Category Archives: Psychology


Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good weekend. My friend recently sent me an article name “8 Psychological Tricks of Restaurant Menus“, of which I’ve previously written about these two:
#1 the choice overload problem
#2 the compromise effect
My goal is to eventually write about all eight as B&TW posts, so I’m going to write the third one today. Lets start with….”[restaurants] utilize colors”.
It might be difficult for some to believe that something as trivial as a color choice could influence someone’s decisions. However, small changes can have large effects, especially when it comes to human behaviors. Small changes in the environment can leads to huge changes in how you respond.
Color is a great example of this. Blue is a soothing color, often associated with water, sky, ocean and has a calming effect. Red, on the other hand, is an active color, and could be associated with danger, blood, but also passion, love.
One study on color was set in a school classroom, where researchers changed the walls from originally orange/white to royal/light blue. The existing orange carpet is replaced by a grey one. What did this change?
The students’ blood pressure level dropped from 120 to 100, down 17%. Also, they became more attentive and less fidgety, according to the teachers and independent observers. Interestingly, when they tried to change the color back to the orange-themed setting, students started becoming rowdy and blood pressure increased again.
What is amazing is the magnitude of effect from changing a detail that the children would never pay attention to. I wonder how many of us remembers what color our classroom or office wall is. white? or is it blue? light yellow? The students most likely didn’t even notice that someone came in overnight to change the walls and the carpet. Nevertheless, it had a physiological and attitudinal impact on them, which could have benefits short term and long term.


Hello! Today, I did my second 5K in Chicago and one that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time – the COLOR run. It’s a super fun run/walk/dance, where people throw colors at you at different stations.
Before the race, we all had white shirts on and look really clean!
Ready for the race!
We ran for half a mile before the first station, PINK. We were showered with pink powder by volunteers on both sides. Then, about 10% into the run, it started raining. uh oh. We hit the second station, the blue one, not long afterwards. There were blue water puddles everywhere and runners were enjoying their colorful time in the rain. Our t-shirts were then decorated with pink and blue splashes. As we passed through the yellow and orange stations, the colors were all mixed with the pouring rain and became a mixture of rainbow colors.
To finish it off, we ran through a shower of silver glitter and were presented with a medal.
color run headband + HAPPY water tattoo + medal
I have to say the rain made the experience much more memorable, though a little more chaotic. Compared to my hot chocolate run, it was much warmer out and many people were walking the race instead of feeling pressured to run. They were both great experiences and looking forward to more to come!
Next race: some sort night glow run!
super blurry picture from the rain


With love,




Happy Sunday! Today is my “me-day” for June. It’s nice to have a day to myself after my 10-day PHL/NYC travels last week. I had a great time catching up with my high school, college, and post-college friends in the city. Since last week’s post was on Philly, I thought I’d share parts of my NYC trip as well 🙂


view from office in FiDi
First order of business was going to work. Ekkk, but…thanks to my work’s flexibility, I can work in the NYC office when I’m visiting town any time I want – that’s not so bad right? This way, I can visit my friends in the city whenever I want to!
murals in lower east side
The next thing was my friend Amy’s graduation. CONGRATULATIONS again!! Before we met up in the lower east side, I walked past this mural (which somehow snapchat had a Chelsea geo-tag on when it technically isn’t Chelsea…) of I ❤ NY. Super cute!
Liberty Cruise along Hudson River
The weekend was then packed with activities between Mike a.k.a. PB, his friends, and my high school friends. We went on a liberty cruise that took us from 42nd street to the Statue of Liberty and back. I’m having too much fun with these geotags! (I should also note that the geotag near Wall Street is a bunch of $$ bills raining down – classic.)
chocolate tour in Brooklyn
On Sunday, we went on a chocolate tour at Mast Brothers. For those of you who don’t know, Mast Brothers is a gourmet chocolate company based in Brooklyn. They have really interesting flavors, my favorite being the Sea Salt and Goat Milk. We went for a tour around their small production site.
raw chocolate bites
During the tour, we got to taste chocolate throughout different stages of its production – from cocoa beans to the end product. These are chocolate rocks that are 70-80% on the finish line. The table in the picture has scratch marks all over it because they have to break the large rocks into smaller pieces before the next step.
along the east river
After the tour, we walked along the east river – it was a gorgeous day! It was warm and sunny, definitely a contrast to the cold and rainy weather in Chicago today 😦 Along the promenade, there were lots of chairs that you can sit on and soak in the surrounding. It was a memorable day of chatting, exploring and chilling – couldn’t have asked for better company!
flea market in brooklyn
In the afternoon, we visited a flea market in Brooklyn. It was situated outdoors, which turned out to be too hot to walk around in the heat 😦 but we still walked around for a bit and escaped to get a drink at a rooftop bar nearby shortly after.
There were more activities over the weekend that I haven’t highlighted here, including Escape the Room, Beauty and Essex, brunch, k-town, driving to Newark to pick my friend up, etc… of course, none of these things would’ve been as enjoyable as it was if I wasn’t hanging out with my closest friends. Thank you everyone for making the trip amazing!
I’m back in Chi-town with a lot of new memories.


