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Neuron - The Brain Activity Map Project and the Challenge of Functional Connectomics

Neuron - The Brain Activity Map Project and the Challenge of Functional Connectomics | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Emergent Properties of Brain Circuits

Understanding how the brain works is arguably one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. Although there have been piecemeal efforts to explain how different brain regions operate, no general theory of brain function is universally accepted. A fundamental underlying limitation is our ignorance of the brain's microcircuitry, the synaptic connections contained within any given brain area, which Cajal referred to as “impenetrable jungles where many investigators have lost themselves” (Ramón y Cajal, 1923). To explore these jungles, neuroscientists have traditionally relied on electrodes that sample brain activity only very sparsely—from one to a few neurons within a given region. However, neural circuits can involve millions of neurons, so it is probable that neuronal ensembles operate at a multineuronal level of organization, one that will be invisible from single neuron recordings, just as it would be pointless to view an HDTV program by looking just at one or a few pixels on a screen.

Neural circuit function is therefore likely to be emergent—that is, it could arise from complex interactions among constituents. This hypothesis is supported by the well-documented recurrent and distributed architecture of connections in the CNS. Indeed, individual neurons generally form synaptic contacts with thousands of other neurons. In distributed circuits, the larger the connectivity matrix, the greater the redundancy within the network and the less important each neuron is. Despite these anatomical facts, neurophysiological studies have gravitated toward detailed descriptions of the stable feature selectivity of individual neurons, a natural consequence of single-electrode recordings. However, given their distributed connections and their plasticity, neurons are likely to be subject to continuous, dynamic rearrangements, participating at different times in different active ensembles. Because of this, measuring emergent functional states, such as dynamical attractors, could be more useful for characterizing the functional properties of a circuit than recording receptive field responses from individual cells. Indeed, in some instances where large-scale population monitoring of neuronal ensembles has been possible, emergent circuit states have not been predictable from responses from individual cells.

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Neuroscientists watch imagination happening in the brain | neuroscientistnews.com

Neuroscientists watch imagination happening in the brain | neuroscientistnews.com | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one," sang John Lennon in his 1971 song Imagine. And thanks to the dreams of a Brigham Young University (BYU) student, we now know more about where and how imagination happens in our brains. Stefania Ashby and her faculty mentor devised experiments using MRI technology that would help them distinguish pure imagination from related processes like remembering. "I was thinking a lot about planning for my own future and imagining myself in the future, and I started wondering how memory and imagination work together," Ashby said. "I wondered if they were separate or if imagination is just taking past memories and combining them in different ways to form something I've never experienced before." There's a bit of scientific debate over whether memory and imagination truly are distinct processes. So Ashby and her faculty mentor devised MRI experiments to put it to the test. - See more at: http://www.neuroscientistnews.com/research-news/neuroscientists-watch-imagination-happening-brain#sthash.Bv6SlA1Y.dpuf
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Investor Behavior By the Book

Investor Behavior By the Book | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
As you might imagine, people send me more books to review than I can possibly read.

And, truthfully, despite their hype, many don't offer much in the way of useful information for advisors. Occasionally, though, I’ll get an email from a publisher about a new book that looks interesting. This was the case with “Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing,” a collection of articles compiled by H. Kent Baker, professor of finance at American University's Kogod School of Business, and Victor Ricciardi, assistant professor of financial management at Goucher College.

My interest was piqued by my long fascination with the relatively new discipline of behavioral finance and its even newer cousin, behavioral economics. For those who have been in a coma for the past 20 years, back in the late 1980s, some economists became uncomfortable with the general economic assumption that people tend to act rationally when it comes to their finances. (I know, financial planners have been aware of this fallacy since the early ‘70s; academics tend to catch on more slowly.) Some of them thought it might be interesting to study what investors actually do in given situations; when it turned out that most of us are far less rational than previously thought, a new area of study was born.

