In the first large-scale review of 400 research papers in the neurochemistry of music, a team led by Prof. Daniel J. Levitin of McGill University’s Psychology Dept. has been able to show that playing and listening to music has clear benefits for both mental and physical health. In particular, music was found both to improve the body’s immune system function and to reduce levels of stress. Listening to music was also found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety prior to surgery.
“We’ve found compelling evidence that musical interventions can play a health care role in settings ranging from operating rooms to family clinics,” says Prof. Levitin. “But even more importantly, we were able to document the neurochemical mechanisms by which music has an effect in four domains: management of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding.”
The use of intelligent systems for stock market predictions has been widely established. In this paper, we investigate how the seemingly chaotic behavior of stock markets could be well represented using several connectionist paradigms and soft computing techniques. To demonstrate the different techniques, we considered Nasdaq-100 index of Nasdaq Stock MarketS and the S&P CNX NIFTY stock index. We analyzed 7 year's Nasdaq 100 main index values and 4 year's NIFTY index values. This paper investigates the development of a reliable and efficient technique to model the seemingly chaotic behavior of stock markets. We considered an artificial neural network trained using Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm, Support Vector Machine (SVM), Takagi-Sugeno neuro-fuzzy model and a Difference Boosting Neural Network (DBNN). This paper briefly explains how the different connectionist paradigms could be formulated using different learning methods and then investigates whether they can provide the required level of performance, which are sufficiently good and robust so as to provide a reliable forecast model for stock market indices. Experiment results reveal that all the connectionist paradigms considered could represent the stock indices behavior very accurately.
Electoral prediction from Twitter data is an appealing research topic. It seems relatively straightforward and the prevailing view is overly optimistic. This is problematic because while simple approaches are assumed to be good enough, core problems are not addressed. Thus, this paper aims to (1) provide a balanced and critical review of the state of the art; (2) cast light on the presume predictive power of Twitter data; and (3) depict a roadmap to push forward the field. Hence, a scheme to characterize Twitter prediction methods is proposed. It covers every aspect from data collection to performance evaluation, through data processing and vote inference. Using that scheme, prior research is analyzed and organized to explain the main approaches taken up to date but also their weaknesses. This is the first meta-analysis of the whole body of research regarding electoral prediction from Twitter data. It reveals that its presumed predictive power regarding electoral prediction has been rather exaggerated: although social media may provide a glimpse on electoral outcomes current research does not provide strong evidence to support it can replace traditional polls. Finally, future lines of research along with a set of requirements they must fulfill are provided.
In the United States, social media sites—such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—are currently being used by two out of three people (1), and search engines are used daily (2). Monitoring what users share or search for in social media and on the Web has led to greater insights into what people care about or pay attention to at any moment in time. Furthermore, it is also helping segments of the world population to be informed, to organize, and to react rapidly. However, social media and search results can be readily manipulated, which is something that has been underappreciated by the press and the general public.
In times of political elections, the stakes are high, and advocates may try to support their cause by active manipulation of social media. For example, altering the number of followers can affect a viewer's conclusion about candidate popularity. Recently, it was noted that the number of followers for a presidential candidate in the United States surged by over 110 thousand within one single day, and analysis showed that most of these followers are unlikely to be real people (3).
As counter intuitive as it may seem, many financial advisors have achieved substantial breakthroughs on a multitude of levels by disassociating from certain clients who were no longer a good fit. Especially for an advisor who has hit a plateau with his or her business, often the best way to increase the amount of money they were managing was to decrease the number of relationships they were managing. And in the process, these same advisors were able to project scarcity to their clients and prospective clients and ensure those people focus on what the advisors are worth rather than what they c
A new study has thrown light on how people can become killers in certain situations, showing how brain activity varies according to whether or not killing is seen as justified.
The study, led by Monash researcher Dr Pascal Molenberghs, School of Psychological Sciences, is published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
Participants in the study played video games in which they imagined themselves to be shooting innocent civilians (unjustified violence) or enemy soldiers (justified violence). Their brain activity was recorded via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they played.
