Newswise — WACO, Texas (Dec. 20, 2017) – As 2018 approaches, many Americans are considering ways to improve themselves via New Year’s resolutions.

Whether it’s personal, like losing weight or clearing clutter, or it’s professional, such as being a better manager or breaking away from smartphones, the options are wide-ranging. Here is a listing of Baylor University research that might help advise those seeking positive change in the coming year.

Break Away from the Smartphone

Baylor marketing researchers James Roberts and Meredith David have conducted numerous studies on the effects of smartphone technology on relationships. Their studies on “phubbing” – phone snubbing – have garnered national and international interest, given the pervasiveness of smartphone technology and its impact on relationships.

Their studies have found:

“Although the stated purpose of technology like smartphones is to help us connect with others, in this particular instance, it does not,” David said. “Ironically, the very technology that was designed to bring humans closer together has isolated us from these very same people.”

Try A New Approach To Dieting

Meredith David, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, researched successful dieters and how they were different from others. Her research results have received national attention.

“Our research shows that instead of creating rules to avoid one’s favorite treats, dieters should focus on eating healthy foods that they enjoy,” David said. “Dieters who restrict themselves from consuming the foods they love most may be setting themselves up for failure. Instead, they may be better off by allowing occasional ‘treats’ and focusing attention on healthy foods that they enjoy and making it a point to include those tasty but healthy foods in their diet.”

Read the full article.

Be More Generous

Andy Hogue, Ph.D, director of the Philanthropy and Public Service Program and senior lecturer in the Honors Program at Baylor University, advises Americans to resolve to be more generous in the New Year.

“What does generosity mean? What does it mean to be a generous person?” Hogue said. “Whatever our station, however much money or resources we have, we all have something to share and something to give. I like the idea of thinking in terms of a New Year’s resolution, sort of resolving to be more generous and helping people to think in those ways.”

Consider Five Key Areas When Choosing Charities

Andy Hogue, Ph.D, director of the Philanthropy and Public Service Program and senior lecturer in the Honors Program at Baylor University, shares tips to choosing charities for the upcoming year.

He says givers should consider gratitude, passion, need, impact and resources to assess who they are, what they have been given and the needs and opportunities around them.

“Whatever our motivations, many of us will make philanthropic gifts in the coming year, and devoting a little bit of reflection to the process might help us discover the immeasurable joy that can come from giving,” he said. “We might realize, in fact, what it means to become the benevolent and hospitable human beings we are meant to be.”

Ask The Question: Do I Really Want to Work From Home?

Many people dream of working from home. And with today’s technology – everything from phone calls and email to texting and videoconferences – maintaining "virtual" communications with the team seems to be easier than ever. But is virtual teamwork productive? Are managers really getting the most out of their teams when virtuality is involved?

Sara Perry, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, researched the management advantages and disadvantages of “virtual” teams. Specifically, she measured “social loafing” – the tendency of individuals to contribute less in a team setting.

“Under the conditions of higher virtuality, you need people to hold you accountable, to prevent the virtuality from letting you stray or ‘loaf,’” she said.

Read the full story here.

Clear Out the Clutter

Baylor design historian Elise King, assistant professor in the department of family and consumer sciences, who is herself streamlined when it comes to knickknacks and the clothes closet, says there is “an ebb and flow over time” of non-essential vs. busy when it comes to architectural styles and interior design — including “stuff.”

These days, what is increasingly emerging is not only digital clutter, but “digital debris” that spills over into the physical, she says. This can include Amazon’s ‘dash buttons,’ tangled cords and printer paper, digital art, DVRs, etc.

King offers six tips to organize your home.

Be More Productive at Work

Emily Hunter, Ph.D., associate professor of management in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, has conducted numerous studies on workplace productivity.

One study on “how to take better workday breaks,” co-authored with Cindy Wu, Ph.D., associate professor of management, showed that taking mid-morning, frequent, short breaks – during which employees engage in activities they prefer – result in boosts in energy, concentration and motivation.

Another study looked at the consequences and benefits of interruptions during work and family time.  

“When you give to one domain, you must take from the other. There are only so many hours in the day,” Hunter said. “Interruptions from family ‘take’ from work in the form of work goal obstructions, negative emotions and lower satisfaction with investment in work.”

Hunter said that proper planning could turn these interruptions into benefits that help employees meet work and family goals.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.