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Why Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment Isn’t in My Textbook

Why Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment Isn’t in My Textbook | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
The results of the famous Stanford Prison Experiment have a trivial explanation. 

My own guess is that the behavior of the guards was largely if not entirely the result of their doing what they were told to do and what they believed they were supposed to do. The behavior of the prisoners in the first day or two, when they were pretending to riot and pretending to plot escapes, was probably also playacting of stereotyped concepts of what prisoners do.  But their subsequent wearing down, passivity, and apparently genuine desire to get out of the prison may very well have been a direct response to what the guards were doing to them (coupled, I imagine, with their lack of sleep--the guards were on shifts but they were not).

From this point of view, there is nothing in the results of the study that should surprise us. Once we say that the guards humiliated and oppressed the prisoners because they were told to do that and felt it was important to do it for the sake of science, and once we say that the prisoners initially “rioted” because they felt that this is what they were supposed to do but later really did want out because they were humiliated and oppressed, what is there left to be surprised about?  Did Zimbardo and his colleagues really need to do this experiment to “prove” such an obvious result?  And does this really tell about the behavior of real guards and prisoners, who are not there for a two-week experiment (for the good of science), but are there because that is how they make their living or because they are being punished for a crime?  There is no way to simulate the real experiences of being a guard or a prisoner.

Too often, in our psychological research labs, we trivialize reality.  Zimbardo’s prison experiment is a good example of that.  If I had included Zimbardo’s experiment in my textbook, it would have been to make that point.

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News on the effects of bounded rationality in economics and business, relationships and politics
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Neuroscienze cognitive: plasticità, variabilità, dimensione storica

Neuroscienze cognitive: plasticità, variabilità, dimensione storica | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Le Neuroscienze cognitive hanno l’ambizioso obiettivo teorico di individuare e comprendere i meccanismi neurobiologici della mente,
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People who meditate are more aware of their unconscious brain

People who meditate are more aware of their unconscious brain | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

People who meditate are more aware of their unconscious brain activity – or so a new take on a classic “free will” experiment suggests. The results hint that the feeling of conscious control over our actions can vary – and provide more clues to understanding the complex nature of free will. The famous experiment that challenged our notions of free will was first done in 1983 by neuroscientist Benjamin Libet. It involved measuring electrical activity in someone’s brain while asking them to press a button, whenever they like, while they watch a special clock that allows them to note the time precisely. Typically people feel like they decide to press the button about 200 milliseconds before their finger moves – but the electrodes reveal activity in the part of their brain that controls movement occurs a further 350 milliseconds before they feel they make that decision. This suggests that in fact it is the unconscious brain that “decides” when to press the button. In the new study, a team at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK, did a slimmed-down version of the experiment (omitting the brain electrodes), with 57 volunteers, 11 of whom regularly practised mindfulness mediation. The meditators had a longer gap in time between when they felt like they decided to move their finger and when it physically moved – 149 compared with 68 milliseconds for the other people.

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'Unloaded' Minds Are the Most Creative

'Unloaded' Minds Are the Most Creative | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

In a study published in Psychological Science, researchers Shira Baror and Moshe Bar at Bar-Ilan University in Israel tested the creativity of study participants while they had high or low mental “loads,” or the amount of things to juggle in their working memory. As Bar detailed in a column for the New York Times, the level of creativity was measured by free association tasks: Participants were given a word (for example, shoe) and asked to give the first response that came to mind (sock). At the same time, they were asked to attend to an easy or challenging cognitive task: in one experiment, holding a two-digit or six-digit string of numbers in mind; in the next, holding a two-digit or seven-digit string of numbers in mind; in the next, naming the alphabetical order of the first two or three letters of a word; and in another attending to the color of letters in a word.

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The European Nudging Network - The European Nudging Network

The European Nudging Network - The European Nudging Network | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

‘TEN’ stands for The European Nudging Network. The Network is managed by The Center for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP) in a collaboration between ISSP, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and HEC Paris. The mission of TEN is to ensure a scientifically and ethically responsible dissemination of applied behavioural insights throughout Europe and beyond. We do that through a range of Open Access (OA) online resources and member activities

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The 'Brexit' Vote Means It's Crunch Time for the Global Economy

The 'Brexit' Vote Means It's Crunch Time for the Global Economy | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

It’s the end of the E.U. as we know it, and markets are already having a very painful reaction to the news.

Foroohar is an assistant managing editor at TIME and the magazine’s economics columnist. She’s the author of Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business. It’s quite telling that the markets were only pricing in about a 25% chance that Britain would vote to leave the European Union. As studies have shown, there’s a larger trust gap than ever before between global elites and the mass populations in various countries. The fact that Wall Street so badly misinterpreted the desires of Main Street is, in some ways, no surprise. Markets have been terrible at predicting populism in the last few years, both in Europe and in the U.S.

