don't like the way I said it, the way I didn't kiss anyone's ass with words like "unfortunate" and "bad luck", the way I didn't validate the victim mentality, the way I *dare* to expect adult people to take responsibility for their decisions, etc. Nevermind that I practice what I preach and not only is it not that hard, it's much easier than picking up the pieces after failing to plan ahead and take responsibility. None of that matters. I'm just a big ol' meanie head who says things that sound bad so I must be modded down. Yeah.

Bunch of overgrown children, this nation has become. How tragic.

Helplessness is the new American status symbol (0)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 8 months ago | (#46471331)

"You didn't build that"

Re:or, alternatively (4, Informative)

gwstuff (2067112) | about 8 months ago | (#46470613)

My first reaction to this comment was "certainly not, not in a competently executed experiment..." But looking at the methodology these guys use, their SPANE test thing grades people by general happiness, rather than a temporary state that they are steered into. So yeah, you cannot rule a general correlation between the two things, or even more generally that the problem solvers report their SPANE scores higher (which doesn't strictly mean that they are happier...)

Most good experiments that deal with emotional state rule out such associations by deliberately steering multiple control groups into a 'happy' or 'unhappy' state.

For example, in one experiments, people were brought together and asked to participate in a general group discussion. They were then told that they would be interacting in pairs, and had to anonymously write down the name of their preferred partner on a chit of paper. The experimenters collected these chits in a box, and quietly took them to the back and DISCARDED THEM in the garbage.

They then took each individual aside one by one, and for one half of the group, told the individual that he had been chosen by every other person but was the odd man out and had to work alone. For the other half, the person was told that nobody chose him and so he had to work alone. All of the participants were given logic puzzles to solve.

The experimenters found out that the 'happier' group of people who thought that they were cool and popular generally performed better, and even more ostensibly were less likely to binge on the cookie jar placed next to them while doing the puzzles. The dejected group of supposedly unpopular people ate twice as many cookies and generally fared worse at the puzzles.

Studies that make this conclusion (happiness => more productive) are pretty common.

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470683)

The experiment you describe sounds a lot more interesting than this one.

Re:or, alternatively (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46471069)

My first reaction to this comment was "certainly not, not in a competently executed experiment..." But looking at the methodology these guys use, their SPANE test thing grades people by general happiness, rather than a temporary state that they are steered into. So yeah, you cannot rule a general correlation between the two things, or even more generally that the problem solvers report their SPANE scores higher (which doesn't strictly mean that they are happier...)

It's actually depressing the number of lousy experiments that get done lately. It wouldn't be surprising if you dug into this study a little deeper and found that because of methodology, nothing can actually be concluded from the experiment. That it's a completely inconclusive experiment.

Re:or, alternatively (4, Funny)

mrmeval (662166) | about 8 months ago | (#46470667)

People who get regular sex are happier and more productive.

It's a health care issue and should be mandated the employer pays for whores.

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470861)

People who get regular sex are happier and more productive.

It's a health care issue and should be mandated the employer pays for whores.

On the other hand, many people object to prostitution, so their response would be an extremely nonlinear decrease in happiness and productivity. I think companies should not take that risk.

Re:or, alternatively (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 8 months ago | (#46473361)

People who get regular sex are happier and more productive.

It's a health care issue and should be mandated the employer pays for whores.

On the other hand, many people object to prostitution, so their response would be an extremely nonlinear decrease in happiness and productivity. I think companies should not take that risk.

So you are advocating sex with coworkers instead? It kind of sucks that I missed out on all the "free love" 60's stuff, but I guess I also missed out on all the free STDs as well.

Re:or, alternatively (1)

ThatAblaze (1723456) | about 8 months ago | (#46470887)

Not generalizable. You have not proven that normal sex is equivalent to sex with whores.

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471833)

Do your own research and you'll find out you can have normal sex with a whore.

And if you are imaginative, you can have some pretty abnormal sex with your partner.

Re:or, alternatively (4, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 8 months ago | (#46471037)

"People who get regular sex are happier and more productive."

You misspelled reproductive.

Re:or, alternatively (2)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 8 months ago | (#46471057)

People who get regular sex are happier and more productive.

I'd rather say they can be quite productive if they are not "protective".