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Daniel McFadden: Understanding better how people really make choices

Daniel McFadden: Understanding better how people really make choices | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

The way our brains work is key to understanding how consumers really make choices, argues Nobel Laureate Daniel McFadden.

Some consumers suffer from “agoraphobia” or a fear of markets according to new research presented by Nobel laureate Daniel McFadden that throws doubt on the classical idea that people are driven by relentless and consistent pursuit of self-interest to maximise their well-being.
Professor McFadden entitled his paper The New Science of Pleasure, to purposefully play on a phrase coined by Anglo-Irish political economist Francis Edgeworth some 130 years ago.

He told the audience of young economists and fellow laureates at the 5th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences on 22 August that new studies of consumer behaviour that drew on psychology, sociology, biology and neurology gave economists a deeper understanding of how consumers made choices.
Rational analysis says that we should relish choice and the opportunities offered by markets. “Yet we are in fact challenged by choice and we use all kinds of ways such as procrastination to avoid having to make choices. One of the reasons is that there are risks associated with making choices,” he said.

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Anchoring or Loss Aversion? Empirical Evidence from Art Auctions

Abstract: We find evidence for the behavioral biases of anchoring and loss aversion. We find that anchoring is more important for items that are resold quickly, and we find that the effect of loss aversion increases with the time that a painting is held. The evidence in favor of anchoring and loss aversion with this large dataset validates previous results and adds to the empirical evidence a finding of increasing loss aversion with the length a painting is held. We do not find evidence that investors can take advantage of these behavioral biases.

 
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Cash versus debit card: the role of budget control

Abstract: Due to the financial crisis, an increasing number of households face financial problems. This may lead to an increasing need for monitoring spending and budgets. We demonstrate that both cash and the debit card are perceived as helpful in this respect. We show that, on average, consumers responsible for the financial decision making within a household find the debit card more useful for monitoring their household finances than cash. Individuals differ in major respects, however. In particular, low earners and the liquidity-constrained prefer cash as a monitoring and budgeting tool. Finally, we present evidence that at an aggregated level, such preferences strongly affect consumer payment behaviour. We suggest that the substitution of cash by cards may slow down because of the financial crisis. Also, we show that cash still brings benefits that electronic alternatives have been unable to match. This suggests that inclusion of enhanced budgeting and monitoring features in electronic payment instruments may encourage consumers to use them more frequently.

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The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Daily Routine

The Psychology of Writing and the Cognitive Science of the Perfect Daily Routine | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

How to sculpt an environment that optimizes creative flow and summons relevant knowledge from your long-term memory through the right retrieval cues.

Reflecting on the ritualization of creativity, Bukowski famously scoffed that “air and light and time and space have nothing to do with.”Samuel Johnson similarly contended that “a man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.” And yet some of history’s most successful and prolific writers were women and men of religious daily routines and odd creative rituals. (Even Buk himself ended up sticking to a peculiar daily routine.)

Such strategies, it turns out, may be psychologically sound and cognitively fruitful. In the altogether illuminating 1994 volume The Psychology of Writing (public library), cognitive psychologist Roland T. Kellogg explores how work schedules, behavioral rituals, and writing environments affect the amount of time invested in trying to write and the degree to which that time is spent in a state of boredom, anxiety, or creative flow. Kellogg writes:

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A Practitioner’s Guide T Nudging

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness is the title of a 2008 book written by Professors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein1. The book introduces the notion of choice architecture and draws on findings from behavioural economics. 

Consider two cafeterias that want to help students consume less junk food. One cafeteria decides to attack the problem by placing a “tax” on junk foods or by banning the sale of junk foods altogether2. The other cafeteria decides to change their food display so that junk foods will less likely be cho-sen. Junk foods will be placed on higher, harder-to-reach shelves while healthy foods will be placed at eye level and within arm’s reach. Both cafeterias are trying to influence the behaviour but are using two entirely different methods. The first cafeteria is influencing behaviour by either financially in-centivizing students to choose healthier options or restricting their options and thus, their freedom of choice altogether3. The second cafeteria does neither but uses a nudging strategy: 

“A nudge is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their eco-nomic consequences. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. Nudges are not mandates. Putting fruit at eye level [to attract atten-tion and hence increase likelihood of getting chosen] counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not.” 