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Can't compute the standard deviation in your head? Divide the range by four. - Decision Science News

Can't compute the standard deviation in your head? Divide the range by four. - Decision Science News | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Suppose you divide the range by four instead of taking the standard deviation. How accurate will you be?
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Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, June 19, 10:54 AM
({Largest number} - {Smallest number})/4 ...:-)))
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Big Data Analytics And The Next President: How Microtargeting Drives Today’s Campaigns

Big Data Analytics And The Next President: How Microtargeting Drives Today’s Campaigns | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Political campaigns of both Republican and Democratic candidates are taking Big Data lessons from retailers , gathering information about individuals, and using it to serve up personalized messages to prospective voters. It’s called “microtargeting,” and it was was a key element of the successful Obama for America campaign and its unprecedented fundraising. Direct marketers have…
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Hemingway app forces you to write more simply - Decision Science News

If you are an academic, and you probably are if you read this blog, you may be interested in tools that improve writing. Recently, we stumbled upon the Hemingway Editor, a tool to encourage simple and forceful writing. It flags hard to read (i.e., long) sentences. It also flags adverbs, passive voice and unnecessarily complex phrases. We think that following all the editor’s advice would be a bad idea. Yet, using it for a few paragraphs on a paper reminds you to keep things simple. And it does, at least superficially, make you write more like Hemingway. For fun, we applied it to one of our own abstracts below. It went from 145 words with grade 18 readability to 119 words with grade 14 readability. You should beware, however, that readers may infer that simpler academic texts are of lower quality (Galak and Nelson, 2011).Here's a tool that encourages simple, forceful writing. 

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HSBC’s new Nudge app was inspired by Post-It notes from a bank chief's wife

HSBC’s new Nudge app was inspired by Post-It notes from a bank chief's wife | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Raman Bhatia, the head of digital UK at HSBC, spoke to Business Insider about the app Nudge.

HSBC is developing a major new app called "Nudge" that aims to help people save money by keeping track of their everyday spending. The high-profile development was actually born out of a simple exercise between HSBC's new digital chief and his wife. "My wife used to leave Post-It notes on the fridge, nudging me not to eat the rest of the desserts in the fridge," said Raman Bhatia, head of digital UK at HSBC in an interview with Business Insider.

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The NYPD Was Systematically Ticketing Legally Parked Cars for Millions of Dollars a Year- Open Data Just Put an End to It

The NYPD Was Systematically Ticketing Legally Parked Cars for Millions of Dollars a Year- Open Data Just Put an End to It | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

The NYPD Was Systematically Ticketing Legally Parked Cars for Millions of Dollars a Year- Open Data Just Put an End to It New York City is a complex place to drive. And when it comes to parkingNew York City is a complex place to drive. And when it comes to parking, there are plenty of rules and regulations to follow. It’s no wonder that sometimes people get confused and end up getting their cars ticketed or towed. But in all of these rules, there is one thing that very few drivers seem to know. As of late 2008, in NYC you can park in front of a sidewalk pedestrian ramp, as long as it’s not connected to a crosswalk. It’s all written up in the NYC Traffic Rules, and for more detail, take a look at this article. The local legislation making these parking spots legal was proposed by Council Member Gentile, and adopted by the Department of Transportation before it ever made it for a vote. Though few people seem to know about the change. Is it a problem that drivers don’t realize that there are some extra parking spots they are now allowed to park in? Not so much. But, I’ve got a pedestrian ramp leading to nowhere particular in the middle of my block in Brooklyn, and on occasion I have parked there. Despite the fact that it is legal, I’ve been ticketed for parking there. Though I get the tickets dismissed, it’s a waste of everybody’s time. And that got me wondering- How common is it for the police to give tickets to cars legally parked in front of pedestrian ramps? It couldn’t be just me… In the past, there was not much you could do to stop something like this. Complaining to your local precinct would at best only solve the problem locally. But thanks to NYC’s Open Data portal, I was able to look at the most common parking spots in the City where cars were ticketed for blocking pedestrian ramps. It’s worth taking a moment upfront here to praise the NYPD for offering this dataset to begin with. Though we are behind on police crime data in the city, we are ahead in other ways and the parking ticket dataset is definitely one of them.

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Society's biggest problems need more than a nudge

Society's biggest problems need more than a nudge | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

When it comes to many of the big decisions faced by governments and the private sector, behavioral science has more to offer than simple nudges.