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471125)

You have my vote for CEO.

p.s. My Captcha is "janitor" haha

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471917)

No, no, just a regular supply of tissues, hand lotion, and porn in the workplace.

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46472293)

I don't want to be in a room full of programmers to read an email from HR stating that "blowjobs should make us more happy and productive, therefore start right now sucking dick".

Re: or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46473335)

People who get regex are happier and more productive.

Re:or, alternatively (1)

antdude (79039) | about 8 months ago | (#46473697)

No wonder, I am not :) and not (re)productive. :(

Re:or, alternatively (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 8 months ago | (#46474619)

People who get regular sex are happier and more productive.

Therefore, whores are the world's happiest and most productive people. Wonder why we've gotten that wrong for so many millennia.

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46475113)

>People who get regular sex

Is there some part of 'computer science students' that you didn't understand?

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470827)

People good at solving problems are happier.

[citation needed]

There are already quite a number of studies that link depression with dementia and memory loss. What backs you claim up?

Re:or, alternatively (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471041)

People good at solving problems are happier.

Niggers dont solve problems. Niggers compound problems. I never met happy niggers. I met happy black folk but not happy niggers. Wow being a street thug isn't as cool as MTV and BET niggers made it look. This is a great big surprise for a nigger! Somehow deep inside the nigger knows this is the white man's fault.

Re:or, alternatively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471121)

You were dropped on your head as a child I'm guessing.

Re:or, alternatively (1)

BreakBad (2955249) | about 8 months ago | (#46472149)

Well....happiness IS a warm gun.

Guns solve problems...just saying.

Exactly, given the group of people (1)

ACNiel (604673) | about 8 months ago | (#46476367)

They tested people that want to solve problems for a living. If I am good at what I want to do, I will be happier in general.

If all I see is money, and nothing but obstacles between me and money, I won't be as happy.

Or students... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470359)

Or students with better problem solving skills are happier.

From TFA (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 8 months ago | (#46470379)

From TFA "It seems obvious to say that happy developers will perform better than unhappy ones"

Then FTFA goes on and on explaining ... the obvious.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470523)

From TFA "It seems obvious to say that happy developers will perform better than unhappy ones"

Then FTFA goes on and on explaining ... the obvious.

How dare you belittle the intentions of these hard working people in psychology; perhaps they have something in mind you've missed. Besmirching their conclusions is indicative of someone with a lower than average IQ and giggle to myself on how you nerds think it's all about your technology.

Re:From TFA (1)

ThreeKelvin (2024342) | about 8 months ago | (#46474823)

One of the important, but often belittled, tasks of science is to investigate the obvious. Some times something "obvious" turns out to be false. On the other hand, if the "obvious" turns out to be true, then we have evidence, and not just common sense to back it up.

Checking and double checking what we think we know is important, and we do it so that we may gain a better understanding of the world we live in.

Re:From TFA (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46470713)

Obviously, unhappy developers are spending a fair amount of brain power plotting their revenge on whatever is making them unhappy...

Obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470381)

Obvious research is obvious

Um, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470387)

Aren't happier people better at pretty much everything? Isn't that sort of the problem with depression?

Re:Um, (2)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#46470615)

Aren't happier people better at pretty much everything? Isn't that sort of the problem with depression?

It's also the problem with alienation and dehumanization, not merely depression. Go out sometime and see for yourself, how rarely people talk to one another like fellow human beings. Usually they would rather talk at someone, listen poorly and keep interrupting (because they have no patience) even when they are listening to an answer to their own question, and generally can't relax and slow down and "take in" much of anything. The irony is, this rushed and hurried approach to life is so error-prone that they accomplish fewer of their goals than they would otherwise.

Compared to that, depression is just a particular special case, an instance of a much more widespread problem with the way we live.

Re: Um, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471149)

I need to send a link to this fat new jersey douchebag I work with but he would just get angrier and fatter

Re:Um, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471241)

Have you considered paying people to listen to you? Greedy pricks do anything for money.

The widespread problem is that people are inherently selfish. The problem cannot be solved without eliminating all people.

Correlation does not imply causation. (1)

wherrera (235520) | about 8 months ago | (#46470393)

See the semi-obligatory XKCD here. [xkcd.com]

Re:Correlation does not imply causation. (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#46471579)

See the semi-obligatory XKCD here. [xkcd.com]

Of course correlation implies causation - or at least suggests it - it just doesn't prove causation.

