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Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things

Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

"IIts publication should be a major event for cognitive linguistics and should pose a major challenge for cognitive science. In addition, it should have repercussions in a variety of disciplines, ranging from anthropology and psychology to epistemology and the philosophy of science. . . . Lakoff asks: What do categories of language and thought reveal about the human mind? Offering both general theory and minute details, Lakoff shows that categories reveal a great deal.

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Can musical training influence brain connectivity? Evidence from diffusion tensor MRI

Can musical training influence brain connectivity? Evidence from diffusion tensor MRI | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

“In recent years, musicians have been increasingly recruited to investigate grey and white matter neuroplasticity induced by skill acquisition. The development of Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DT-MRI) has allowed more detailed investigation of white matter connections within the brain, addressing questions about the effect of musical training on connectivity between specific brain regions. Here, current DT-MRI analysis techniques are discussed and the available evidence from DT-MRI studies into differences in white matter architecture between musicians and non-musicians is reviewed. Collectively, the existing literature tends to support the hypothesis that musical training can induce changes in cross-hemispheric connections, with significant differences frequently reported in various regions of the corpus callosum of musicians compared with non-musicians. However, differences found in intra-hemispheric fibres have not always been replicated, while findings regarding the internal capsule and corticospinal tracts appear to be contradictory. There is also recent evidence to suggest that variances in white matter structure in non-musicians may correlate with their ability to learn musical skills, offering an alternative explanation for the structural differences observed between musicians and non-musicians. Considering the inconsistencies in the current literature, possible reasons for conflicting results are offered, along with suggestions for future research in this area.”

 
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Il recettore che accomuna creatività e follia - Le Scienze

Il recettore che accomuna creatività e follia - Le Scienze | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Genio e follia: questo binomio spesso abusato pare però abbia perfino una sia pur parziale radice biologica. L'accostamento fatto da una recente ricerca non riguarda tanto la eventuale sregolatezza del grande talento, ma la capacità di creare associazioni d'idee insolite, che nel caso del genio sono creative. 

La creatività può essere definita come la capacità di produrre un lavoro che sia allo stesso tempo nuovo e significativo, opposto cioè tanto al banale quanto alla semplice bizzarria. Per valutare le differenze individuali nella creatività si ricorre ai test per il pensiero divergente, che in genere richiedono di trovare risposte nuove e sensate alle situazioni problematiche proposte. 

La creatività appare peraltro correlata ad alcuni tratti della personalità, come l'apertura alle esperienze; inoltre è stato osservato che le persone altamente creative appartengono più spesso a famiglie in cui qualche membro ha sofferto di disturbi mentali. 
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What Drives Innovation? A Heuristic Framework for Corporate Innovation Article

What Drives Innovation? A Heuristic Framework for Corporate Innovation Article | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

If you ask, “what drives successful innovation?” you are likely to get these answers: “Desire for growth.” “Demand for increased profitability.” “People.”

While clearly true, these are superficial answers. There’s no clear way to link these answers to the factors that would lead to success in innovation – or the factors that lead to failure. Innovation is still regarded as somewhat uncontrollable and mysterious, though this perception is beginning to change. The idea that there are factors that, singly and in combination, drive innovation (successful innovation in particular) has just begun to be discussed. An effort to understand innovation drivers – those factors that motivate and shape innovation efforts, and in no small way determine their success or failure – seemed to us to be a promising way to discover what factors make for success and failure in innovation.

We interviewed a number of executives from across a wide range of industries, who either were or had been responsible for innovation efforts throughout their careers. Our goal was to find common innovation drivers that could be linked to successes and failures.

During the course of collecting nearly twenty highly diverse innovation stories, we realized these executives were telling us about something much more actionable than drivers. They told us about:

Questions that were asked and were not asked.Issues that were addressed and not addressed.Decisions that were and were not made.Information that strongly impacted the innovation effort, but was discovered too late to alter the effort.

Ultimately, their stories pointed out that it was these things, rather than the initial driver behind the innovation, that led either to a successful or to a failed innovation. We refer to these critical things as “lynchpin drivers.”

 #Heuristic #Framework
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Investment Decisions: Are we fully-Rational?

