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In Conversation with Daniel Kahneman

Speaker(s): Professor Daniel Kahneman Discussant: Professor Paul Dolan Chair: Evan Davis Recorded on 1 June 2012 in Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street This pub...
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The best navigation idea I’ve seen since the Tube map

The best navigation idea I’ve seen since the Tube map | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Yet because cognitive fluency is intangible, its value is often under-rated. For instance, consider the effect of rebranding the London Overground as part of the Tube network. Much of the route existed for decades as the Silverlink train line. But since it did not appear on the Tube map, it was mentally invisible and so unused; ten years ago you felt a bit like Spencer Tracy stepping off the train in Bad Day at Black Rock. Now, as an orange route on the Tube map, it is insanely popular. The rebranding of the line may have contributed more than the new trains.

Last week I heard of another British idea which may be as important as Harry Beck’s in making navigation mentally easy: www.what3words.com divides the entire surface of the earth into 3m x 3m squares and identifies each with just three common words. So the middle of the Spectator garden is what3words.com/liked.foods.loudly — while the front door is take.notes.thus. There are about 60 trillion such combinations available.

 

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Do NYC cab drivers quit too early when it rains? - Decision Science News

Do NYC cab drivers quit too early when it rains? - Decision Science News | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Do cab drivers ignore opportunities to make more money when it rains?

ABSTRACT

In a seminal paper, Camerer, Babcock, Loewenstein, and Thaler (1997) find that the wage elasticity of daily hours of work New York City (NYC) taxi drivers is negative and conclude that their labor supply behavior is consistent with target earning (having reference dependent preferences). I replicate and extend the CBLT analysis using data from all trips taken in all taxi cabs in NYC for the five years from 2009-2013. The overall pattern in my data is clear: drivers tend to respond positively to unanticipated as well as anticipated increases in earnings opportunities. This is consistent with the neoclassical optimizing model of labor supply and does not support the reference dependent preferences model.

I explore heterogeneity across drivers in their labor supply elasticities and consider whether new drivers differ from more experienced drivers in their behavior. I find substantial heterogeneity across drivers in their elasticities, but the estimated elasticities are generally positive and only rarely substantially negative. I also find that new drivers with smaller elasticities are more likely to exit the industry while drivers who remain learn quickly to be better optimizers (have positive labor supply elasticities that grow with experience).

 
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Gerd Gigerenzer on Simple heuristics that make us smart.

Gigerenzer gives examples where we can use simple solutions to complex problems, in
particular where simple heuristic rules are indispensable for good decisions under uncertainty. It is not always better to have more information, time, or computation.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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Everything Is a Meme

Everything Is a Meme | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
n the years preceding the financial crisis of 2008, certain key phrases appeared over and again in the public discourse on investing.

One that stands out in my mind is that home prices in the United States haven’t declined nationally since the Great Depression. The phrase appeared in television commentary by pundits, statements by Federal Reserve officials, in analyst reports, and in private conversations with Wall Street analysts.

I discovered the phrase yet again when studying securities ranging from housing stocks like KB Home (KBH), to large international banks like Citigroup (C), to government-sponsored entities like Fannie Mae, to mortgage companies like Countrywide Financial, to insurer and major credit default swap underwriter AIG.
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Cognitive Bias Modification: Train Your Mind to See The Positive

Cognitive Bias Modification: Train Your Mind to See The Positive | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Is your mind biased to see the positive or the negative in your environment?

A new form of self-therapy called cognitive bias modification attempts to train your mind to see the positive through a fun and interesting new technique.

In fact, a recent study has shown that cognitive bias modification (CBM) has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. And another study discovered that CBM can reduce the pain of social rejections.

The basic idea behind the exercise is to try to spot the “happy face” among a bunch of “sad faces.” With practice, your mind gradually starts attracting to the “happy faces” faster and more easily.

And the reason this works is because your mind becomes less sensitive to the negative stimuli in your environment and more sensitive to the positive stimuli in your environment.