Dr Molenberghs said the results provided important insights into how people in certain situations, such as war, are able to commit extreme violence against others.
Renowned behavioral economist and 2013 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences Robert J. Shiller delivered the inaugural Paul Volcker Lecture in Behavioral Economics on Thursday, March 19, at 4 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium. The lecture, “Speculative Prices, Inflation, and Behavioral Economics,” was sponsored by Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Center for Policy Research.
I want the best for myself and my children—naturally. Why settle for less? We live in a society of plenty, so we often simply go for it and ask for exactly what we want. An almost inaudible, but powerful voice inside of us might tell us to reach for the best and only the best.
Is this always a good choice though?
Malcolm Gladwell, who madeunconscious decisions a popular topic with his book Blink, insists that people who have their individual taste buds satisfied are happier for it. Researchers, he pointed out, have found that there is no such thing as a perfect Pepsi or coffee type or tomato sauce. There are only perfect Pepsis, coffee types and tomato sauces. There are clusters of people who like a particular taste of a given product; for example, a cluster liking sodas very sweet, another medium sweet, and yet another a tad sweet1. When food corporations honored these more varied ideas of “perfect,” they beat their competitors by large margins and made fortunes. So, corporations get richer and individuals happier with the perfect choice—a win-win situation.
how to: Misbehaving- The Making of Behavioural Economicswith Richard H. Thaler, bestselling co-author of Nudge.
BUSINESSPSYCHOLOGY This talk for the How To Academy coincides with the publication of Richard Thaler’s new book on behavioural economics.
Richard Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans—predictable, error-prone individuals. Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying an alarm clock, selling football tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists.
In other words, we misbehave.
Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments.
Reading the internet, we learned you could fit every person on the earth within the city limits of New York City.
We at Decision Science News like putting things into perspective. This is why we bothered putting the size of countries into perspective by comparing them to US states. (Stay tuned for our next post on this topic in which we match states to countries on the basis of both area and population. Who doesn’t want to know things like “Israel is about as big as New Jersey in both size and population”?)
Anyway, we were reading the Internet, as we sometimes do, when we came across the finding (published here and promoted here) that you could fit every person on the earth within the city limits of New York City.
And that’s assuming a flat NYC with no buildings. Considering that much of NYC is built up, you could fit them into even less space by using the advanced technology of multi-story buildings. In fact, you’ll see at the original post that everybody in the world could fit in a cube-shaped building that is just 5 crosstown blocks per side.
The present article introduces a reference framework for discussing resilience of computational systems. Rather than a property that may or may not be exhibited by a system, resilience is interpreted here as the emerging result of a dynamic process. Said process represents the dynamic interplay between the behaviors exercised by a system and those of the environment it is set to operate in. As a result of this interpretation, coherent definitions of several aspects of resilience can be derived and proposed, including elasticity, change tolerance, and antifragility. Definitions are also provided for measures of the risk of unresilience as well as for the optimal match of a given resilient design with respect to the current environmental conditions. Finally, a resilience strategy based on our model is exemplified through a simple scenario.
We're Just a Few Months Away From A Flip In The Sun's Magnetic Field And A Shift In Human Behavior.
We are currently in the middle of a peak or solar maximum which has brought us more solar flares, CMEs, and geomagnetic storms. Historically, research has been conducted to link the 11 year cycle of the sun to changes in human behavior and society. A big event is about to happen on the sun which may assist in this process–the sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip in just a few months.
The sun is a major source of visible light and energy on this planet. It represents all-pervading consciousness which animates all things providing us with what some believe to be unlimited energy. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip. What are the cosmic and personal implications of this? It is not such a unique phenomenon, as it happens every eleven years. Still, every eleven years, shifts in human consciousness around this period seem to occur like clock work.
It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun’s inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes itself. The coming reversal will mark the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24. Half of ‘Solar Max’ will be behind us, with half yet to come.