Abstract

 

The purpose of this paper is to understand the reasons behind financial market behavior that often does not match that proposed by classic finance models. In particular, this work tests the fully-rational agents assumption made by classic finance to explain investment decisions under uncertainty. Many issues claim for a better alternative explanation to classic finance, regarding how and why of the financial market behavior changes. Among these issues, we may highlight: housing bubbles, financial crisis, excess of volatility, high heterogeneity in analyst forecasts, and a large amount of speculators looking for the “holy grail” to profit from the market. In order to answer the question, this paper has selected the most salient financial market anomalies, such as, the Closed-end fund mispricing and the Excess Volatility in stock markets. The purpose is to test by a thorough review of empirical works existent in the literature the assumption of fully-rationality in investment decisions. Subsequently, it goes deeper into trying to understand the way people – and investors – make decisions under uncertainty. A relevant and very popular bias is Overconfidence which is deeply analyzed, as well as the highly observed tendency among traders to let losing positions run while cutting winners too early (the Disposition Effect). For the latter, this study provides support on the theory of prospects and the Mental Accounting bias. Finally, the research focuses on unconscious mental strategies that people use to evaluate the likelihood of events, as well as the value of assets in a quick and low-cost way: Availability and Anchoring heuristics. The main findings of this research are that a) Markets are not efficient always; b) People are quasi-rational; hence the assumption of full-rationality is not realistic to interpret and forecast financial markets; and c) There is a deep ocean of cognitive factors in every individual and most of the time those are present in financial decision making, thus affecting the optimal output of their estimations and solutions to problems under uncertainty. #neuroeconomy 

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Private provision of a public good: cooperation and altruism of internet forum users - Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Private provision of a public good: cooperation and altruism of internet forum users - Munich Personal RePEc Archive | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Abstract: We run an experiment with users of internet message boards. We find that forum users cooperate more with partners of their own forum than with partners from a different forum but they are equally altruistic when they made a gift to a partner of their forum or from another one. We also find that individuals are more active in the forums, the more altruistic they are; however, we find no relation between activity in the forum and cooperation. These results suggest that the public good provided in internet forums is mainly provided by a group of unconditional altruistic group of users, and that the feeling of community supports the cooperation in that provision.

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Why We Procrastinate - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus

Why We Procrastinate - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

British philosopher Derek Parfit espoused a severely reductionist view of personal identity in his seminal book, Reasons and Persons: It does not exist, at least not in the way we usually consider it. We humans, Parfit argued, are not a consistent identity moving through time, but a chain of successive selves, each tangentially linked to, and yet distinct from, the previous and subsequent ones. The boy who begins to smoke despite knowing that he may suffer from the habit decades later should not be judged harshly: “This boy does not identify with his future self,” Parfit wrote. “His attitude towards this future self is in some ways like his attitude to other people.”

Parfit’s view was controversial even among philosophers. But psychologists are beginning to understand that it may accurately describe our attitudes towards our own decision-making: It turns out that we see our future selves as strangers. Though we will inevitably share their fates, the people we will become in a decade, quarter century, or more, are unknown to us. This impedes our ability to make good choices on their—which of course is our own—behalf. That bright, shiny New Year’s resolution? If you feel perfectly justified in breaking it, it may be because it feels like it was a promise someone else made.

 

 

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Revealed: The Type of Music That Makes You Feel Most Powerful — PsyBlog

Revealed: The Type of Music That Makes You Feel Most Powerful — PsyBlog | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Abstract

Music has long been suggested to be a way to make people feel powerful. The current research investigated whether music can evoke a sense of power and produce power-related cognition and behavior. Initial pretests identified musical selections that generated subjective feelings of power. Experiment 1 found that music pretested to be powerful implicitly activated the construct of power in listeners. Experiments 2–4 demonstrated that power-inducing music produced three known important downstream consequences of power: abstract thinking, illusory control, and moving first. Experiments 5a and 5b held all features of music constant except for the level of bass and found that music with more bass increased participants' sense of power. This research expands our understanding of music’s influence on cognition and behavior and uncovers a novel antecedent of the sense of power.

http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/07/11/1948550614542345

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Postcards From the Edge of Consciousness - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus

Postcards From the Edge of Consciousness - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Research suggests that something rather remarkable happens when sensory stimulus from the external world is reduced to nearly nothing. REST, or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, as floating and the related dry chamber methods are known to researchers, has been shown to slow the heartbeat, reduce blood pressure, and release muscle tension. It increases levels of endorphins and lowers levels of adrenaline, as well as stress hormones such as cortisol. Some of these effects can be measured across sessions. Cortisol levels, for example, tend to go down after the first session, then go down further and stay down after repeated sessions. Clinically, REST has been shown to help with tension headaches, hypertension, and chronic pain, as well as performance enhancement. Basketball players, tennis players, dart players, skiers, and pilots all perform better after REST. Scores on memory and cognition tests improve. Some subjects report powerful emotional experiences, as in a particularly intense session of psychotherapy, and nearly all subjects report greater relaxation and an elevated mood after floating.

