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Collective Intelligence: Humanity’s Mass Mind

Collective Intelligence: Humanity’s Mass Mind | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

"BRAIN, Behaviorally Robust Aggregation of Information in Networks), created by Hewlett Packard, is a fascinating example of collective intelligence. According to the creators, “Existing processes tend to be either too data-driven, and therefore lacking the perspective of human insight, or too ad hoc, and therefore inconsistent with the data. “

BRAIN was developed to gain more accurate information for prediction markets using data side-by-side with team surveys. It’s worked for HP, and other companies, such as IBM and Ford, have implemented prediction markets as well."


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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, 6:37 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, 4:30 PM

Thanks to Alessandro

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It's the effect size - Decision Science News

It's the effect size - Decision Science News | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Enter the concept of effect size. Effect size gives one a way to think about how large an effect (e.g. a height difference) is, not just the probability of the data given the null hypothesis.

Social science research puts the p-value on a pedestal. The p value, or probability of the data given the null hypothesis is true, is seen as the gateway to publication, giving authors an incentive to “p hack“, or use various tricks to get p-values down below .05. And they do this despite the lord loving the .06 as much as the .05. We have cartooned on this before: One gripe with the p-value is that statistical significance is cheap. Most plausible hypotheses become statistically significant when the sample size is large enough. Among other things, statistical significance is a function of sample size. In the age of mTurk-scale data, attaining statistical significance is easier than ever. We have heard it said that that if you draw a line anywhere through the belly of the United States, you’ll find a significant different in height on opposite sides of the line because of the massive sample size. But it may be a puny difference.

Enter the concept of effect size. Effect size gives one a way to think about the magnitude of effects, not just the probability of the data given the null hypothesis (aka, the p-value). One popular measure of effect size, Cohen’s D, is discussed along with in the beautiful visualization pictured above. Learn more from the article It’s The Effect Size, Stupid, from which this post gets its name. And learn why you need lots of data to estimate effect sizesfrom our friends at Data Colada.

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Why You Shouldn't Trust Malcolm Gladwell |Opinion | The Harvard Crimson

Why You Shouldn't Trust Malcolm Gladwell |Opinion | The Harvard Crimson | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Behavioral Economist

When I tell other students here that I plan to study behavioral economics, one of the first things they say to me is, "Have you heard of Malcolm Gladwell?"  And usually I respond, "How could I not have heard of him?"  He has entrenched himself as one of the most recognizable authors in recent memory.  His popularity and perceived know-how have allowed him to command $45,000 in speaking fees per appearance, most notably at Bank of America (and if you were wondering how BOA has been doing recently...).  He was also given an award  by the American Sociological Association for his excellence in "disseminating sociological research," so academics have endorsed him as well.

Certainly, I have read many of his books at the recommendation of many peers.  Just like they said, most of his work centers around topics in social psychology, a key component in many business and economic threads.  I have found his books to be well written; mesmerizing at times, as he skillfully and effortlessly glides from topic to topic, story to story.  His writing style is unique and captivating.  Unfortunately, rather than nonfiction, professional, business-level books, I have found his writings to be full of simple stories that do nothing more than stir up a generalized interest and allow the author to engage in vague theorizing.  

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De-jargoned: Behavioral economics

De-jargoned: Behavioral economics | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

It is a combination of psychology and economics which looks into economic decision-making.If human beings were rational decision makers, as assumed in standard economics literature, the functioning of financial markets would have been a lot smoother than it actually is. If investors always behaved rationally, then they would have only bought assets that are undervalued and sold whenever prices went above the fair value. As a result, over time, all assets would have been priced to perfection and we would not have faced boom and bust cycles in the financial market. However, they are a regular feature and studies in behavioural economics show that people do not always act rationally. In an article on behavioural economics, Harvard Magazine has put this aptly. “Economic Man makes logical, rational, self-interested decisions that weigh costs against benefits and maximize value and profit to himself. Economic Man is an intelligent, analytic, selfish creature who has perfect self-regulation in pursuit of his future goals and is unswayed by bodily states and feelings… But Economic Man has one fatal flaw: he does not exist.” (See: The Marketplace of Perceptions, March-April 2006.) What is behavioural economics? It can be defined as a combination of psychology and economics which looks into the economic decision-making of individuals. It has been found that human behaviour is not always rational as previously perceived. Human beings have limited ability to process information and take mental shortcuts (also known as heuristics) to arrive at a decision. There are also cognitive biases that affect decisions.

