Il teorico dell’economia comportamentale racconta in libro la sua sfida ai classici: le scelte del consumatore non sempre sono le più razionali. Con una spinta gentile, Adam Smith scende dal piedistallo
L’economista che ha convinto il mondo e l’accademia della complessità umana è pigro e rinvia le decisioni importanti. È decisamente umano. Come avrebbe fatto, altrimenti, a imporre uno sguardo fallibile allo studio dell’economia?
Come un qualsiasi studente universitario preoccupato per l’imminente esame di microeconomia, Richard Thaler si è imbattuto in teorie troppo rigide per essere vere. Alla base dell’economia classica c’è il concetto di equilibrio perfetto: domanda e offerta si incontrano in un punto, il famoso punto di equilibrio. Il prezzo è dunque sempre giusto. «All’aumentare della domanda, il prezzo diminuisce», ci hanno insegnato per generazioni, armati di grafici a curve e della mano invisibile di Adam Smith che muove il mercato, e avrebbe sempre sistemato tutto.
In this paper, we propose, discuss, and illustrate a computationally feasible definition of chaos which can be applied very generally to situations that are commonly encountered, including attractors, repellers, and non-periodically forced systems. This definition is based on an entropy-like quantity, which we call “expansion entropy,” and we define chaos as occurring when this quantity is positive. We relate and compare expansion entropy to the well-known concept of topological entropy to which it is equivalent under appropriate conditions. We also present example illustrations, discuss computational implementations, and point out issues arising from attempts at giving definitions of chaos that are not entropy-based.
Abstract: A model of an Ant System where ants are controlled by a spiking neural circuit and a second order pheromone mechanism in a foraging task is presented. A neural circuit is trained for individual ants and subsequently the ants are exposed to a virtual environment where a swarm of ants performed a resource foraging task. The model comprises an associative and unsupervised learning strategy for the neural circuit of the ant. The neural circuit adapts to the environment by means of classical conditioning. The initially unknown environment includes different types of stimuli representing food (rewarding) and obstacles (harmful) which, when they come in direct contact with the ant, elicit a reflex response in the motor neural system of the ant: moving towards or away from the source of the stimulus. The spiking neural circuits of the ant is trained to identify food and obstacles and move towards the former and avoid the latter. The ants are released on a landscape with multiple food sources where one ant alone would have difficulty harvesting the landscape to maximum efficiency. In this case the introduction of a double pheromone mechanism (positive and negative reinforcement feedback) yields better results than traditional ant colony optimization strategies. Traditional ant systems include mainly a positive reinforcement pheromone. This approach uses a second pheromone that acts as a marker for forbidden paths (negative feedback). This blockade is not permanent and is controlled by the evaporation rate of the pheromones. The combined action of both pheromones acts as a collective stigmergic memory of the swarm, which reduces the search space of the problem. This paper explores how the adaptation and learning abilities observed in biologically inspired cognitive architectures is synergistically enhanced by swarm optimization strategies. The model portraits two forms of artificial intelligent behaviour: at the individual level the spiking neural network is the main controller and at the collective level the pheromone distribution is a map towards the solution emerged by the colony. The presented model is an important pedagogical tool as it is also an easy to use library that allows access to the spiking neural network paradigm from inside a Netlogo—a language used mostly in agent based modelling and experimentation with complex systems.
Over the course of human history our collective knowledge is continuously changing shape and growing. We know more today than we did 100 years ago, and we knew more 100 years ago than we did 1,000 years ago.
From generation to generation, we discover more and more of the truth. This is due to the beauty of language, culture, science, and being able to pass knowledge between each other.
As we discover more of what’s true, we also discover more of what’s not true. Misunderstandings, myths, and lies. Everyone used to believe the Earth was flat and was the center of the universe. Common knowledge changes as we learn new things.
What we thought was “true” yesterday may not be what we find to be “true” tomorrow. This is why we should always be open to questioning our ideas and changing them in the face of new evidence.
In the new book This Idea Must Die, different scientists, philosophers, journalists, and professors share their view of a particular idea or theory that they think needs to be done away with.
While the book covers many subjects including biology, physics, economics, and sociology, in this article I’ll focus on 7 ideas in psychology that need to die.