As the obligatory XKCD points out (I think).

Re:Correlation does not imply causation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46473461)

Cite correctly bitch: XKCD [xkcd.com] . Those tooltips will now magically attach themselves to raw pictures.

Real World (2, Insightful)

jawnah (1022209) | about 8 months ago | (#46470397)

I'm not really sure this is applicable to the real world since most software developers don't live/work in Silicon Valley so the concept of taking a break to go play volleyball or hackeysack is pretty much a "non-starter". I think they should really evaluate the productivity of developers in the two scenarios that most apply to the real world: 1) Your managers are incompetent when it comes to what it is that you do, how you do your job, and what makes you happy. They do, however, understand obnoxious "development methods" resulting in a countless number of ways for them to waste your time doing everything BUT developing software. 2) Your managers DO understand your job and work very hard to give you a productive environment and support you in what you do. They keep everything other than software development off your plate so that you can focus on doing what's best.

Re:Real World (1)

sdlowrey (3021967) | about 8 months ago | (#46470489)

I believe that the "real world" is a fallacy. Everyone has their own perception of reality. Furthermore, they can accept it or reject it. If working conditions preclude any sense of reward, accomplishment, progress, self-worth, yadda yadda, then the worker has to change the situation. That's not always easy, sure, but the alternative is to remain unhappy. Of course, I'm avoiding any definition of the term "happy". I changed jobs 6 months ago and I'm happy. Some days suck, the work is challenging, we struggle with personalities and processes and goals. But I'm learning, I'm contributing, people are communicating, and there is respect. If I can't get paid to race sports cars, ski mountains, fly airplanes, or climb mountains, then I'm happy.

Re:Real World (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#46470631)

I believe that the "real world" is a fallacy. Everyone has their own perception of reality.

I would go so far as to say that you never truly reached adulthood until you can clearly and effortlessly distinguish objective, evidence-based reality from your own subjective feelings and opinions and wishes. Objectivity is when your own tastes and preferences do not influence your decision-making about anything important.

Until you can do that, life is a chaotic mess with no solutions except those that create more and more problems.

Re:Real World (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about 8 months ago | (#46470797)

However, despite everything, the incompetency of managers is like the speed of light, a universal constant. No matter the frame of reference you pick, you measure the same speed.

Re:Real World (1)

Nephandus (2953269) | about 8 months ago | (#46470883)

While: "All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”,
"The map is not the territory; the word is not the thing."
Your tastes and preferences define your notion of importance. This is empirically verifiable. The empirical map is labeled by and drawn for utility. It's cybernetically abstract. Analysis has transfinite potential thus all rationality is necessarily bounded rationality, thus heuristics are required. Also, all solutions are tradeoffs that do create more problems, just different ones. Reality isn't a maze with intrinsic goals and ends, and there is no objective requiring attention, if emotion and instinct don't prompt action. You won't consciously act because you won't care.

Re:Real World (1)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#46470987)

Your tastes and preferences define your notion of importance. This is empirically verifiable.

I don't dispute that. What I contend is that, while doing so, one should recognize that it amounts to viewing the world through the lens of one's own interests. Any decisions made are tempered by that knowledge.

It's a self-awareness beyond standard ego consciousness. It tends to make you truly ashamed of and prepared to abandon any sort of self-centered, exploitative motive.

It's one of those things that anyone is capable of doing, provided they really want to.

Re:Real World (1)

Nephandus (2953269) | about 8 months ago | (#46471045)

Uh, that's quasi-religious dogma... There's nothing rational about being superego ridden by a reified, deified "Man". I don't defer to the herd like a good little tool.

Man, your head is haunted; you have wheels in your head! You imagine great things, and depict to yourself a whole world of gods that has an existence for you, a spirit-realm to which you suppose yourself to be called, an ideal that beckons to you. You have a fixed idea! Do not think that I am jesting or speaking figuratively when I regard those persons who cling to the Higher, and (because the vast majority belongs under this head) almost the whole world of men, as veritable fools, fools in a madhouse. What is it, then, that is called a "fixed idea"? An idea that has subjected the man to itself. When you recognize, with regard to such a fixed idea, that it is a folly, you shut its slave up in an asylum. And is the truth of the faith, say, which we are not to doubt; the majesty of (e. g.) the people, which we are not to strike at (he who does is guilty of — lese-majesty); virtue, against which the censor is not to let a word pass, that morality may be kept pure; — are these not "fixed ideas"? Is not all the stupid chatter of (e. g.) most of our newspapers the babble of fools who suffer from the fixed idea of morality, legality, Christianity, etc., and only seem to go about free because the madhouse in which they walk takes in so broad a space?