Try “cognitive bias modification” out for yourself.

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Quantum Chaos and Quantum Computing Structures

A system of quantum computing structures is introduced and proven capable of making emerge, on average, the orbits of classical bounded nonlinear maps on \mathbb{C} through the iterative action of path-dependent quantum gates. The effects of emerging nonlinear dynamics and chaos upon the quantum averages of relevant observables and quantum probabilities are exemplified for a version of Chirikov's standard map on \mathbb{C} . Both the individual orbits and ensemble properties are addressed so that the Poincar\'e map for Chirikov's standard map, in the current quantum setting, is reinterpreted in terms of a quantum ensemble which is then formally introduced within the formalized system of quantum computing structures, in terms of quantum register machines, revealing three phases of quantum ensemble dynamics: the regular, the chaotic and an intermediate phase called complex quantum stochastic phase which shares similarities to the edge of chaos notion from classical cellular automata and classical random boolean networks' evolutionary computation.

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The Best Look for a Leader: Intelligent or Healthy? — PsyBlog

The Best Look for a Leader: Intelligent or Healthy? — PsyBlog | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
When choosing a leader, people prefer a healthy complexion, but mostly ignore the appearance of intelligence, a new study finds.

The findings are based on a Dutch-led study, which looked at the unconscious influence of facial appearance on which leaders people choose for different sorts of leadership (Spisak et al., 2014).

Facial traits can provide all sorts of information about someone’s personality.

For example, a more feminine face — in both men and women — is linked to greater ‘feminine’ qualities, like cooperation.

More masculine faces, however, suggest higher levels of risk-taking.
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Quantum Social Science: Emmanuel Haven, Andrei Khrennikov: 9781107012820: Amazon.com: Books

Quantum Social Science

~ Andrei Khrennikov (author) More about this product
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Written by world experts in the foundations of quantum mechanics and its applications to social science, this book shows how elementary quantum mechanical principles can be applied to decision-making paradoxes in psychology and used in modelling information in finance and economics. The book starts with a thorough overview of some of the salient differences between classical, statistical and quantum mechanics. It presents arguments on why quantum mechanics can be applied outside of physics and defines quantum social science. The issue of the existence of quantum probabilistic effects in psychology, economics and finance is addressed and basic questions and answers are provided. Aimed at researchers in economics and psychology, as well as physics, basic mathematical preliminaries and elementary concepts from quantum mechanics are defined in a self-contained way.
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4 Ways We Are Not Rational And How It Affects Economics

4 Ways We Are Not Rational And How It Affects Economics | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

At the core of economics (especially economics teaching) is the idea that people are fundamentally rational, self-interested, utility maximising individuals who make decisions after logically considering all the relevant facts. As these people know best what’s best for themselves, these decisions are optimal for society. However, one of the newest and fastest growing school of thought is the Behavioural School which uses the insights of psychology to show that this simply is not the case. These insights are sometimes viewed only in isolation or glossed over as minor trivia. However, when you put all the different pieces together, you see that the conclusions are far reaching for how the economy operates.

 #neuroeconomy 
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A Scientific Macroeconomic Model Derived from Fundamental Equation of Economics by James J. Wayne :: SSRN