With love,



Happy long weekend!! Hope you’re enjoying Memorial Day holiday if you’re in the US. I’m in NYC for the weekend and have been hanging out with everyone in the city, including several high school friends from HK who are/will be here!!
It’s been a long week of traveling from CHI-PHL-NYC. Past weekend was alumni/graduation weekend and I made a trip back to Philly for the first time after graduation. Among other things, here are some of the things I did –
(1) Mad Mex
If you knew me senior year of college, here is where I went for my fix of frozen margs. Their deal for “Big Ass Margaritas” is unbeatable. However, aside from guac/salsa and chips, we haven’t really tried their food yet, so we decided to check it out and it was delicious!
Frozen Margaritas
Top: Breakfast Burrito Middle: Steak and Shrimp Fajita Right: Chips and Guac/Salsa
back at Mad Mex with my love! #tbt
(2) Italian Market Festival
Last weekend was also the annual Italian festival on South 9th Street. There were loads of food vendors and arts and crafts pop-up stores to walk around. After brunch at Amada, I was too full to eat anything except for a bite of the cannoli, which was great, and tasting olive oil/vinegar at Emma/JV’s friend’s store!
Cannoli at Italian Festival
Dyeing scarf!
(3) Serpico
For my last night in Philly, I went to Serpico on South Street for dinner. It was my first time visiting the restaurant and had a great experience sitting next to the kitchen. I have a soft spot for Chef’s tables like these, admiring their cooking skills throughout the entire meal, along with good conversation with my friend.
Scallop appetizer
sitting next to the kitchen
I did so much more than these 3 things in Philly, but I can’t fit all of them in a post. It was so great catching up with my friends and I’m already looking forward to my next visit back! Next post will probably be about my NYC adventures.
With love,


Hey guys! It’s Sunday again.

I flew into Philly yesterday for Penn’s alumni/graduation weekend! I can’t believe it has been a whole year since I graduated. It is nice to be back to catch up with friends and to randomly bump into people around the city.

Today I want to talk about the self-licensing effect. Self-licensing is when you justify a subsequent bad behavior by doing something positive first. Experiments have shown that if a person does a positive act (e.g. donating) first, then they feel less bad about splurging on a luxury item (e.g. a handbag, watch) (1). They also showed that you don’t actually have to physically do the act, it could simply be a hypothetical situation where you are asked, for example, “if you were to donate, which charity would you want to help?” This would already warrant a person to justify making an unnecessary luxury purchase afterwards, when given a choice between a luxury and a necessary item.

Examples of self-licensing effect can be easily spotted. For example, if you just spent the day walking around Philly and getting in those steps on your Fit-Bit, you feel more justified to eat a huge dinner and Franklin Fountain ice-cream afterwards. yep, which was what just happened to me. OR, if you recycled a piece of paper, you’re more convinced that it’s okay to use more paper afterwards. OR, if you take vitamin supplements, you’re more likely to stick to an unhealthier diet.

Can you think of ways you’re self-licensing with a positive act so you can do a negative/less desirable act after?