#nudge #Neuroeconomics

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The Psychology of Your Future Self and How Your Present Illusions Hinder Your Future Happiness

The Psychology of Your Future Self and How Your Present Illusions Hinder Your Future Happiness | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Philosopher Joshua Knobe recently posed a perplexing question in contemplating the nature of the self: If the person you will be in 30 years — the person for whom you plan your life now by working toward career goals and putting money aside in retirements plans — is invariably different from the person you are today, what makes that future person “you”? What makes them worthy of your present self’s sacrifices and considerations? That’s precisely what Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbertexplores in this short and pause-giving TED talk on the psychology of your future self and how to avoid the mistakes you’re likely to make in trying to satisfy that future self with your present choices. Picking up from his now-classic 2006 book Stumbling on Happiness (public library), Gilbert argues that we’re bedeviled by a “fundamental misconception about the power of time” and a dangerous misconception known as “the end of history illusion” — at any point along our personal journey, we tend to believe that who we are at that moment is the final destination of our becoming. Which, of course, is not only wrong but a source of much of our unhappiness.

 
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Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Behavioural Science and Public Policy

Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Behavioural Science and Public Policy | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Below is cross-posted from Irisheconomy.ie and is my attempt to summarise behavioural science and public policy for Irish policymakers (but clearly similar issues in other countries): 


I have posted here on a number of occasions about the relevance of the growing literature on behavioural economics and public policy for the Irish context. This post updates this with some new material and I hope people don’t mind if I draw on some from previous posts.

Increasingly, behavioural science is being used as a term to encapsulate the integration of psychological factors into understanding economic decision-making. This is basically an attempt to preserve the phrase “behavioural economics” to refer to explanations with explicit utility-theoretic foundations and also to avoid a lot of work from psychology simply being repackaged as “behavioural economics”. It is not a wholly satisfactory compromise as the phrase “behavioural science” means different things to different people but it is certainly helping to form a shared set of ideas and methodologies and looks likely to continue as the main way of describing this work.

There are a number of reasons for the explosion of interest in this area including the award of the Nobel prize to Daniel Kahneman in 2002 and the adoption of the book “Nudge” by the Obama and Cameron administrations. I think also the sense of purely neo-classical microeconomics being bound up with the regulatory failures surrounding the financial crisis is also fueling an appetite for more realistic accounts of decision-making. It is likely that a lot of what is now called economics will increasingly move towards a disciplinary more blurry field in particular in areas like financial regulation.

#Behavioural #Science

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WHAT MAKES AN EFFICIENT THEME FOR A CREATIVITY SESSION?

Abstract: Despite literature has widely investigated the logics of ideation, at early stages of innovation and product development processes (Bjork and Magnusson, 2009; Boeddrich, 2004; Girotra et al., 2010), very few contributions deal with the very starting point of the ideation process, i.e. the initial theme given to workshops participants. Nevertheless, scholars' works on the nature of stimuli and examples (Smith et al.,1993; Ward et al., 2004) underlined they could generate heterogeneous effects on the efficiency of the ideation stage. Moreover, whereas efficiency criteria for creativity sessions are well known (fluency, flexibility, originality, elaboration), creativity techniques focus on the improvement and monitoring of ideation management: the problem of designing the initial theme is seldom included in the design parameters of creativity sessions, as if it was not considered as an issue in research on creativity management. Yet, one consequence of the above mentioned literature results is that it should be a key efficiency factor: the formulation could play a key role in conditioning cognitive involvement of individuals and managerial goals achievement. This paper focuses on this specific problem of formulating an efficient theme for a creativity session and its implications on cognitive involvement of facilitators and participants, and the achievement of managerial goals of the session. Based on a single case study led through collaborative action research with the French postal service operator, our research analyses the impacts of the formulation in three innovative-oriented creativity workshops the authors have organized and steered from May to October 2013. The three workshops themes were built to experiment the impact of the theme formulation on: 1/ creativity techniques efficiency according traditional criteria and facilitators' cognitive involvement; and 2/ participants' satisfaction assessed through their ability to link the theme, thus the generated ideas, to the company's innovation strategy. The exploratory study confirms that the formulation of the theme has important consequences, both cognitive and managerial. A first set of results suggests two main dimensions to describe the nature and structure of a theme naming: the accuracy level of the formulation and the degree of conceptual tension. A second set of results is about concrete reasoning when designing the theme and implementing in the formulation links to the firm's strategy. A third set of results is about consequences of theme formulation on the way the creativity session is designed and steered. Key dimensions include: 1/ The degree of cognitive implication of facilitators; 2/ The nature of stimuli and idea generation techniques used during the session (generic versus custom-made); 3/ The degree of commitment of the actors (designers of the theme, facilitators and participants) to the organization's strategy, i.e. to what gives value to the output of the creativity session.