A Scientific Macroeconomic Model Derived from Fundamental Equation of Economics by James J. Wayne :: SSRN | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Abstract:      
The poor performance of macroeconomic models during the great recession of 2008 has forced many economists to re-examine macroeconomic theories, and search for creditable alternatives to the popular dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models. This paper derives a new macroeconomic model from recently published Fundamental Equation of Economics (FEOE) and applies the new model to answer a general question what causes economic crises. The macro model known as the indeterministic balance sheet plus (IBS+) model proposed in this paper for the first time turns out to be a special breed of accounting models. Different accounting models are more or less same in the way of handling empirical accounting data and flow of funds, and different in the way of forecasting the future. The IBS+ macroeconomic model takes the indeterministic view of the future balance sheets with the emphasis on probabilistic causalities, tail risks, economic reality described by balance sheet accounting, truthfully capturing the sectorial flow of funds and dynamics of economics, universally applicability, and a rock solid scientific theoretical foundation. The IBS+ model is very different from the popular dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models and agent-based computational economic (ACE) models. Through a side by side comparison, we prove that IBS+ model is superior to DSGE or ACE models in many ways. This paper concludes that DSGE models are probably intellectual dead ends, and economists should stop investing heavily with DSGE models and instead should replace DSGE models with IBS+ models. Economic crises have plagued humanity since the dawn of capitalism. Despite intense studies over last several hundred years, the questions about causes, forecasting, and prevention of economic crises remains unsolved. This paper proposes a classification of causes of economic crises using IBS+ models to analyze balance sheets of key economic sectors. Applying this classification to examine recent economic crises, we conclude that most economic crises are caused by mismanagement of balance sheets by key economic players. This paper suggests that economic crises are largely caused by inevitable misbehavior of humanity and not caused by any fundamental flaw of capitalism. Just like improving the individual health and personal hygiene is the key to prevent epidemic diseases in societies, the key to prevent future economic crises is to promoting financial disciplines and strengthening risk management of key players in economics. Because some economic crises can be caused by natural and man-made factors beyond the scope of economics like earthquakes and wars, the frequency of economic crises can be minimized by proper risk management practices but economic crises can never be completely eliminated. Historically, treating mismanagement of balance sheets as main causes of economic crises is a generalization of Austrian business cycle theory, Fisher’s debt deflation theory, and Minsky’s financial instability hypothesis.
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Is Soft Paternalism Ethically Legitimate? - The Relevance of Psychological Processes for the Assessment of Nudge-Based Policies

Abstract

In this article we develop a taxonomy of behavioral policy measures proposed by Thaler and Sunstein (2008). Based on this taxonomy, we discuss the ethical legitimacy of these measures. First, we explain two common reservations against nudges (choice architecture) rooted in utilitarian and Kantian ethics. In addition to wellbeing, we identify freedom of action and freedom of will (autonomy) as relevant ethical criteria. Then, using practical examples, we develop a taxonomy that classifies nudges according to the psychological mechanisms they use and separately discuss the legitimacy of several types of behavioral policy measures. We hope to thereby make a valuable contribution to the debate on the ethical legitimacy of behavioral policy making.

#Behavioural_Economics #neuroeconomic  #nudge

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Behavioral Insights Teams: A New Approach to Leading Policy Change

Behavioral Insights Teams: A New Approach to Leading Policy Change | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Max Bazerman, co-director of the Center for Public Leadership; Odette van de Riet, Leader of BIT IenM, the Behavioral Insight Team of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment; and David Halpern, Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team and Board Director of the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, joined moderator Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy at HKS and Director of the Women and Public Policy Program, and co-Director of the Behavioral Insights Group, in a conversation on behavioral insights. The panel discussed its experiences applying behavioral economics findings, such as "nudge" techniques, to issues of public interest.

#behavioraleconomics  

- See more at: http://forum.iop.harvard.edu/content/behavioral-insights-teams-new-approach-leading-policy-change#sthash.bZbJxsHS.dpuf

 

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The Jonathan Gruber Controversy and Washington’s Dirty Little Secret

The Jonathan Gruber Controversy and Washington’s Dirty Little Secret | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
It’s common for laws to be structured in ways that might not be very efficient but sound good for political consumption.

Suppose that Congress decides that everyone in America should have an iPhone. There are two ways it can do this:

1) The government could allocate money to buy all Americans iPhones.

2) The government could require that everybody buy an iPhone but create a tax credit equivalent to the price of the phone.

To an economist, these things are pretty much identical. To a politician, they are very different. The first is a big-spending government giveaway. The second is a tax cut. And in that distinction lies the heart of the firestorm around comments by one of the intellectual godfathers of President Obama’s health reform law.