Re:Real World (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 8 months ago | (#46471345)

Objectivity is when your own tastes and preferences do not influence your decision-making about anything important.

Then objectivity doesn't exist, outside of some simple math problems. If you think that people have "never truly reached adulthood" until they can do this, then we're living in Never Never Land.

People aren't computers. We're all influenced by our upbringing, our beliefs, our experiences. You can (and should!) expose yourself to new things, and broaden your perspective a bit, but that just means you have a broader base of things to influence your thinking, not that you've become objective.

Tie two cocks togther and the results are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470413)

a cock fight. Predictable. Repeatable. Highly likely backdoor access. Avoidness recommended.

OFFICIAL so proven

You might think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470417)

At first, that this would make it obvious: improve worker conditions, they will produce more.

But let's face it; there's a simpler, more market-friendly approach to this.

Happiness is Mandatory.

Re:You might think (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 8 months ago | (#46470871)

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Happy? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46470423)

Hmmmmm. I think I remember that feeling.

Do'h! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470431)

Yes! with an AND and NO with a BUT!!! LOL! WOO HOO!!!

Morale Improves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470473)

Beatings will continue until...

Beatings will continue until the morale improves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470481)

Now hand me that baton...

Being good at solving problems makes you happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470505)

How about being good at solving problems makes you happy? Or maybe people who are good at problem solving exams are good and happiness exams (and wanted to appear happy). Or maybe people who hated the study were both pissed off, and didn't try very hard. Or maybe everyone there was happy and good and problem solving, but people only those who filled it our seriously appeared so, and those who just did random shit (why not?) often appeared sad, and really bad at problem solving (but fine at creativity obviously).

Not only is the out come of this study "obvious", but there are several other (conflicting) "obvious" explanations for the same results.

Really you can't do this study without proper random assignment and blinding. You must randomly select from the sample group people to make happy vs sad, and do so without them (or the researchers) knowing which they are. Then you can measure their problem solving skills and see how it comes out. (Good luck with that...)

get'em laid (4, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 8 months ago | (#46470539)

I've been saying all along that the schools should get the geeks laid instead of the jocks. Even with this study they still won't listen.

Re:get'em laid (1)

causality (777677) | about 8 months ago | (#46470643)

I've been saying all along that the schools should get the geeks laid instead of the jocks. Even with this study they still won't listen.

I don't know. There is something romantic about choosing to be a geek, against the grain, up the hill, against all odds and disincentives, doing it because you really want to and not because you were bribed into it. It shows great courage and spirit, which I believe is closer to what life is all about. The ones who "go with the flow" and do whatever is the path of least resistance are cowardly and hedonistic by comparison.

Re:get'em laid (2)

narcc (412956) | about 8 months ago | (#46471325)

That's some serious self-delusion there.,,

Re:get'em laid (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#46471587)

I've been saying all along that the schools should get the geeks laid instead of the jocks. Even with this study they still won't listen.

I don't know. There is something romantic about choosing to be a geek, against the grain, up the hill, against all odds and disincentives, doing it because you really want to and not because you were bribed into it. It shows great courage and spirit, which I believe is closer to what life is all about. The ones who "go with the flow" and do whatever is the path of least resistance are cowardly and hedonistic by comparison.

True.

But it's still kind of nice to get laid.

Re:get'em laid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471959)

> There is something romantic about choosing to be a geek

Which is why your right hand sends you flowers and chocolates?

Re:get'em laid (1)

SomeoneFromBelgium (3420851) | about 8 months ago | (#46471653)

And call them what? The girls I mean.
* Escorte girls because they join you on you long and ardous voyage through insurmoutable coding problems? 5 mins and they 're asleep.
* Confort girls because they confort you in the feeling that all the sacrefices you make (no social life, even your own mother doesn't recognise you from time to time) is worth it for the bigger good? Well the bigger the better I'd say.
* Geisha because you think her excuisite table manners reflects the refinement you put in you code crafting? Until she compares with YOUR table manners, that is.