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terra - models of dynamic simulation

Terra is a super customizable framework for creating and analyzing biological simulations. It's open-source and licenced under MIT.

 

Some models of dynamic simulation to agents that explain many social phenomena and behavior of the masses, interesting from start to better understand the world around us and many cognitive biases with respect to behaviors that we consider correct but that the evidence shows are an intellectual illusion.

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Off-line consolidation of motor sequence learning results in greater integration within a cortico-striatal functional network

Off-line consolidation of motor sequence learning results in greater integration within a cortico-striatal functional network | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

According to researchers at the University of Montreal, the regions of the brain below the cortex play an important role as we train our bodies' movements and, critically, they interact more effectively after a night of sleep. While researchers knew that sleep helped us the learn sequences of movements (motor learning), it was not known why. "The subcortical regions are important in information consolidation, especially information linked to a motor memory trace. When consolidation level is measured after a period of sleep, the brain network of these areas functions with greater synchrony, that is, we observe that communication between the various regions of this network is better optimized. The opposite is true when there has been no period of sleep," said Karen Debas, neuropsychologist at the University of Montreal and leader author of the study. A network refers to multiple brain areas that are activated simultaneously. To achieve these results, the researchers, led by Dr. Julien Doyon, Scientific Director of the Functional Neuroimaging Unit of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal Research Centre, taught a group of subjects a new sequence of piano-type finger movements on a box. The brains of the subjects were observed using functional magnetic resonance imaging during their performance of the task before and after a period of sleep. Meanwhile, the same test was performed by a control group at the beginning and end of the day, without a period of sleep. - See more at: http://www.neuroscientistnews.com/research-news/learning-play-piano-sleep-it#sthash.GPViQAZq.dpuf

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It's the effect size, stupid: what effect size is and why it is important

Abstract

Effect size is a simple way of quantifying the difference between two groups that has many advantages over the use of tests of statistical significance alone. Effect size emphasises the size of the difference rather than confounding this with sample size. However, primary reports rarely mention effect sizes and few textbooks, research methods courses or computer packages address the concept. This paper provides an explication of what an effect size is, how it is calculated and how it can be interpreted. The relationship between effect size and statistical significance is discussed and the use of confidence intervals for the latter outlined. Some advantages and dangers of using effect sizes in meta-analysis are discussed and other problems with the use of effect sizes are raised. A number of alternative measures of effect size are described. Finally, advice on the use of effect sizes is summarised.

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The psychology and economics of reverse mortgage attitudes: evidence from the Netherlands

Il centro è il primo centro di ricerca in Italia specificatamente dedicato allo studio dell'economia delle pensioni e dell'invecchiamento.