50% boost in working memory from these activities from childhood. Climbing a tree can improve working memory by 50%, a new study finds. The same is true of other dynamic activities like balancing on a beam, carrying awkward weights and navigating around obstacles. Dr Tracy Alloway, one of the study’s authors, said: “Improving working memory can have a beneficial effect on so many areas in our life, and it’s exciting to see that proprioceptive activities can enhance it in such a short period of time.” Proprioception is the brain’s awareness of the body’s position in space. It allows us to know where our body is without looking. - See more at: http://www.spring.org.uk/2015/07/memory-boosted-a-staggering-50-by-these-activities-from-childhood.php#sthash.gk0jQvXn.dpuf
1. Inventors don't think they'll get rich, inventors hope they'll get rich.Inventors aren't stupid. They know most ideas don't work out. They know most businesses fail. They proceed despite contrary evidence. Hope is the foundational motive.Society feasts on the creations of struggling inventors. Inventors understand this and participate willingly. It's the Micheal Jordan effect: superstars inspire millions of highly motivated dreamers who produce products and benefit society for (almost) free.2. Inventors are risk averse.Inventors believe they will eventually succeed if they can control thei
Understanding behavior isn't a way to justify government intervention.
In Chapter 17 of his new book, "Misbehaving," behavioral economics founder Richard Thaler describes a conference that was held at the University of Chicago in 1985 solely for the purpose of debating the value of the new field. That’s a pretty remarkable event -- new areas of economics research usually get lots of buzz, but a special conference like that is rare. It shows that behavioral econ didn’t just generate excitement; it also generated a sense of threat.
The threat was that of a paradigm shift. This term, coined by philosopher Thomas Kuhn, refers to the dread moment when scientists learn that up is down, black is white and everything they thought they understood about the world is wrong. Kuhn said that paradigm shifts happen when enough “anomalies” are found in the existing theory that a reconsideration becomes unavoidable. It's probably not a coincidence that Chapter 18 of Thaler’s book is called “Anomalies.”
The fear of a paradigm shift also explains the strong negative reactions to Thaler’s new book among certain tradition-minded economists. For example, John Cochrane, Thaler’s colleague at Univerisyt of Chicago’s Booth Business School, recently delivered along blast against behavioral econ on his blog:
Men with shorter index finger than ring finger said to be more masculinisedThis means they will make more effort to impress women, says studyExplanation is that they've been exposed to more testosterone in the wombAnd women with longer index fingers to ring said to be more feminised - taking more care over their appearance
Daniel Kahneman is the very definition of unassuming: a small, softly spoken man in his 80s, his face and manners mild, his demeanour that of a cautious observer rather than someone who calls the shots. We meet in a quiet spot off the lobby of a London hotel. Even then I have trouble catching every word; his accent hovers between French and Israeli and his delivery is quiet, imbued with a slightly strained patience, helpful but cautious.
And yet this is a man whose experimental findings have shifted our understanding of thought on its axis – someone described by Steven Pinker as “the world’s most influential living psychologist”. With his long-time collaborator Amos Tversky, who died in 1996, he delineated the biases that warp our judgment, from figuring out if we can trust a prospective babysitter to buying and selling shares. In 2002 he was awarded the Nobel prize in economics, a testament to the boundary-busting nature of his research.
Investor behaviour often deviates from logic and reason, and investors display many behaviour biases that influence their investment decision-making processes. The authors describe some common behavioural biases and suggest how to mitigate them.
I have always been passionate about using evidence to create more effective public services and influence for the better the decisions people make in their everyday lives.
In my first public intervention as Cabinet Secretary, I talked about the benefits to the nation’s health of the evidence-based work of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). And I asked a question: if NICE makes sense for medicine, why don’t we have a NICE for the other public services? This was only partly rhetorical.
Four years on, we have seven What Works Centres along the lines of NICE, operating across the policy spectrum, from crime to wellbeing, to help establish more effective policies, both in impact and cost.
The morphology of urban agglomeration is studied here in the context of information exchange between different spatio-temporal scales. Urban migration to and from cities is characterised as non-random and following non-random pathways. Cities are multidimensional non-linear phenomena, so understanding the relationships and connectivity between scales is important in determining how the interplay of local/regional urban policies may affect the distribution of urban settlements. In order to quantify these relationships, we follow an information theoretic approach using the concept of Transfer Entropy. Our analysis is based on a stochastic urban fractal model, which mimics urban growing settlements and migration waves. The results indicate how different policies could affect urban morphology in terms of the information generated across geographical scales.
Here, it is proposed that thinking on a different level is required to understand, what really triggers or removes this barrier. Just counting “dimensions” or “variables” is insufficient. The true intrinsic curse we are facing is the curse of instability. In fact, we argue below that instabilities (a) cause an increase in dimensionality, (b) substantially raise the analytical difficulty, and (c) are a strong indicator for multiscale dynamical complexity. Of course, it turns out that (a)–(c) are intimately related. Although we shall primarily illustrate the concepts with examples arising in mathematics and closely related disciplines, it will be shown that the abstract concept occurs, independently, across disciplines. In fact, we shall see that the curse of instability has already implicitly triggered the emergence of entirely new scientific disciplines. Furthermore, it may lead to formulate more concrete guiding principles to address the complexity challenges of the 21st century.