 
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Disorder, Social Capital, and Norm Violation: Three Field Experiments on the Broken Windows Thesis - Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Disorder, Social Capital, and Norm Violation: Three Field Experiments on the Broken Windows Thesis - Munich Personal RePEc Archive | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Abstract: Adding to the debate about the “broken windows” thesis we discuss an explanation of minor norm violation based on the assumption that individuals infer expected sanctioning probabilities from contextual cues. We modify the classical framework of rational crime by signals of disorder, local social control, and their interaction. Testing our implications we present results from three field experiments showing that violations of norms, which prevent physical as well as social disorder, foster further violations of the same and of different norms. Varying the net gains from deviance it shows that disorder effects are limited to low cost situations. Moreover, we provide suggestive evidence that disorder effects are significantly stronger in neighborhoods with high social capital.

 
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The Business Of Behavioral Economics

The Business Of Behavioral Economics | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

You’ve done everything—endured diets, purged your freezer of Ben & Jerry’s, and educated yourself on fat, sugar, and calories. Yet, you can’t manage to lose weight.

What’s wrong with you? According to standard economic theory, which gives humans (perhaps too much) credit for making rational choices, those efforts should be enough to change your behavior. If you know the consequences but still get fat, you must want to be overweight.

Of course not, say Leslie John and Michael Norton, professors at Harvard Business School specializing in the burgeoning field of behavioral economics. “Standard economic theory suggests that as long as people understand the full consequences of their actions, they tend to act in their self interest,” says John. “If they want to be healthy, and you tell them how many calories are in a burger, then they’ll eat better.” But behavioral economics suggests that people make mistakes in their thinking. For example, we have self-control problems that can lead us to knowingly “misbehave.”

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Re-Thinking Microfinance Based on Behavioral Economics

Re-Thinking Microfinance Based on Behavioral Economics | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Summary of a session on the role of behavioral economics and the needs of microfinance borrowers at the 2014 Asia Microfinance Forum. 

Behavioral Economics is important for microfinance because it encourages us to rethink our assumptions on how clients behave. 

“Some borrowers follow the assumed patterns of behavior.  They take out a loan and invest it in the business, and are disciplined with their finances.  Other borrowers intend to invest in their businesses but get trapped by social, family or personal issues that deflect their best intentions.Social and behavioral pressures on initial plans are so strong that we even see some borrowers taking out loans as a commitment tool to save,” said Mr. Beniamino Savonitto, Project Director, Financial Capability Research Fund, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).

Such behavioral, social and psychological challenges are what the providers need to take into account when evaluating clients and designing services that do not only sell but help clients improve their financial capability and behaviors.

IPA, Savonitto’s non-profit research organization, works with partners and MFIs to conduct randomized evaluations to measure the impact of innovative programs and services on the lives of the poor.

“Randomized evaluations allow IPA to precisely measure impact by randomly assigning individuals to either receive an intervention (a product or an incentive) or to be part of a control group. These evaluations - using random assignments – measure the impact of the program on the lives of the clients compared to how they would have changed had the intervention not existed,” Mr. Savonitto explained.

 
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Behavioural Biases on Residential House Purchase Decisions: A Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Approach | ERES Digital Library

Behavioural Biases on Residential House Purchase Decisions: A Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Approach | ERES Digital Library | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

In this study, we examine if behavioural biases, such as framing effects, escalation of commitment, and overconfidence are present when residential property purchasers are choosing between alternative properties. To accomplish same, we use a Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) approach to examine the behaviour of property purchasers in Dublin during the property boom of 2005.The study was designed using a case study approach and the participants used a Multi-Criteria Decision-Making analysis tool to aid in their selection between alternative properties. The decision tool that was used is Direct-Interactive: i.e., the Decision-Maker gives scores and weights directly and is able to adjust them during the process. It also uses Structured-Criteria, i.e. it tracks elements of the decision to specific disaggregated criteria of the decision-maker.This research finds that using a decision tool provides better decisions as was expected from the method, however, a subset of property buyers resisted applying the tool to make non-rational choices. This indicates how strong behavioural biases can be and how influencing their affect is, even when making large monetary decisions. In conclusion, when a decision-making tool is introduced to enable property purchasers to improve their decision-making capability, a subset of property buyers may resist applying the tool to let their behavioural biases potentially override rational decision-making.