The following deck was used by @tjalve in our internal #teachme session. It covers 15 lessons from Behavioural Economics you can apply to your ongoing projects. The concepts covered are: 1. The Endowment Effect 2. Hyperbolic Discounting 3. The IKEA effect 4. Anchoring Bias 5. The Von Restorff Effect 6. Loss Aversion 7. Hedonic Adaption 8. The Bandwagon Effect 9. The Inaction inertia effect 10. The Zeigarnik Effect 11. The Framing Effect 12. The Goal Gradient Effect 13. The Choice Paradox 14. Round Pricing Preference 15. Reciprocity
Cloud computing has become an important means to speed up computing. One problem influencing heavily the performance of such systems is the choice of nodes as servers responsible for executing the users' tasks. In this article we report how complex networks can be used to model such a problem. More specifically, we investigate the performance of the processing respectively to cloud systems underlain by Erdos-Renyi and Barabasi-Albert topology containing two servers. Cloud networks involving two communities not necessarily of the same size are also considered in our analysis. The performance of each configuration is quantified in terms of two indices: the cost of communication between the user and the nearest server, and the balance of the distribution of tasks between the two servers. Regarding the latter index, the ER topology provides better performance than the BA case for smaller average degrees and opposite behavior for larger average degrees. With respect to the cost, smaller values are found in the BA topology irrespective of the average degree. In addition, we also verified that it is easier to find good servers in the ER than in BA. Surprisingly, balance and cost are not too much affected by the presence of communities. However, for a well-defined community network, we found that it is important to assign each server to a different community so as to achieve better performance.
Search Engines have greatly influenced the way we experience the web. Since the early days of the web, users have been relying on them to get informed and make decisions. When the web was relatively small, web directories were built and maintained using human experts to screen and categorize pages according to their characteristics. By the mid 1990’s, however, it was apparent that the human expert model of categorizing web pages does not scale. The first search engines appeared and they have been evolving ever since, taking over the role that web directories used to play. But what need makes a search engine evolve? Beyond the financial objectives, there is a need for quality in search results. Search engines know that the quality of their ranking will determine how successful they are. Search results, however, are not simply based on well-designed scientific principles, but they are influenced by web spammers. Web spamming, the practice of introducing artificial text and links into web pages to affect the results of web searches, has been recognized as a major search engine problem. It is also a serious users problem because they are not aware of it and they tend to confuse trusting the search engine with trusting the results of a search. In this paper, we analyze the influence that web spam has on the evolution of the search engines and we identify the strong relationship of spamming methods on the web to propagandistic techniques in society. Our analysis provides a foundation for understanding why spamming works and offers new insight on how to address it. In particular, it suggests that one could use social anti-propagandistic techniques to recognize web spam.
The General Manager (GM) of a municipal department was repeatedly getting bad press for the all-too apparent failings in maintaining city roads, drainage, sewage, and water. Continuous breakdowns in water supply, blockages in main drains and sewers were inconveniencing city residents and creating high costs in property damage. City Council was being taken to court for several cases of significant damage exacerbated by its insurer’s reluctance to settle claims promptly or on a reasonable basis.
The GM was being accused and abused by the press, the residents, his superiors, elected councilors and by his managers and staff who were taking much of the heat. He fell seriously ill. While on sick leave the Mayor called him to discuss what he was going to do to address the growing storm of protest that was negatively affecting his chances of re-election. What did he have to say?
Up until now, his decisions were based on his lengthy experience with how to fix issues. In this new dilemma he was expected to come up with a ‘silver bullet’. But how?
The astonishingly well-targeted advertisements users see on Facebook are proof enough that the social networking giant is tracking you. Now the siteadmits that those who don’t have a profile are being tracked as well, but only due to a bug.
The revelation that Facebook tracks the web browsing activity of all visitors comes courtesy of a new report by group of European researchers. The report found that Facebook places a cookie in browsers that visit any page within Facebook’s domain, including ones that do not require an account. Cookies are a common method of tracking browser habits on the web.