Abstract

This paper presents the results from a survey on the attitudes toward reverse mortgages of homeowners aged 45 and over in the Netherlands. We find that there is substantial potential interest in reverse mortgages, especially for the purpose of being able to live more comfortably and not worry about money until death, or to be able to spend a large sum of money upon retirement on hobbies, home improvements or traveling. A similar study has been done for Italy, where results differ from those related to the Netherland. For Italian households a reverse mortgage is primarily seen as a last resort. We use two different frames for suggestions on the use of the loan – own consumption versus bequest - and find that the latter significantly raises interest in reverse mortgages of people with a bequest wish. We interpret this as evidence that people are unaware of the potential of reverse mortgages to optimize the timing of bequests. Women are less interested, while demand is highest among those around retirement age, depends positively on the ratio of housing wealth over income and on the perceived riskiness of future pensions, and negatively on the expected replacement ratio. We find a counterintuitive result for bequest timing, as people are more interested if the age difference with the oldest child is larger.

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Solar Flares and Risk Management for Investors

Solar Flares and Risk Management for Investors | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

On 1 September 1859, the sun emitted a large solar flare releasing approximately 6 × 1025 joules of energy (i.e., a massive amount). Telegraph systems all over the world — which were connected by copper wires — failed, in some cases giving telegraph operators electric shocks; in other cases, cascades of sparks spontaneously erupted from telegraph lines. Amazingly, some telegraph equipment that wasn’t plugged in continued to receive messages. In the days that followed the solar storm, which came to be known as the Carrington Event, auroras were seen around the world — including as far south as the Caribbean and Ecuador. Fireballs were spotted in the sky. Equipment connected to this “Victorian internet” caught fire. What might happen to today’s internet if the sun were to emit another solar flare? What does this mean for risk management?

On 23 July 2012, there was a similar coronal mass ejection (CME) released by the sun, only this time the CME narrowly missed Earth. Had the CME occurred just seven days earlier, it would have directly hit planet Earth. According the the US Geological Survey, such an event has a 6%–7% chance of happening in the next 10 years. NASA scientist Daniel Baker calculates that there is a 12% chance that the earth will encounter another Carrington Event within the next 10 years.

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Tips for Building Relational Equity (Video)

Tips for Building Relational Equity (Video) | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Networking is one of the most essential career management strategies, and it seems our readers agree, as proven by the popularity of networking content. In this recent Career Conversation with Seattle-based career coach Paula Fitzgerald Boos, we consider the topic further and discuss the real aim of networking — building relational equity.
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Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Lecture on Rationality, Utility, Value and Decision Making

Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Lecture on Rationality, Utility, Value and Decision Making | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
 am currently giving a set of lectures as part of a module "Behavioural Economic: Concepts and Theories" in Stirling. I am posting brief informal summaries of some of these lectures on the blog to generate discussion.

Today's lecture was on Rationality, Utility, Value and Decision-making. The lecture consisted of six sections (Fig. 1): (i) concepts of rationality; (ii) rational choice in conditions of certainty; (iii) rational choice in conditions in conditions of uncertainty; (iv) challenges to rational choice (v) loss aversion and the endowment effect; and (vi) implications of rationality assumptions and threats to their validity for policy. 

(i) Concepts of rationalityThe main point of this lecture is to give a working definition of what we mean by rationality in Economics. This is a complex construct with many potential meanings across a wide range of literatures. In Economics we generally tend to mean that decision makers are consistent in their behaviour rather than to question their motivations. The basic microeconomic models of the consumer generally assume rational utility maximising behaviour.
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How the Brain Makes Sense of Spaces

How the Brain Makes Sense of Spaces | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

When an animal encounters a new environment, the neurons in its brain that are responsible for mapping out the space are ready for anything. So says a new study in which scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus examined neuronal activity in rats as they explored an unusually large maze for the first time.

The researchers found that neurons in the brain’s hippocampus, where information about people, places, and events is stored, each contribute to an animal’s mental map at their own rate. Some neurons begin to associate themselves with the new space immediately, while others hold back, contributing only if the space expands beyond a size that can be represented by the first-line neurons. Similar mechanisms may be at play as the human brain records a new experience, says Janelia group leader Albert Lee, who led the study. Lee, graduate student Dylan Rich, and Hua Peng-Liaw, a technician in Lee’s lab, published their findings in the August 15, 2014, issue of the journal Science.