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Money/13HCccztL5dNvip08Lq2pL/Dejargoned-Behavioral-economics.html?utm_source=copy

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This Is Your Brain on Silence - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus

This Is Your Brain on Silence - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

One icy night in March 2010, 100 marketing experts piled into the Sea Horse Restaurant in Helsinki, with the modest goal of making a remote and medium-sized country a world-famous tourist destination. The problem was that Finland was known as a rather quiet country, and since 2008, the Country Brand Delegation had been looking for a national brand that would make some noise.

Over drinks at the Sea Horse, the experts puzzled over the various strengths of their nation. Here was a country with exceptional teachers, an abundance of wild berries and mushrooms, and a vibrant cultural capital the size of Nashville, Tennessee. These things fell a bit short of a compelling national identity. Someone jokingly suggested that nudity could be named a national theme—it would emphasize the honesty of Finns. Someone else, less jokingly, proposed that perhaps quiet wasn’t such a bad thing. That got them thinking.

A few months later, the delegation issued a slick “Country Brand Report.” It highlighted a host of marketable themes, including Finland’s renowned educational system and school of functional design. One key theme was brand new: silence. As the report explained, modern society often seems intolerably loud and busy. “Silence is a resource,” it said. It could be marketed just like clean water or wild mushrooms. “In the future, people will be prepared to pay for the experience of silence.”

 

 

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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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Deborah Eastwood's curator insight, August 25, 7:25 PM

Writing rituals.

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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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Herbert Simon’s Silent Revolution

 Abstract

Simon’s bounded rationality (BR), the first scientific research

program (as opposed to a purely philosophical one) to seriously

take the cognitive limitations of decision makers into

account, has often been conflated with his more restricted

concept of satisficing—choosing an alternative that meets or

exceeds specified criteria, but that is not guaranteed to be

unique or in any sense “the best.” Proponents of optimization

often dismiss bounded rationality out of hand with the following

“hallway syllogism” (as formulated by Bendor 2003:

435, who disagrees with it): bounded rationality “boils down

to” satisficing; satisficing is “simply” a theory of search for

alternatives that takes into account the costs of computation.

Hence, bounded rationality is “just a minor tweak” on optimal

search theory.

This article complements a psychologist’s plea for “striking

a blow for sanity” in theories of rationality (Gigerenzer

2004). I amplify his argument that bounded rationality is not

optimization under constraints from a more biological perspective.

In order to do so, I first call attention to Simon’s

evolutionary understanding of the nature of bounded rationality

as grounded in the interactions between organisms and their

environments, which has implications for niche construction

and evolutionary theory generally. I then discuss the debate

between “optimizers” and “satisficers” with particular attention

tomodeling in biology. I round off by briefly assessing the

relevance of a ramification of bounded rationality, the neardecomposability

of hierarchical systems, for modular theory,

which predicts that hierarchical developmental processes generate

hierarchical phenotypic units that can change independently.

Interspersed are some remarks on Simon’s philosophical

views.

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I'm Dan Ariely, Author and Professor, and This Is How I Work

I'm Dan Ariely, Author and Professor, and This Is How I Work | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Smart people sometimes do dumb things. Why is that? You may want to ask Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics who has made a name for himself by studying why we often behave irrationally.
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Joseph T. Hallinan’s ‘Kidding Ourselves,’ and More

Joseph T. Hallinan’s ‘Kidding Ourselves,’ and More | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
In 1982, something disturbing began happening to men in northeastern India: Their penises started to shrink. And no amount of physical evidence could convince the unfortunate sufferers otherwise. “Penis panics” — turns out, they’re far from rare — are one of the more striking examples of the general principle behind Hallinan’s fascinating new book, “Kidding Ourselves,” an exploration of our mind’s ability to conjure its own reality. “The things we believe in may be imaginary,” Hallinan writes, “but the results they produce can be real.” He sometimes fuses shaky science with legitimate findings (the implicit-egotism effect, for instance, which argues you’re more likely to marry someone with a similar name because you’re subconsciously drawn to someone who somehow resembles you, has been largely discredited; and no student of behavioral economics would ever hold the stock market as a “citadel of rationality”), and other times flits too rapidly from vignette to vignette, yet such lapses are rare. More frequently, he entertains and provokes in equal measure. And his point is an important one: Our mind is a powerful thing.
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