Or just hooker since she will gobble up you money, your energy and eventually your job (or do you really think you can go back to coding after having tasted heaven?)

Re:get'em laid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471873)

I've got the impression young people in relationships are unhappier than those with just friends and no sex. More than that, the additional energy and time spent on caring for some attention seeking other is away from the more important geeky things.

Getting geeks laid is bad, m-kay? Jocks are perfectly suited for it, empty headed already so nothing of value will get lost.

another useless study (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 8 months ago | (#46470595)

Another useless 'study' that falls into the 'duh' category for me. Who funds this rubbish and why?

I can buy that (4, Interesting)

Snotnose (212196) | about 8 months ago | (#46470605)

I've worked 2 stints at Qualcomm, 4 years as a consultant in the late 90s, and 4 years as an employee in the mid 00's. I've never worked so hard, put in more hours, got more stuff done, cranked out more code, etc, as I have in my QCOM time. Why? In meetings my ideas were listened to. I had a ton of freedom in my job to Get Things Done. I was recognized for Stuff I Got Done. I was not bogged down in daily staff meetings, weekly department meetings, etc. I had input on who to hire for my team. Most of all, I Had A Door I Could Close (but never did). Treat your employees like intelligent people, give them the tools they need, get out of the way, and they will not only be happy, but productive as fuck. And why the fuck can't I format this in any way except for 1 paragraph? Cuz that ain't how I wrote it, none of my html tricks are doing squat, and I'm prolly off to Soylent News soon anyway.

Re:I can buy that (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 8 months ago | (#46470679)

And why the fuck can't I format this in any way except for 1 paragraph? Cuz that ain't how I wrote it, none of my html tricks are doing squat, and I'm prolly off to Soylent News soon anyway.

Didn't see one html "trick" in the quotation ofyour post. Saw paragraphs without html.

bold

italic

seems to be working.

Re:I can buy that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471221)

maybe he was trying markdown?

Most websites filter HTML but do have some basic form of markdown editing.

Lets try some forms of HTML that should be let through (but unwound from a stack again at the end).

Bold

Italics

Reset

A paragraph

An unbalanced emphasis.
An unbalanced strong.

Re:I can buy that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46473185)

Didn't see one html "trick" in the quotation ofyour post. Saw paragraphs without html.

You couldn't see them if they were not working, right?

Nearly everything is stripped away, leaving very little options. That is the complaint.

Re:I can buy that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471065)

And why the fuck can't I format this in any way except for 1 paragraph? Cuz that ain't how I wrote it, none of my html tricks are doing squat, and I'm prolly off to Soylent News soon anyway.

Slashdot 101; How to avoid having someone tell you: You're doing it wrong.

Paragraphs: <p> ABCDE, abcde, 01234 </p>

Bold: <b> ABCDE, abcde, 01234 </b>

Italics: <i> ABCDE, abcde, 01234 </i>

Blockquote:

<blockquote> Don't use <quote> and </quote> They're programmed to disappear in a collapsed reply to allow for immediately showing the actual reply. </blockquote>

List: <br>
Forget about it. <br>
If I'm doing it right, <br>
they suck. <br>
You're better off using a break tag. <br>
Keep in mind, the initial part of your collapsed reply after the break will disappear if your first line is shorter than the readers screen; however, a new paragraph instead of a break in the first line will still remain visible. To avoid butting up to the previous paragraph, you'll need to put a space before the paragraph's end tag.

This ends today's lesson

Re:I can buy that (1)

chihowa (366380) | about 8 months ago | (#46473093)

Slashdot 101; How to avoid having someone tell you: You're doing it wrong.

<blockquote> Don't use <quote> and </quote> They're programmed to disappear in a collapsed reply to allow for immediately showing the actual reply. </blockquote>

You're doing it wrong. Having the quoted text appear in the collapsed reply is the easiest way to ensure nobody reads your reply. The collapse reply should show the beginning of what the actual reply says.

Re:I can buy that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46479761)

You're doing it wrong. Having the quoted text appear in the collapsed reply is the easiest way to ensure nobody reads your reply. The collapse reply should show the beginning of what the actual reply says.