So-called “nudge units” are popping up in governments all around the world. The best-known examples include the U.K.’s Behavioural Insights Team, created in 2010, and the White House-based Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, introduced by the Obama administration in 2014. Their mission is to leverage findings from behavioral science so that people’s decisions can be nudged in the direction of their best intentions without curtailing their ability to make choices that don’t align with their priorities. Overall, these – and other – governments have made important strides when it comes to using behavioral science to nudge their constituents into better choices. Yet, the same governments have done little to improve their own decision-making processes. Consider big missteps like the Flint water crisis. How could officials in Michigan decide to place an essential service – safe water – and almost 100,000 people at risk in order to save US$100 per day for three months? No defensible decision-making process should have allowed this call to be made.

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Sistemi resilienti per affrontare l’incertezza

Sistemi resilienti per affrontare l’incertezza | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
È una parola rubata alla tecnologia dei materiali. Per dirla in modo semplice, indica la capacità che un materiale ha assorbire e rilasciare l’energia (per esempio, un urto) che lo potrebbe deformare, tornando allo stato iniziale.
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Be More Productive: Increase Concentration through Music at Focus@Will - APRIL Speaks

Be More Productive: Increase Concentration through Music at Focus@Will - APRIL Speaks | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Focus@Will will definitely help you become more productive since it will help increase concentration. Tracks were  developed for focus enhancement.
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Mental Illness Is on the Rise, But Here’s One Way to Change That [Interactive Infographic]

Mental Illness Is on the Rise, But Here’s One Way to Change That [Interactive Infographic] | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
A look at the relationship between social isolation, lack of trust and mental illness in America, visualized through an interactive infographic.
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Prediction markets have to occasionally "get it wrong" to be calibrated - Decision Science News

Prediction markets have to occasionally "get it wrong" to be calibrated - Decision Science News | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Two recent events in the UK made it look like prediction markets’ predictions aren’t worth much. The soccer team Leicester City won the premiere league title despite the markets putting the odds of them doing so at 5,000 to 1 (.02%). Last week, people in the UK, voted to leave the European Union. A few hours before it was sure they would exit, a prediction market put their probability of leaving at 10%. See the figure above from PredictIt. X axis is roughly time before the outcome was certain. Y axis can be interpreted as probability of exit (70 cents = 70%). It jumped from 10% to 90% in just five hours. Analysts like to “explain” market results, coming up with a reason why an event was a failure of the prediction market. For instance, in the two events above, the Wall Street Journal, perhaps correctly, claims the bets were unduly influenced by London bettors. Through big London bets the odds moved to reflect what Londoners believe instead of the sentiment of the crowd. In predicting a Brexit, the sentiment of the crowd is exactly what you want. Whenever the prediction market is far on the wrong side of 50%, explanations will arise as to why the prediction market was wrong. Let’s take a step back here.

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Behavioral economics helps boost fuel and carbon efficiency of airline captains

Behavioral economics helps boost fuel and carbon efficiency of airline captains | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Interventions rooted in behavioral economics can significantly and safely boost the use of fuel- and carbon-efficient flight practices in the airline industry, according to economists at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics and Political Science. The large-scale study, which incorporated data from more than 40,000 unique flights, found significant savings in carbon emissions and monetary costs when airline captains were provided with tailored monthly information on fuel efficiency, along with targets and individualized feedback. The behavioral effects of such interventions are currently estimated as the most cost-effective way to prevent a metric ton of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. The study was conducted in partnership with experts in sustainability and flight operations at Virgin Atlantic. It included UChicago economists John List, the Homer J. Livingston Professor of Economics, and Robert Metcalfe, Becker Friedman Institute research scholar; as well as Greer Gosnell, a PhD researcher at LSE.

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The Evolutionary Roots of Human Decision Making

The Evolutionary Roots of Human Decision Making | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Abstract 

Humans exhibit a suite of biases when making economic decisions. We review recent research on the origins of human decision making by examining whether similar choice biases are seen in nonhuman primates, our closest phylogenetic relatives. We propose that comparative studies can provide insight into four major questions about the nature of human choice biases that cannot be addressed by studies of our species alone. First, research with other primates can address the evolution of human choice biases and identify shared versus human-unique tendencies in decision making. Second, primate studies can constrain hypotheses about the psychological mechanisms underlying such biases. Third, comparisons of closely related species can identify when distinct mechanisms underlie related biases by examining evolutionary dissociations in choice strategies. Finally, comparative work can provide insight into the biological rationality of economically irrational preferences. 