Hawthorne House – that’s the name of my apartment building. Hawthorne Place – that’s the street I live on. I googled ‘hawthorne’ before I signed my lease, just in case something weird pops up. I was also recently told that Hawthorne calls to mind Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter. By this point, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised there’s a Psychology phenomenon called the HAWTHORNE EFFECT.
The Hawthorne Effect simply says that people change their behaviors when they know that they are being observed. It all started when a researcher by the name of Henry Landsberger ran an experiment at a factory called Hawthorne Works near Chicago (chi-town, woop!) He ran studies on the factory workers and factors influencing their productivity, but was met with a puzzle. Different runs of the experiment were giving him conflicting results (pretty much a researcher’s worst nightmare).
Finally, he found out that the factory workers’ productivity improved when they know that someone is keeping track of them. The Hawthorne Effect has led to implications in research and business settings. In research, we have to be cognizant of how participants’ responses and actions are being affected just by knowing that they are being studied. In business, it supports the need for constant employee monitoring. Perhaps it is not applicable to all industries, but for factory workers, having a manager over their shoulders and knowing that they are being watched is a way to improve their productivity, and therefore, company revenue.
Do you feel awkward when you know you’re being watched? Do your actions/behaviors/thoughts change? I know mine do.
Happy Sunday!


Happy sunday everyone! We had a gorgeously warm day in chi-town today. If you were in town, i hope you had a chance to enjoy some outdoor time. If you follow basketball, the semi-finals started today with Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks, and Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors. Making use of my cable subscription, which I will be canceling once NBA season is over, we watched the Grizzlies vs. Warriors game. The final score was GRIZZLIES 86 – 101 WARRIORS.
If you’re not into basketball, I hope I haven’t lost you yet. What about some Psychology?
I want to talk about a phenomenon called “hot hands” where players are thought to have a better chance of making a basket if they’ve made their past few shots in a row. Some people might call it a streak, unstoppable, on fire, etc. One basketball player said “It’s like the automatic, unconscious feeling. If I hit two in a row, I bet the third one almost always goes in.”


Is it true? Research have found that it is not. The probability of a player making a shot is independent of whether he or she has made the shot previously (1).  The Hot Hand Fallacy was first discovered by 3 Psychologists: Amos Tversky, Thomas Gilovich, and Robert Vollone. They found that people have difficulty understanding true randomness in situations, meaning that we find patterns in things that are not random. For example, a random Heads/Tails sequence could be HHHHHHTTTTTT or HTTTHTTHHHTH, but people tend to think that the second one is more random than the first one when it is not. Similarly, the hot hand fallacy makes basketball players or their viewers think that their chance of making a basket is linked to other shots more than they should.

Continue reading HOT-HAND FALLACY


Hello everyone. Looks like the last three posts in the Wind portion of my blog are all Guest Posts. Some of you might wonder, does Steph ever write her own post? I wonder, where do I find these friends who are so lovely to keep my blog going (and my new year resolution of posting every Sunday). Huge thank you again! Anyhow, I think it’s about time I contribute and share with you something from my windy city.
Chicago offers many world-famous museums, including Linda’s guest post on the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum of Natural History, and Museum of Science and Technology. In fact, there are so many museums concentrated in one location that there’s an area called the Museum Campus. The city also does a great job at exposing locals to these educational attractions. For example, the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5-8pm. Another example is Adler After Dark event at the Adler Planetarium.
View of sunset from the bars
The Adler Planetarium offers a special event on the 3rd Thursday of each month at night from 6-10pm. Although this event is open to everyone, I dare to speculate that most visitors are Chicago locals because it is not very publicized. Also, it is exclusively open to adults 21+, as they have multiple bars around the museum so you can walk around with your glass of wine. Reminds me of Eataly, where you shop with a glass of wine, but here you can do it while stargazing! It’s difficult to decide which one is better.
The themes for Adler After Dark changes each month. For this month, it was Rocket Man; For May, it’s Planetarium Prom. Who wants to go to prom with me next month? #pb.
Tickets go on sale the first day of each month and we managed to get tickets to the event this past Thursday. Even after going to the event, we’re not quite sure what part of it is specific to the “Rocket Man” theme and what part of it is just the regular museum itself. Regardless, there were a lot of interesting things to see and kept us going until 10pm.
102 year old mechanical planetarium
102 year old mechanical planetarium

