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DIANA FLEISCHMAN

Q&A

Diana Fleischman is the expert you need to understand psychological traits through the lens of adaptation and natural selection. As a renowned evolutionary psychologist at University of Portsmouth, her work includes the study of disgust, human sexuality and hormones and behaviour.

We’re fascinated by the field of evolutionary psychology, and not surprised that Diana has been passionate about evolution from a young age.

Before we hear from her at Nudgestock Global, we asked her a couple of questions…

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What are your top tips to survive lockdown?

“1. Prepare with evolutionary necessities. If possible, lock down with other people you like somewhere you have access to the outdoors.

2. It's ok not to talk about it. Often negative emotions resolve themselves better without conversation and "talking it out" makes things worse. Avoid the temptation to make constant conversation.

3. Find a way to move. Try new exercise apps and programs. Moving with another person whether it's a walk or yoga side by side is a way to bond without chit chat.

4. Redecorate to imitate novelty. Change your sheets, get some plants, rearrange the furniture so you feel less stuck in one place.

5. Experiment. Try a new sleeping schedule. Arrange to chat with someone who is much less busy than they would usually be. Watch something you wouldn't ordinarily like. See the lockdown as an opportunity of discovery, but also don't take it too seriously.”

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Tell us about a development in your field that surprised you the most this year?

“Conservatives are more disgust sensitive than liberals but conservatives signalling values (e.g. against government interference) trumped (pardon the pun) their sensitivity to disease threat in this pandemic.”

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What’s your favourite nudge?

“Germ theory isn't at all intuitive. An Israeli public service advertisement showed fomite [objects or materials which are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils, and furniture] spread as a red contamination from mouths and faces to surfaces, similar to a Ghanaian hand washing public service announcement from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.”

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What is the piece of work you are most proud of?

“I made a new blog at Dianaverse.com.”

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And finally, tell us a fact we wouldn’t know about you…

“I don't usually cry when I watch films and I didn't cry at tearjerkers like Titanic, Requiem for a Dream or Moonlight. But I ugly cry even talking about John Lewis' 2015 Christmas advert "man on the moon" and "man and the dog" organ donation advert. Both are by the same agency, DDB.”

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Nudgestock Global session title: Evolving self-help: Using evolutionary psychology to improve your life

For more, see Diana’s blog: Dianaverse.com

Find Diana on Twitter: @sentientist

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