 #neuroeconomy #neuropolicy
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Computation: Information, adaptation, and evolution in silico — Foundations & Frontiers — Medium

Computation: Information, adaptation, and evolution in silico — Foundations & Frontiers — Medium | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
In 1984 the nascent Santa Fe Institute sponsored two workshops on “Emerging Syntheses in Science,” at which the Institute’s founders brainstormed their plans for the future. At the time I was a beginning graduate student in computer science and had never heard of SFI, but reading the workshop proceedings a few years later, I was very excited by the Institute’s goal to “pursue research on a large number of highly complex and interactive systems which can be properly studied only in an interdisciplinary environment.”

The founders planned to define particular themes or programs that would benefit from the kind of intensive cross-disciplinary interaction offered by the new institute. SFI’s first official program, formed in 1987, was Economics. Before long, several influential players in the field took note of SFI’s novel interdisciplinary approach to economics, and the program grew quickly, in fact threatening to take over the fledgling organization.

Founder and first SFI President George Cowan wanted to make sure economics did not come to dominate. He wrote: “We had to start somewhere, but we also had to make sure from the beginning that economics didn’t become the one interest of the institute…I pushed hard to support at least one other program that would be equal in size to the economics program. We needed to broaden our academic agenda, and spread our bets.” Cowan’s push was to start a program in “adaptive computation.”
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Emergence: A unifying theme for 21st century science — Foundations & Frontiers — Medium

Emergence: A unifying theme for 21st century science — Foundations & Frontiers — Medium | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
When electrons or atoms or individuals or societies interact with one another or their environment, the collective behavior of the whole is different from that of its parts. We call this resulting behavior emergent. Emergence thus refers to collective phenomena or behaviors in complex adaptive systems that are not present in their individual parts.

Examples of emergent behavior are everywhere around us, from birds flocking, fireflies synchronizing, ants colonizing, fish schooling, individuals self-organizing into neighborhoods in cities – all with no leaders or central control – to the Big Bang, the formation of galaxies and stars and planets, the evolution of life on earth from its origins until now, the folding of proteins, the assembly of cells, the crystallization of atoms in a liquid, the superconductivity of electrons in some metals, the changing global climate, or the development of consciousness in an infant.

Indeed, we live in an emergent universe in which it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify any existing interesting scientific problem or study any social or economic behavior that is not emergent.
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Superstition and financial decision making

Abstract: In Chinese culture, certain digits are lucky and others unlucky. We test how such numerological superstition affects financial decision in the China IPO market. We find that the frequency of lucky numerical stock listing codes exceeds what would be expected by chance. Also consistent with superstition effects, newly listed firms with lucky listing codes are initially traded at a premium after controlling for known determinants of valuation multiples, the lucky number premium dissipates within three years of the IPO, and lucky number firms experience inferior post-IPO abnormal returns.

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Japan Enters Recession: Should We Be Surprised?

Japan Enters Recession: Should We Be Surprised? | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
After declining 7.3% in Q2 2014, Japan’s GDP fell 1.6% in Q3 2014 — officially placing the country in recession. It seems Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” strategy is failing. Should this really be a surprise?

Beginning in Q2 2014, Japan increased the national sales tax from 5% to 8% — pulling future demand into Q1 GDP ahead of the well-known tax hike, and harming Q2 GDP materially once it hit. The Q3 news also comes just weeks since the Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced a major acceleration of monetary stimulus to 15% of GDP. Clearly, the BOJ was worried about the Japanese economy. However, this isn’t Japan’s first trip to the rodeo. As highlighted in Bloomberg’s “Japan Unexpectedly Enters Recession as Abe Weighs Tax: Economy,” in 1997, then-Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto hiked consumption taxes by 2%, pushing Japan into recession — causing Mr. Hashimoto to resign his post.
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U.S. Economy: The Disconnect between Reality and Perception

U.S. Economy: The Disconnect between Reality and Perception | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
American sentiment remains weak despite encouraging improvement in economic fundamentals. We think sluggish growth in wages plays a major part in keeping optimism at bay. 