Your explanation about the quote tags might be the same but probably better than mine; mine tried to combine too many ideas into one sentence while referring to the proper use of blockquote tags. It was based on seeing some comments showing "nothing" or showing the "quoted parent" on the first line in the collapsed comments before their reply due to its misuse.

Re:I can buy that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46476739)

That's so totally true. I loved working at QCOM until they hired an idiot over me who jerked everyone around. She went through 2 project teams in a year.

Happiness = Better Production (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470621)

Duh!

Eh (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 8 months ago | (#46470645)

They're programmers. They'll get fired anyway. This is America.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470745)

And get rehired by the same company as a contractor at 4x the previous salary. This is America.

Re:Eh (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#46471583)

They're programmers. They'll get fired anyway. This is America.

As opposed to ... magical lands where nobody ever gets fired?

No screaming shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470647)

Duh.

Brain... Broken... (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | about 8 months ago | (#46470735)

It's the SPANE, but they're in ITALY?

Re:Brain... Broken... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470835)

It's the SPANE, but they're in ITALY?

The brain in SPANE stays many on the Italian plane.

Fix Windows 8. Prostitutes for Microsoft! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46470957)

You can all thank me later.

Re: Fix Windows 8. Prostitutes for Microsoft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46473423)

I thought Microsoft were all prostitutes already anyway ...

Being happy vs being right (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about 8 months ago | (#46470973)

Slartibartfast: Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I think that the chances of finding out what's actually going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say, "Hang the sense of it," and keep yourself busy. I'd much rather be happy than right any day.
Arthur Dent: And are you?
Slartibartfast: Ah, no. [laughs] That's where it all falls down, of course.

Obviously (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 months ago | (#46471043)

All the unhappy coders seem to be able to crank out is:
while (1): print 'What's the point, we are all going to die anyway';

We found a dam good developper! (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 8 months ago | (#46471279)

This guy. [youtube.com]

Well of course.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471389)

This is why drugs work.

and orgasm pretending wives improve career chances (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 8 months ago | (#46471531)

of their husbands. Social science is BS and social scientists should have their collective balls cut off in Circus Maximus and then thrown to the lions.

Just wondering how does that or this happiness improves anything in life of a common nerd who has to struggle with his/her own communication ineptitude and social awkwardness? Or how does that apply to poor neurologically typical sods that work in IT and have to struggle with the nerds around them as well as with the awkwardness of working with code? In other words: how long will they stay happy (if they ever were)? Just wondering. A nice set of questions for a start of a drinking session. Come to think of it I may even get up, go out and start drinking now....

Problem solving skills (1)

Bustogesmajes (3511431) | about 8 months ago | (#46471549)

If a certain problem was there my mind is really working in the process! Once it's solved! That skill is a skill to solve a problem. That would make me happy either.

Emotional state changes constantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471777)

Problem solving is a skill you develop - it should not depend on your emotional state. You may have some sort of trauma like dueling your best friend at a volcanic river and waking up in an iron lung, and that might impact your problem-solving ability, but the general ups and downs of life should not. Happiness comes and goes. Sadness comes and goes. But you still have to make a living.

BE HAPPY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46471843)

Be happy or you'll get fired!

Oh I bet this is another cutting research study (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 8 months ago | (#46472135)

From the Center of Completely Fucking Obvious

Re:Oh I bet this is another cutting research study (1)

BetterThanCaesar (625636) | about 8 months ago | (#46473267)

People like you are why so many myths go undispelled. Things that are "fucking obvious" may still be illusions.

Stress lowers IQ - randomized control trial (2)

clawsoon (748629) | about 8 months ago | (#46472563)

This is reminiscent of another study which found that asking people how they'd deal with a big car repair bill - just getting them to think about it - lowered their IQ by an average of 13 points, "comparable to the cognitive difference that’s been observed between chronic alcoholics and normal adults".

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/08/how-poverty-taxes-brain/6716/

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6149/976

The advantage of the car-repair-bill study is that people were randomly assigned to the control and experimental groups, as opposed to being an observational study like the one in the story (with all the complications that brings). Same basic conclusion, though.

They got it wrong... (1)

unixcorn (120825) | about 8 months ago | (#46473769)

It's not happiness that helps problem solving skills, it's using their penis (for sex) that helps.

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