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ECONOMIST: Brexit is a perfect example of irrational behavior

ECONOMIST: Brexit is a perfect example of irrational behavior | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
(Vote Leave supporters wait for London Mayor Boris Johnson to address campaigners during a rally for the 'Vote Leave' campaign on April 15, 2016 in Manchester, England. Boris Johnson is taking part in a 48 hour 'Brexit Blitz' of campaigning in Northern England. Britain will vote either to leave or remain in the EU in a referendum on June 23.Christopher Furlong/Getty) Much of economic theory is built on the assumption that individuals are rational. They act out of self-interest, they run cost-benefit analyses, they don’t make mistakes. If they’re deciding whether or not they want something, they figure out what it will cost and how happy they’ll be if they have it, and they act — or vote — accordingly. Of course, people in the real world don’t quite work like that. The upcoming Brexit vote is a good example of individuals diverging from this kind of purely rational behavior, according to Richard Thaler, a behavioral economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The British citizens who are campaigning to leave the EU aren’t acting or thinking the way traditional economics would expect them to.
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EconPapers: Blue or Red? How Color Affects Consumer Information Processing in Food Choice

Abstract: Colors can carry specific meaning and have an important influence on people’s feelings, thoughts and behaviors. This paper investigates the impact of blue versus red on how consumers process information in food choice. Results show color indeed influences consumer information processing and feature evaluation. Specifically, consumers spend more time and pay more attention to choice tasks in the red condition than in the blue condition. In addition, consumers are willing to pay more premium for certain feature on the red label than on the blue label.

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Why Do People Forget Dishonest Actions? | American Council on Science and Health

Why Do People Forget Dishonest Actions? | American Council on Science and Health | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
In a 1997 U.S. News and World Report survey, 1,000 Americans were asked: “Who do you think is most likely to get into heaven?” According to respondents, then-president Bill Clinton had a 52 percent chance; basketball star Michael Jordan had a 65 percent chance; and Mother Teresa had a 79 percent chance. Guess who topped even Mother Teresa? The people who completed the survey, with a score of 87 percent. As the results of this survey suggest, most of us have a strong desire to view ourselves in a positive light, especially when it comes to honesty. We care very much about being moral. In fact, psychological research on morality shows that we hold an overly optimistic view of our capacity to adhere to ethical standards. We believe that we are intrinsically more moral than others, that we will behave more ethically than others in the future and that transgressions committed by others are morally worse than our own. So, how do these beliefs of our moral selves play out in our day-to-day actions? As researchers who frequently study how people who care about morality often behave dishonestly, we decided to find out.
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MINIDIZIONARIO della COMPLESSITA' IN PRATICA

Un minidizionario di poco meno di venti voci per capire bene di che si tratta quando abbiamo a che fare con la complessità - e un poco anche cosa bisogna "farci". Tratto dal contributo di Paolo Cervari al libro Processo alla Complessità (a c.d. Giuseppe Sapienza, LetteredaQALAT) dal titolo "Saperci fare con la complessità: verso le pratiche" di cui abbiamo pubblicato l'introduzione nel N°100 di Caos Management, il Minidizionario procede a una o due voce per volta, pubblicate su vari numeri di Caos Management. Buona lettura.
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SOLUTIONS OF BRAIN CONTRADICTIONS

Official Full-Text Publication: SOLUTIONS OF BRAIN CONTRADICTIONS Description We know neural networks can learn their weights and biases using the gradient descent algorithm unsupervised. The two main instruments to compute the weights and biases are the cost function and gradient descent algorithm with samples. In this paper we use a new method denoted projection method by which we can compute the weights and biases without cost function and descent gradient. The new method is denoted projection method. The new method check for neural…

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Should you only be allowed to publish five papers before tenure? - Decision Science News

Should you only be allowed to publish five papers before tenure? - Decision Science News | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

What if people could only publish five papers before tenure? Some people hate this idea, but it might help with some problems.

There’s an article out in Science titled The Pressure to Publish Pushes Down Quality. The author’s point is that as the volume of papers goes up, the good ones get lost in the bad ones. There are other downsides as well. People waste a lot of time funding, writing, reviewing, editing, and reading lots of shoddy papers. The number of papers needed to get tenure keeps going up, which puts a lot of pressure on early-career academics. Lastly, when people have an incentive to publish a lot, they’re not encouraged to thoroughly review what’s come before. If they do, they may learn their idea is not all that new. This can prevent cumulative progress being made in science. As an aside, it’s hard to blame authors for not thoroughly reviewing the literature when so much junk has been published in the last decades.

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Barbara Carfagna 'NUDGING E ANTICIPATORY COMPUTING'

come la politica e le aziende esercitano una pressione invisibile sul nostro inconscio e sulle nostre scelte
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L’evoluzione complessa**: la civiltà tecnologica tra bisogno di sicurezza e solidarietà della paura**

L’evoluzione complessa**: la civiltà tecnologica tra bisogno di sicurezza e solidarietà della paura** | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Con il pensiero sempre rivolto a chi soffre, a chi è in difficoltà o è discriminato… La globalizzazione ha determinato un progressivo ridimensionamento della sfera della politica, lasciando aperto un vuoto in cui si sono inseriti i poteri economici...
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