I think we have an idea that in an alternate universe, there’s a version of ourselves that could be living a more amazing life. That is perfectly productive (no procrastination!), that doesn’t get distracted, that hits all kinds of goals. At the same time, this person is also traveling, having amazing experiences, living the life with great friends and a wonderful partner. This person is learning all kinds of skills, reading, learning about fascinating topics. With a great body, of course.
This alternate self, of course, doesn’t exist, and never will.
All we have is this plain ol’ regular self. We’re stuck with it.
So we should make the best of what we have. Take a look at the current-reality self and say, “Hey, you’re OK. You’re pretty awesome in some ways. In other ways you’re flawed. That’s how all Earthlings are, actually. In any case, you’re good enough. Oh, and btw, I love you.”
Charles Darwin knew about the value of learning when he said, "It's not the biggest, the brightest, or the best that will survive, but those who adapt the quickest." It is therefore vital that we d...
Alessandro Cerboni's insight:
Charles Darwin knew about the value of learning when he said, “It’s not the biggest, the brightest, or the best that will survive, but those who adapt the quickest.” It is therefore vital that we develop ways and practices that assist us to learn about ourselves. Much has been written in the area of leader and manager development about the need for developing self-awareness. Sometimes the challenge is to know which areas to become more aware of. How, also, do we go about finding that out? How can we know what our “work” is, that is the intra-personal work of getting to know ourselves better: our strengths, our weaknesses, our Achilles’ heels? Your inner “work” facilitates your paid work to happen better One mantra I go by is “your work is your work”. What this means is that we often find ourselves in jobs or drawn to particular professions that somehow reflect that intra-personal need. This is often unconscious. Therein lies the holy grail, though. To illustrate, I was once shown around a television studio and introduced to everyone as we went. At one point, my host stopped and exclaimed, “Oh the schedulers are late! Why aren’t they in yet?” I giggled and said, “Oh well, your work is your work.” She looked quizzical and I explained that the job of schedulers is related to time and timeliness and it did not surprise me that those folks found themselves carrying out a professional function which, on a personal level, they struggled with.
Easy Ways to Fix Government 15 JUL 27, 2015 10:37 AM EDT By Cass R. Sunstein In 2010, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron began an experiment that he knew might not succeed. He created a new office, the Behavioural Insights Team, which would try to apply new understandings of human behavior to the work of agencies throughout government -- with the goal of saving 10 times as much money as the project cost. If BIT failed, it would be shut down within two years. (Disclosure: I have consulted with BIT on occasion, and the office itself now plans to work with Bloomberg Philanthropies on a project involving midsize U.S. cities.)
Comparison of children in 12 countries reveals the most aggressive, and why.
Children who expect others to be aggressive are more aggressive themselves, new international research concludes.
Professor Kenneth A. Dodge, who led the study, said:
“When a child infers that he or she is being threatened by someone else and makes an attribution that the other person is acting with hostile intent, then that child is likely to react with aggression.
This study shows that this pattern is universal in every one of the 12 cultural groups studied worldwide.”
The research compared 1,299 children in the US, Italy, Jordan, Kenya Thailand, China — 12 countries in all.
Children were given scenarios to read involving common situations that could be interpreted ambiguously.
In today’s global, tightly integrated economy, extreme market drops are often created, or at least exacerbated, by investors’ collective trading behaviour. Often, irrationality is the underlying cause. Behavioural finance has discovered several psychological biases that prompt investors to act in, well, not particularly rational ways. One of the strongest psychological biases is Loss Aversion. Loss Aversion is the tendency that, in the Investors' minds, potential losses appear significantly larger than potential gains.
“Investor Behavior: An Overview” is the introduction chapter for the book Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing edited by H. Kent Baker and Victor Ricciardi that presents a historical perspective of investor psychology
Each week I'll take a quick look at three real-world nudges. This week I look at Greece's referendum ballot design, a helpful reminder from Porter Airlines, and stairs that push individuals to exercise.
On July 5, Greece's public voted on bailout conditions proposed by the EU and the IMF. The ballot placed a 'No' before a 'Yes,' which is largely unprecedented for a referendum. ABBC article quoted an expert on electoral reform, stating that the format of the ballot is "unusual." Could placing the 'No' first actually affect the way individuals voted?
There's no way to know, since it wasn't tested in this context (missed opportunity for behavioralists!), but the Greek public ended up voting ‘No’ with 61% of the vote. Read about the behavioral implications of this ballot’s design from Jon Jachimowicz and Sam McNerney here.
And for some more nefarious uses of nudging in ballot design, check out Chile’s 1978 referendum on the approval of its President’s policies ('yes' is higher and coupled with Chile’s flag), or Germany’s 1938 ballot on unification of Austria and Germany and approval of Hitler (which provided a large 'yes' and a small 'no').
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