In 1861, French physician Paul Broca was introduced to a man named Louis-Victor Leborgne. While his comprehension and mental functioning remained relatively normal, Leborgne progressively lost the ability to produce meaningful speech over a period of 20 years. Like Hodor, the man was nicknamed Tan because he only spoke a single word: “Tan.”
Just a few days after meeting Broca, Leborgne passed away. Broca’s autopsy determined tissue damage, or a “lesion,” in the frontal lobe of Leborgne’s left brain hemisphere, just next to a brain fold called the lateral sulcus. Over the next two years, Broca acquired brains from 12 more patients with Leborgne’s symptoms—all of the autopsy evidence was strikingly consistent.
Neuroscientists are still examining this small region of the brain, now often referred to as “Broca’s area” to work out its many functions. While most research has focused on a patient’s inability to form syntactically complex sentences when this area is damaged, more recent work using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has also reported that Broca’s area is active during language comprehension
Default options significantly influence individualsÕ tendencies to comply with public policy goals such as organ donation. We extend that notion and explore the role defaults can playin encouraging (im)moral conduct in two studies. Building on previous research into omissionand commission we show that individuals cheat most when it requires passively accepting adefault, incorrect answer (Omission). More importantly, despite equivalent physical effort,individuals cheat less when it requires
overriding a default, correct answer (Super-Commission)than when simply giving an incorrect answer (Commission) Ð because the former is psychologically harder. Furthermore, while people expect physical and psychological costs toinfluence cheating, they do not believe that it takes a fundamentally different moral character toovercome either cost. Our findings support a more nuanced perspective on the implication of thedifferent types of costs associated with default options and offer practical insights for policy,such as taxation, to nudge honesty.
Social Scientists traditionally regard people's beliefs about the future to be exogenous to their desires and wishes. It's one thing to want something to happen, but it doesn't suppose to affect our beliefs that it will. My grandfather's German passport which I found among my dad's documents (see photo) shows how beliefs can be intermingled with wishes. Hugo Winter, a Jewish businessman from Koenigsberg, escaped Nazi Germany in 1934 to Palestine, leaving behind a flourishing business, a huge villa, and many friends and relatives. He never wanted to replace his fancy lifestyle in Germany
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
When it comes to building the physical world, we kind of understand our limitations. We build steps. And we build these things that not everybody can use obviously. (Laughter) We understand our limitations,and we build around it. But for some reason when it comes to the mental world, when we design things like healthcare and retirement and stockmarkets, we somehow forget the idea that we are limited. I think that if we understood our cognitive limitations in the same way that we understand our physical limitations, even though they don't stare us in the face in the same way, we could design a better world.And that, I think, is the hope of this thing.
The news of society's growing inequality makes all of us uneasy. But why? Dan Ariely reveals some new, surprising research on what we think is fair, as far as how wealth is distributed over societies ... then shows how it stacks up to the real stats.
To summarize, I would say, next time you go to drink beer or wine, first of all, think about, what is it in your experience that is real, and what is it in your experience that is a placebo effect coming from expectations? And then think about what it also means for other decisions in your life, and hopefully also for policy questions that affect all of us.
The brain has been traditionally viewed as a deterministic machine where certain inputs give rise to certain outputs. However, there is a growing body of work that suggests this is not the case. The high importance of initial inputs suggests that the brain may be working in the realms of chaos, with small changes in initial inputs leading to the production of strange attractors. This may also be reflected in the physical structure of the brain which may also be fractal. EEG data is a good place to look for the underlying patterns of chaos in the brain since it samples many millions of neurons simultaneously. Several studies have arrived at a fractal dimension of between 5 and 8 for human EEG data. This suggests that the brain operates in a higher dimension than the 4 of traditional space-time. These extra dimensions suggest that quantum gravity may play a role in generating consciousness.
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