 
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AUTOMATICALLY GREEN BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS AND ENVIRONMENTA PROTECTION- Sunstein- Reisch

Careful attention to choice architecture promises to open up new possibilities for environmental protection — possibilities that may be more effective than the standard tools of economic incentives, mandates, and bans. How, for example, do consumers choose between environmentally friendly products or services and lternatives that are potentially damaging to the environment but less expensive? The answer may well depend on the default rule. Indeed, green default rules may be a more effective tool for altering outcomes than large economic incentives. The underlying reasons include the powers of suggestion, inertia, and loss aversion. If well-chosen, green defaults are likely to have large effects in reducing the economic and environmental harms associated with various products and activities. Such defaults may or may not be more expensive to consumers. In deciding whether to establish green defaults, choice architects should consider consumer welfare and a wide range of other costs and benefits. Sometimes that assessment will argue strongly in favor of green defaults, particularly when both economic and environmental considerations point in their direction. But when choice architects lack relevant information, when interest group maneuvering is a potential problem, and when externalities are not likely to be significant, active choosing, perhaps accompanied by various influences (including provision of relevant information), will usually be preferable to a green default.

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Behavioral Dimensions of Contests - Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Behavioral Dimensions of Contests - Munich Personal RePEc Archive | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Abstract

 

The standard theoretical description of rent-seeking contests is that of rational individuals or groups engaging in socially inefficient behavior by exerting costly effort. Experimental studies find that the actual efforts of participants are significantly higher than predicted in the models based on rational behavior and that over-dissipation of rents (or overbidding or over-expenditure of resources) can occur. Although over-dissipation cannot be explained by the standard rational-behavior theory, it can be explained by incorporating behavioral dimensions into the standard model, such as (1) the utility of winning, (2) relative payoff maximization, (3) bounded rationality, and (4) judgmental biases. These explanations are not exhaustive but provide a coherent picture of important behavioral dimensions to be considered when studying rent-seeking behavior in theory and in practice.

 

 

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Neurobiology of Social Behavior, 1st Edition | Michael Numan | ISBN 9780124160408

Neurobiology of Social Behavior, 1st Edition | Michael Numan | ISBN 9780124160408 | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Description Social neuroscience is a rapidly growing, interdisciplinary field which is devoted to understanding how social behavior is regulated by the brain, and how such behaviors in turn influence brain and biology. Existing volumes either fail to take a neurobiological approach or focus on one particular type of behavior, so the field is ripe for a comprehensive reference which draws cross-behavioral conclusions. This authored work will serve as the market’s most comprehensive reference on the neurobiology of social behavior. The volume will offer an introduction to neural systems and genetics/epigenetics, followed by detailed study of a wide range of behaviors - aggression, sex and sexual differentiation, mating, parenting, social attachments, monogamy, empathy, cooperation, and altruism. Research findings on the neural basis of social behavior will be integrated across different levels of analysis, from molecular neurobiology to neural systems/behavioral neuroscience to fMRI imaging data on human social behavior. Chapters will cover research on both normal and abnormal behaviors, as well as developmental aspects. 
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CMOs Of The Future Will Practice Decision Science

CMOs Of The Future Will Practice Decision Science | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

In the past few months, Predictive Marketing has become more mainstream. CMOs and senior marketers are becoming scientific and more focused on understanding which potential customers are most likely to become new opportunities, but more importantly which potential customers are actually good andqualified potential customers. Marketing has historically been a numbers game coupled with relatively unmeasurable creative — marketers measure success by how many somewhat qualified leads they acquire. This numbers game has resulted in a constant debate between senior marketers and senior sales executives over the definition of an MQL, SQL, or SAL. Most marketing and sales leaders would agree that this ongoing struggle is unhealthy — more time is spent placing blame than working together to identify the best customers for thebusiness as a whole.

With an astronomical increase in available data about customers through various primary sources like LinkedIn LNKD -0.55%, Yelp YELP +1.72%, Government portals, and the broader web, marketing organizations now have a new problem: which data about prospects is relevant? Which data actually matters for marketers to identify more and better prospects? Answering these questions across billions of new data points is difficult and requires extensive data science experience. Should marketers spend time building out data science organizations and buying disparate tools to mine and understand these new data points? No.

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What’s driving consumers’ car-buying behaviors?

What’s driving consumers’ car-buying behaviors? | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

U.S. automotive sales are about 1 million units below where they should be given the long-term historical patterns in the industry.