 
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The Duration Heuristic

The duration heuristic refers to the tendency to evaluate services based on their duration rather than on their content. We propose that consumers rely on the duration heuristic because it simplifies the evaluation process. In particular, the duration heuristic is most likely to be seen when the duration of the service experience is evaluable relative to other features and when duration is considered

in relation to price. Across four experiments and a field study, we (a) provide demonstrations of the duration heuristic, (b) illustrate the biases that result as a consequence of its use, and (c) identify conditions under which consumers are more likely to use the heuristic

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Behavioural Economics in Action

Behavioural Economics in Action | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Learn to use principles and methods of behavioural economics to change behaviours, improve welfare and make better products and policy.
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Over Time, Buddhism and Science Agree

Over Time, Buddhism and Science Agree | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Even inanimate objects that appear solid and persistent are revealed by modern physics to be in a constant state of flux. An iron bar is mostly empty space, and even the ostensibly solid, sub-atomic particles occupying that space are either moving so rapidly as to be unimaginable or, alternately, exist as clouds of probability rather than as stationary monuments to permanence.

With living things, the world is even less fixed. As Yeats observed: “O body swayed to music, O brightening glance / How can we know the dancer from the dance?” Biologists as well as Buddhists know that living stuff is always dancing, constantly replenished by, and created from, nonliving components. At every moment, our existence takes place only on the instantaneous, knife-edge of Now, which can never be captured and held immobile.

The story goes that as a young man, the Buddha sought to overcome the imperfections of the real world—sickness, old age, and death—by following the path of traditional Hindu asceticism, mortifying the flesh and nearly starving himself. His eventual enlightenment, however, is said to have involved recognition that all things are temporary, ever-changing, and impermanent. Unlike Christ, who promises eternal life, the last words of the Buddha reportedly began, “Decay is inherent in all things.”

 
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Risk Preferences may be Time Preferences: A Comment on Andreoni and Sprenger

Abstract: In an intensively discussed paper, Andreoni and Sprenger (2012) , henceforth A&S, present an experiment where subjects can allocate money between two different points of time under the condition of risk. A&S claim that their results refute discounted expected utility (DEU) as well as prospect theory and other models relying on probability weighting. In this note I will show that the theoretical analysis of A&S is inappropriate and, therefore, that their claims are not valid. It turns out that the experimental results of A&S are fully in line with DEU. The main problem of A&S ´s analysis is that is confounds income with consumption. There exist several other comments on A&S (Miao andZhong, 2012; Epper and Fehr-Duda, 2014 and Cheung, 2014) which discuss interesting aspects of the analysis of A&S but have not identified the theoretical implications of equalizing consumption and income

 
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Systems theory and complexity

Alessandro Cerboni's insight:

 

The motivation for this multi-part series is solely my observation that much of the writing on complexity theory seems to have arbitrarily ignored the vast systems theory literature. I don’t know whether this omission is deliberate (i.e., motivated by the political need to differentiate and promote one set of topical boundaries from another; a situation unfortunately driven by a reductionist funding process) or simply the result of ignorance. Indeed, Phelan (1999) readily admits that he was “both surprised and embarrassed to find such an extensive body of literature [referring to systems theory] virtually unacknowledged in the complexity literature.” I am going to assume the best of the complexity community and suggest that the reason systems theory seems to have been forgotten is ignorance, and I hope this, and subsequent, articles will familiarize complexity thinkers with some aspects of systems theory; enough to demonstrate a legitimate need to pay more attention to this particular community and its associated body of literature. The upcoming 11th Annual ANZSYS Conference/Managing the Complex V Systems Thinking and Complexity Science: Insights for Action (a calling notice for which can be found in the “Event Notices” section of this issue) is a deliberate attempt to forge a more open and collaborative relationship between systems and complexity theorists 

http://emergentpublications.com/ECO/eco_other/issue_6_3_10_fm.pdf?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