By most measures, the U.S. economy is improving. Recent economic reports revealed two encouraging facts: The United States just experienced the best back-to-back quarters of growth since 2003 and fewer Americans are filing for unemployment benefits than at any time in the past 14 years.

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t seem to put much faith in the numbers, or as Gustave Flaubert famously remarked, “There is no truth. There is only perception.” Today, the perception of most Americans is very different than the optimistic view reflected in government statistics. According to the results of theBlackRock Global Investor Pulse Survey, only about one in four Americans believe that the U.S. economy and job market are getting better. Worse still, a full 75% of Americans believe that it is hard to keep up with bills and save for retirement. So, how do you explain the disconnect between an economy that appears to be shaking off its lethargy and the perception that the United States never fully recovered from the financial crisis?

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Social media can improve, muddy election campaigns

Social media can improve, muddy election campaigns | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

As the candidates for Pennsylvania governor debated for the final time last week in a television studio near Pittsburgh, their Twitter handles waged war online.

Neither Republican Gov. Tom Corbett nor Democratic challenger Tom Wolf send out their own tweets, relying instead on assistants to craft the messages. And that can make their social media accounts seem robotic at times, according to a computer application designed to unmask machines that pose as humans online.

“For a campaign, (they) have a staff of people; they use software; they try to release things at regular time intervals,” said Filippo Menczer, a computer science professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, who developed the “BotOrNot” app.

“They may be legitimate,” Menczer said, “but they still have some of these patterns that, according to our algorithm, are bot-like.”

Social media robots, or “socialbots,” have been programmed to block Twitter conversations, build consensus for otherwise unpopular opinions and attempt to alter human behavior.

 

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Amazon.com: Quantum Models of Cognition and Decision (9781107011991): Jerome R. Busemeyer, Peter D. Bruza: Books

Quantum Models of Cognition and Decision

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Much of our understanding of human thinking is based on probabilistic models. This innovative book by Jerome R. Busemeyer and Peter D. Bruza argues that, actually, the underlying mathematical structures from quantum theory provide a much better account of human thinking than traditional models. They introduce the foundations for modelling probabilistic-dynamic systems using two aspects of quantum theory. The first, 'contextuality', is a way to understand interference effects found with inferences and decisions under conditions of uncertainty. The second, 'quantum entanglement', allows cognitive phenomena to be modeled in non-reductionist ways. Employing these principles drawn from quantum theory allows us to view human cognition and decision in a totally new light. Introducing the basic principles in an easy-to-follow way, this book does not assume a physics background or a quantum brain and comes complete with a tutorial and fully worked-out applications in important areas of cognition and decision.
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Why Economics Is Not A Science

Why Economics Is Not A Science | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Economists like to pride themselves on their job and how scientific it is. Politics might be full of emotional rhetoric and unthought out ideas, but economists rely solely on cold hard facts. Flicking through my old textbooks, I see many references to “thinking like an economist” where we were supposed to cast aside fallacies and view the world with a rational and scientific eye. If only it were so. In reality, economics lacks the basis in real world evidence, the scientific method, and predictive power to be considered a science and is instead a highly politicised topic.

(Debates about whether economics is a science usually draw comparisons and analogies with science subject like physics. Unfortunately almost no one has studied both economics and physics so such analogies are unverifiable and can be used to claim absolutely anything).

The first major reason why economics is not a science is that a lot of it is not based on evidence. If you study economics you will spend a great deal of time studying perfect competition, a state of affairs that almost nowhere exists. Utility is another concept which plays a huge part in economics that is so vague and undefined that it is hard to know if it exists or how you can possibly maximise it. Rational actors, efficient markets, supply and demand are all concepts that are assumed without evidence to be true. In fact, textbooks are surprisingly evidence free and embarrassingly divorced from reality. Not that it gets any better as it goes on, my masters was an impenetrable maze of incomprehensible gobbly-gook taken to such an extreme level of abstraction that it resembled what I imagine a monkey and a keyboard would produce. (No, I didn’t enjoy it, why do you ask?) Economic journals can be so theoretical and abstract that it sometimes seems as though they are arguing over how many angels can stand on the head of a pin. What makes matters worse is that the evidence exists, it is not as though we are trying to find the Higgs Boson, there is no excuse for the failure to describe the real world and rely on excessively theoretical models.
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Behavioural economics in policymaking: Andrew Leigh

Behavioural economics in policymaking: Andrew Leigh | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

The idea of behavioural economics is not new, but the application to policymaking is now being seriously considered. Small nudges can have a big impact.