That’s according to a range of analysts who spoke at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars held earlier this month in Traverse City.

Most analysts at the CAR conference expect U.S. light vehicle sales to reach about 16.2 million units this year, up from a recent low of 10.4 million in 2009. But if historical patterns had held up in the recovery, experts said they would have expected to see sales of around 17.4 million vehicles in 2014. That deviation from historical patterns has many in the industry questioning what’s changed.

The answer is part behavioral, part economic and part a reflection of the industry making better products. But economics trumps most other factors for people considering big-ticket purchases, analysts said.

“Consumers are cautiously optimistic,” said Emily Kolinski Morris, senior economist at Ford Motor Co. and one of the speakers at the CAR event. “They see the positive trends that are going on in the economy right now overall, but they are also observing that it is not flowing through to their real incomes to the extent they would like to see. So that’s a little bit of a red flag for consumers.”

While economists acknowledge that the economy of the last few years has been anything but normal, they pointed to a range of factors that have played a role in consumers’ vehicle-buying behavior. Moreover, it’s been the result of cross-generational shifts — not just related to the millennials, the industry’s favorite scapegoat, according to experts.

#neuroeeconomy

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Researchers discover sense of 'cuteness' is innate -- here's what it looks like

Researchers discover sense of 'cuteness' is innate -- here's what it looks like | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

The New York Times once called cat pictures an “essential building block of the Internet”– and now we know why. Humans are hard-wired to identify cuteness. A new study finds that infants will gaze longer at pictures of cats, babies, and dogs that were manipulated to have a “large head and a round face, a high and protruding forehead, large eyes, and a small nose and mouth.”

Interest was quantified with eye-tracking technology that could measure how long infants looked at a particular image. The picture above shows the subtle differences in eyes, forehead, and mouth that can make something worthy of rapt attention or casual dismissal.

 
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Political Dogma is Holding Back Reform in Economics (Part 1)

Political Dogma is Holding Back Reform in Economics (Part 1) | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Do you know what we need before we can have a sound monetary system, a reformed economic curricula, and wealth redistribution instruments?
We need critically sound economic discourse.

How can we transform economics and move it away from its current state of unproductive dogmatic thinking?

One key way would be in reforming the way economics is taught to students around the world.

In a recent post I argued that in the discipline of economics rational debates of ideas have been replaced by dogma, to the detriment of society. A dogma is a set of principles that are laid down by an overarching authority and are seen as incontrovertibly true. That is what economics has become.

Today, economics is taught as a set of assumptions that are considered unquestionably infallible, static, and true. Even after the 2008 financial crisis demonstrated how badly economics could miss obvious oncoming troubles, the field remains mired in the certitude of its own thought processes. The economics curriculum is supposed to create critical thinkers who want to help improve society. Instead it is producing lazy thinkers who believe in a market-based reality that exists only in their minds and their textbooks.

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CFA Institute Magazine: Guarding Portfolios against Bubble Risk

CFA Institute Magazine: Guarding Portfolios against Bubble Risk | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Why have financial bubbles happened more frequently in the past three decades? With economists and policymakers unable to find satisfactory answers, investors must find ways of guarding portfolios against bubble risk, as investment strategist Nicholas Sargen explains in the latest issue of CFA Institute Magazine. 

More highlights from the July/August issue include:

The link between equity market reforms and economic growth in Asia.

Using biomimicry to improve investment decision making.

How controversy over high-frequency trading highlights the tension between innovation and regulation.

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Jocelyn Stoller's curator insight, August 15, 11:13 AM

Why have financial bubbles happened more frequently in the past three decades?


Thoughtless deregulation, undermining of governmental oversight, overturning of proven safeguards and firewalls, ignoring lessons of the past, disinformation disseminated from Think Tanks promoting market fundamentalism—and the unfettered and delusional arrogance of greedy speculators and the malfeasance of numerous corporate executives (most of whom have faced no form of accountability.)

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Daniel Kahneman: Psychology for Behavioral Finance

Daniel Kahneman: Psychology for Behavioral Finance | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman is one of the founding fathers of behavioral finance. Although he holds a doctorate in psychology, not economics, he has had a profound effect on the dismal science. These days economic actors — that’s you and me — are not seen as rational, but rather human and prone to cognitive biases. This simple observation holds significant implications for the theory and practice of finance, ranging from the reliability of the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the Capital Asset Pricing Model to listening to a company presentation at a sell-side conference, speaking with investor relations professionals, building financial models, determining when to buy or sell securities, and even how to optimally organize an investment firm.