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Cognitive Bias Parade: CC-licensed collage illustrations of predictable irrationality

Cognitive Bias Parade: CC-licensed collage illustrations of predictable irrationality | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

James Gill writes, "Cognitive Bias Parade is a site that takes a daily look at deviations in judgement and reconstructed realities. It is an illustrated review of the many ways the brain has evolved to lie to itself. It is not simply meant to scold. The spirit of the project was captured once in a quote by the magician Jerry Andrus: 'I can fool you because you're a human. You have a wonderful human mind that works no different from my human mind. Usually when we're fooled, the mind hasn't made a mistake. It's come to the wrong conclusion for the right reason.'

"I've given a Creative Commons Share-Alike status to my work on the site. I ask only that a link-back be given for my website as credit."

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The Neuroscience of Fairness and Injustice

The Neuroscience of Fairness and Injustice | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
How Our Brains Are Wired to Resist Unfair Treatment

Humans are inherently social beings. We care not only about material and financial rewards, but also about social status, belonging, and respect. Research studies show that our brains automatically evaluate the fairness of how financial rewards are distributed. We seem to have a happiness response to fair treatment and a disgust or protest response to unfairness. Thisbrain wiring has implications for life happiness, relationship satisfaction, raising kids, and organizational leadership.  This article will examine how we define fairness, how your brain processes experiences of fairness and unfairness, and how to cope with life’s unfair moments..

 
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Eli Levine's curator insight, August 23, 9:37 AM

An addendum to this should be that we resist what we each and all define as injustice, unfairness, and tyranny.  The definition of these things are objectively subjective, which is how we get differences of opinion and belief.  However, there are some things that are common to us all, and one has to wonder at the definitions of some other people, as to whether or not their definitions match up with what the collective actually is feeling.

 

For example, conservatives and Libertarians can be living in absolute poverty, and think it unfair that richer people be taxed more to help raise them out of poverty.  Economically, it's impossible to lift oneself up by your own bootstraps alone, without someone providing you boots to do so.  You can't get something from nothing, and that's what some conservatives and Libertarians have.  So, not only are they incorrect about how the economy works, but they're also advocating policy that many more of us would find unjust and unfair when phrased explicitly and honestly to the public.  You can change people's stated opinions through manipulation of the question phrases.  However, you usually can't and don't change the deep, complicated sentiments that most people have without having some kind of "aha" moment that is endogenous to themselves.  Enlightenment is not a gift that can be given.  It has to be produced from within you based on your actions, attitudes, behaviors, and experiences.

 

Therefore, it is primarily through this confusion of fact and manipulation of phrasing, ignorance, and plain callousness that we get differing opinions as to what fair is in many cases.  Some variety is ok.  However, the extremes of difference that we're experiencing do not reflect the common reality in which we are living.  The actual consequences that are realized from the conservative and Libertarian approach would not be supported by the majority opinion (when asked honestly and explicitly) because most of us have a different and more accurate understanding of fairness.  Quite frankly, I don't know how it is that we spend so much time caught up with individuals who don't know, don't care to know, and refuse to accept the common reality around them for the sake of a presupposed, manufactured and highly inaccurate perception of the world, with the unworkable and unjust opinions and conclusions that follow from their distorted view of the world.  It's time that we ideologically ditch all ideologies, ideologues, and people whose opinions don't match the common reality; people who refuse to accept the common reality, even when it is clearly presented to them.  They will get us killed, in the long term, because they are like bats who do not have properly functioning echo location senses.  They will fly us all into trees, into water, into the ground, or into some hungry predator's mouth, because they've presupposed the reality and are dug into those presuppositions, rather than attentive to the reality itself that is around them.

 

I don't want to die because of these people.  Do you?

M. Philip Oliver's curator insight, August 25, 7:30 PM

Thanks to Alessandro