While I was in graduate school, two of my classmates, Stefano DellaVigna and Ulrike Malmendier, carried out a study on gym visits. They obtained data from three Boston gyms, and analysed the attendance patterns of members. Dividing annual fees by the number of visits, they found that the typical gym member spent $17 per visit, even though casual visits cost only $10. In total, the average member loses $600 compared with if they had just paid as a casual. The title of the paper? Paying not to go to the gym.

Over recent decades, the field of behavioural economics has taken off. Contrary to the assumptions of perfect rationality, full information, and a constant discount rate, economists have shown that we often make decisions that diverge from the standard model. A study of New York taxi drivers found that even though their hourly earnings are higher when it rains, they tend to go off shift earlier because they reach their target earnings.

Economists have shown that people are more likely to purchase a convertible if they test-drive it on a sunny day, and will pay more for a house with a swimming pool if the sale takes place in summer. Conversely, people are more likely to buy black cars on cloudy days, and more likely to enrol in a university if they visit its campus on a cloudy day (cloudiness increases the appeal of academic activities).

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Online Political Communication Strategies: MEPs, E-Representation, and Self-Representation

Online Political Communication Strategies: MEPs, E-Representation, and Self-Representation | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
ABSTRACT

Research into the communication strategies of legislators has a long history. The European Parliament offers an opportunity to add to understanding of how legislators prioritize styles of communication, with a comparative perspective across 27 nations. Through content analysis of online communication, we investigate how the Internet is used by members of the European Parliament. Our analysis assesses three communication strategies: homestyle, impression management, and participatory. We find that a homestyle strategy predominates, followed by impression management. Participatory communication is emergent, but may earn legislators political capital, as it appears that proactive communicators who offer participatory opportunities are more likely to build an online following.

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“Nudging” Policy: Behavioral Economics in the Public Square

“Nudging” Policy: Behavioral Economics in the Public Square | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, authors of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness joined moderators Nava Ashra, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and Max Bazerman, co-director of the Center for Public Leadership for a discussion on behavioral economics. The panelists discussed how minimal changes or “nudges” can influence human behavior. Sunstein and Thaler also touched on how governments can use nudges and the perceived problems with using behavioral methods for policy purposes. - See more at: http://forum.iop.harvard.edu/content/%E2%80%9Cnudging%E2%80%9D-policy-behavioral-economics-public-square#sthash.q7usCeD4.dpuf
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Dr. Kevin McGuinness's curator insight, November 16, 10:06 PM

Perhaps government needs to become more expert at nudging the health workforce towards toward a more behaviorally oriented architecture.

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What size will you be after you lose weight? - Decision Science News

What size will you be after you lose weight? - Decision Science News | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

How many pounds do you need to lose in order to reduce your waistline by one inch? How many kilos do you need to lose to reduce your waistline by one centimeter?

We wanted to find out. We were having trouble finding published data (though we are expecting some soon), so we turned to Reddit, where the progresspics subreddit contains people’s before-and-after weight change stories. Most posts contain only pictures, but if you do some web scraping, you can find cases in which people post their before-and-after waist measurements.

We found 46 such cases, typed them up, ran them through R, tidyr, dplyr, and ggplot and made the picture above.

Multiple regression tells us that on average, for every 8.5 pounds lost, people dropped an inch off their waist. (And for every 1.5 kilograms lost, people dropped a centimeter off their waist.)

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