So wouldn’t it be nice to know what the good doctor knows? At the recent 65th CFA Institute Annual Conference, Kahneman distilled much of his research findings into bite-sized portions. What follows is a summary of his talk.

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Do leaders affect ethical conduct?

Abstract: We study whether leaders influence the unethical conduct of followers. To avoid selection issues present in natural environments, we use a laboratory experiment in which we form groups and assign leadership roles at random. We study an environment in which groups compete, with dishonest behavior enhancing group earnings to the detriment of social welfare. We vary, by treatment, two instruments through which leaders can influence follower conduct—prominent statements to the group and the allocation of monetary incentives. In general, the presence of active group leaders gives rise to significantly more dishonest behavior. Moreover, appointing leaders who are likely to have acted dishonestly in a preliminary stage of the experiment yields groups with significantly more unethical conduct. The analysis of leaders’ strategies reveals that leaders’ statements have a stronger effect on follower behavior than the ability to distribute financial rewards, and that leaders’ propensity to act dishonestly correlates with their use of statements or incentives as a means for encouraging dishonest follower conduct.

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The Political Economy of Ebola | Jacobin

The Political Economy of Ebola | Jacobin | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

The Onion, as ever, is on point with its “coverage” of the worst recorded outbreak of Ebola, and the first in West Africa, infecting some 1,779 people and killing at least 961. “Experts: Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People Away,” read the cheeky headline of the July 31 news brief.

Our shorthand explanation is that if the people infected with Ebola were white, the problem would be solved. But the market’s role in both drug companies’ refusing to investment in research and the conditions on the ground created by neoliberal policies that exacerbate and even encourage outbreaks goes unmentioned.

Racism is certainly a factor. Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease specialist and the head of the Wellcome Trust, one of the largest medical research charities in the world, told the Toronto Star: “Imagine if you take a region of Canada, America, Europe, and you had 450 people dying of a viral hemorrhagic fever. It would just be unacceptable — and it’s unacceptable in West Africa.”

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What makes a disruptive technology?

What makes a disruptive technology? | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

According to Clayton M Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, disruptive innovations are characterized by their ability to create entirely new markets rather than merely update existing markets with new products. They are black swans, rare events where new thinking and changing markets combine to create radical change.

A common example is the light bulb and Pearl Street Station -- a major gamble by Thomas Edison. Within years of its development the kerosene lighting industry was all but non-existent, and the world was a brighter place. (The kerosene industry had similarly put an end to the whaling industry -- thankfully -- a few decades earlier).

 

Disruptive innovations also tend to involve making things simpler and cheaper than the alternatives, with unexpected results on multiple sectors. The motor car in the late 1800s was too expensive to be disruptive, but Henry Ford’s innovations in the 20th century made it cheap enough to replace the horse drawn carriage (and suddenly there were no more street dung collectors providing manure for farmer’s crops…)

Alessandro Cerboni's insight:

Psychology is undergoing a number of dramatic changes as new technology allows us to understand how the brain and personality are linked. Neuroimaging allows us to visually track the workings of the brain and identify how different responses and our emotions work at a chemical and neuron-level. Daniel Kahneman’s work on decision-making and behavioral economics is just starting to make itself felt in the mainstream and will become increasingly influential as real-time big data allows us to understand and model human responses at a macro level. Computer scientists are developing ever more sophisticated simulations and models of the brain allowing experiments and analysis to be performed, changing the way we see the brain and raising the possibility of truly understanding 'what makes us tick'.

As this understanding develops, it will have a major impact on our understanding of people and how they behave. VisualDNA is already leading the way in understanding how individuals behave online, and through our partnerships and research we will continue to be at the forefront of these developments.

 
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The indirect effect of monetary incentives on deception

Abstract: This paper investigates whether working under competitive or cooperative incentives affects deception in a subsequent, unrelated task. I use a laboratory study with two stages. First, participants work under a piece rate, tournament or team incentive in a real effort task. The second part consists of a sender-receiver game where the sender can gain financially at the expense of the receiver by sending a deceptive message. I find that senders who worked under tournament incentives are less honest than those who worked under a piece rate. I find no increase in honesty for those who performed under team incentives relative to the piece rate. Interestingly, this only holds when participants are not informed about their relative performance during the work task. When such feedback is provided I find that relative performance affects honesty across all incentive conditions. In particular, honesty decreases as relative performance differences become small.

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