The highlight of my night was definitely Telescope Viewing outside on the terrace. It was a clear, cloudless sky this past Thursday, which was an ideal night for stargazing. The telescopes were pointing to the two brightest stars, and one of them was pointing to Jupiter. It was so close up to earth that we actually saw the rings of Jupiter!! Crazy, right?
The planetarium has a great view of the skyline of Chicago! Now that it is getting warmer and it’s nice to walk outside again, I can’t wait to do more of these fun events around the city. Let the Spring/Summer checklist begin!
As always, thank you Shraddha for coming with me xx
Chicago skyline from the Planetarium viewing deck
Had a great night with Shraddha! x
With Love,


I was hoping it’ll still be Sunday somewhere in the world, but I guess time doesn’t wait for anyone. I had an amazing weekend in Washington D.C. visiting a college friend. For those who were in Chicago, I heard it was gorgeous here as well and I hope you got to spend some time outdoors! I’m very excited for all the summer fun in the next couple of months, but just to document how my friends and I spent winter in the windy city, here’s our excursion to the Social Table in March. Thank you Shraddzy for writing my post xx
Guest Post by Shraddha Mittal
A few weeks ago, Steph and I took a cooking class at The Social Table in Lincoln Park. We came across the establishment on a rainy Sunday afternoon and, after perusing the website a bit, signed up for one of their classes! At The Social Table, you pick your dinner menu in advance, and then the night of you actually learn how to cook the meal. The menus usually center around some sort of theme. Steph and I decided to go for “Rustic Italian”, which, for those of you who know us well, was quite possibly influenced by our love for Eataly…socialtable1
Quick side note about me: Up until about 2 months ago I had been vegetarian for 21 and a half years of my life. I recently have realized that my protein intake is zero and so I’m slowly switching over to eating meat. My friends enjoy referring to me as “transitional” (I don’t enjoy it as much…). So, for me, not only was this going to be a lovely evening spent with one of my closest friends, but also it was going to be the first time I had ever cooked meat in my entire life! And, I can say on both accounts, that it was a success!
Anyway, going back to the dinner. First of all, the entire setup was adorable!
This was really the perfect place for a date night or even just a fun girls’ night! We were in a class with about 14 other people. The instructor went through step by step on how to cook each dish while we created it together as a group. He also went over some very basic cooking skills, like how to chop vegetables, while also teaching us more complicated things, such as how to prepare risotto. There were people of varying cooking expertise in the class, some who clearly had never picked up a knife or a ladle before, and some who were chopping away like Gordon Ramsay! You could get as involved or not involved in the cooking as you wanted to. Most people were there to understand some basic things about how to cook this menu, mingle with people, and of course drink wine, since it’s BYOB!
I’d have to say my favorite part of the cooking lesson was learning how to efficiently chop onions. It’s definitely something I plan to do much more often than stirring risotto for 3 hours when I’m cooking for myself… Nonetheless, I had a great time! Cooking in a large group surprisingly turned out to be a lot of fun, and the food, if I do say so myself, was amazing!
Just a heads up, Steph and I were the only ones there who werenot a couple. We still had fun, but going in knowing that that could be a possibility was definitely helpful. I would still go back for a girls’ night instead of a date, since I find it incredibly difficult to look cute in those large black aprons… Either way, it’s a great place to spend an evening, and, for those of you who live in Chicago, I highly recommend it. Some of the events for this month include Italian Dinner Party, Simple Supper, and Vegetarian Table. Maybe I’ll actually go back for that last one, haha!
Thanks for coming to The Social Table with me Steph, and for letting me write about it on your blog! 🙂



Hello everyone! Happy Easter; Happy Passover; and if you don’t celebrate either of those, Happy super-gorgeous-day-in-chicago 🙂 If you’re in town, I hope you had a chance to sit or walk outside today to soak in some sunshine. At the very least, it gives us hope that summer is on its way. I was able to get a tiny tan at I|O Urban Roofscape over Easter brunch today.FullSizeRender
Anyhow, today is about the “Brain” and not the “Wind” because I want to share with you a classic psych experiment on Comformity.

Continue reading CONFORMITY