Skip navigation

Tag Archives: humans

There’s something comforting about this story: even Nobel-winning economists procrastinate! Many of us go through life with an array of undone tasks, large and small, nibbling at our conscience. But Akerlof saw the experience, for all its familiarity, as mysterious. He genuinely intended to send the box to his friend, yet, as he wrote, in a paper called “Procrastination and Obedience” (1991), “each morning for over eight months I woke up and decided that the next morning would be the day to send the Stiglitz box.” He was always about to send the box, but the moment to act never arrived. Akerlof, who became one of the central figures in behavioral economics, came to the realization that procrastination might be more than just a bad habit. He argued that it revealed something important about the limits of rational thinking and that it could teach useful lessons about phenomena as diverse as substance abuse and savings habits. Since his essay was published, the study of procrastination has become a significant field in academia, with philosophers, psychologists, and economists all weighing in.

Later: What does procrastination tell us about ourselves? in The New Yorker via Nellie

Link: The Irony of Satire

This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert’s political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements.

The last sentence is the catch. Cheers.

 The Misconception: Kissing is only an expression of love.

The Truth: Kissing transmits germs from the male to the female to bolster the female immune system before and during pregnancy.

Sperm just don’t cut it when it comes to transmitting immunity.

According to the research, kissing transmits germs from man to woman, and after about six months of it she becomes immune to the bad stuff in the man’s body. By the time the baby is born, it is immune to the things the parents are immune to.

full article

People definitely conflate seriousness with deeper meaning. Seriousness can be shallow, so shallow. And silliness can carry meaning just as deep as anything. I guess somehow silliness came to signify the idiot. I say idiocy is genius.

James Kochalka 

via zoomar

The Misconception: You take randomness into account when determining cause and effect.

The Truth: You tend to ignore random chance when the results seem meaningful or when you want a random event to have a meaningful cause.

You have just committed the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.

The fallacy gets its name from imagining a cowboy shooting at a barn. Over time, the side of the barn becomes riddled with holes. In some places there are lots of them, in others there are few. If the cowboy later paints a bullseye over a spot where his bullet holes clustered together it looks like he is pretty good with a gun.

By painting a bullseye over a bullet hole the cowboy places artificial order over natural random chance.

If you have a human brain, you do this all of the time. Picking out clusters of coincidence is a predictable malfunction of normal human logic.

(more after the jump)

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world

The Misconception: Venting your anger is an effective way to reduce stress and prevent lashing out at friends and family.

The Truth: Venting increases aggressive behavior over time.

(link)

itsfullofstars:

This might be the most powerful case for space exploration yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPM-vKpiKR0

1. Keep them too busy to think.
2. Keep them tired.
3. Keep them emotionally involved.
4. Reward intermittently.

via

The Misconception: People who are losing at the game of life must have done something to deserve it.
The Truth: The benefactors of good fortune often did nothing to deserve it, and bad people often get away with their actions without consequences.

The Misconception: Memories are played back like recordings.
The Truth: Memories are constructed anew each time from whatever information is currently available, which makes things like eyewitness testimony unreliable.

The Misconception: Fines curb bad behavior.
The Truth: If you perceive the cost of a fine as less than the social cost of the bad behavior, it will cause the bad behavior to increase.

The Misconception: Knowing a person’s history makes it easier to determine what sort of person they are.
The Truth: You jump to conclusions based on how representative a person seems to be of a preconceived character type.

You are not so smart.