Bounded Rationality and Beyond
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News on the effects of bounded rationality in economics and business, relationships and politics
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Dan Ariely Presentation - Ira Sohn 2014 Investment Conference

Dan Ariely Presentation - Ira Sohn 2014 Investment Conference | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University. In addition to appointments at the Fuqua
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Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Why Nudge? by Cass Sunstein

Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Why Nudge? by Cass Sunstein | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
He has been called the “the most dangerous man in America”. His scientific articles, newspaper contributions, and books predictably arouse emotional responses and his most recent book “Why Nudge?” is no exception. Cass Sunstein wrote Why Nudge? as a response to various attacks on nudging and behaviourally informed regulation. Based on earlier books, such as Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow and Thaler and Sunstein’sNudge, Why Nudge? presents several new and important contributions, some of which are summarised below.
 The book classifies paternalism along 2 dimensions; soft versus hard and means versus ends. The distinction between soft and hard paternalism describes how costly a paternalistic intervention is for the individual. For example, while tobacco packaging warning messages are soft paternalism, a large fine if you are caught smoking in an illegal zone is a hard intervention. The distinction between means paternalism and ends paternalism refers to whether interventions should tell people what to do or prioritize helping them to achieve what they want themselves. An example is discouraging obesity by posting calorie labels (means) or banning large sized sugary drinks (ends). 'Nudges', of which there are many examples in the Nudge Database on this website, are (i) soft, in that they are relatively low-cost, and (ii) means-oriented, in that they do not override individuals' goals.
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Nudging is anti-democratic and anti-political

Nudging is anti-democratic and anti-political | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Letters: A nudge works best when its target doesn't realise it's being nudged.

There are a number of issues in Cass Sunstein's article on nudging that need addressing (We should be nudging people, not shoving, 25 April) First, a nudge works best when its target doesn't realise it's being nudged – think of the architecture of a supermarket, for example, which encourages us to buy one thing rather than another. This undermines Sunstein's claim that a nudge maintains "freedom of choice". It's true that there are plenty of things on the shelves, but a nudge will have failed if it doesn't make us choose one of those things in preference to others.

Second, Sunstein has it in for public officials, who he says have limited information and do not always have the purest of motivations. Unlike nudgers, of course, who, we are to suppose, possess perfect information and are unerringly saintly.

Guardian journalist Shiv Malik revealed the grubby side of nudging when he exposed the bogus psychometric tests inflicted on jobseekers by the Department for Work and Pensions – whatever answers were entered, the subject ended up with the same psychometric profile (Jobseekers made to carry our bogus psychometric tests, 30 April 2013). This hardly amounts to treating people with dignity – another core nudge value, according to Sunstein. 

Third, for nudgers, people are not citizens involved in the co-creation of policy, but experimental subjects to be prodded and poked in the petri dish of the behavioural economist's imagination. Sunstein has defined nudging as "libertarian paternalism" – an oxymoron rooted in the self-fulfilling prophecy that people are incapable of sound judgment. In sum, nudging is anti-democratic and anti-political, the latest in a long line of attempts to bypass the messy business of engaging citizens in grown-up debate.

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Do non-compete agreements result in worse work? - Decision Science News

Do non-compete agreements result in worse work? - Decision Science News | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Do non-compete agreements result in worse work?

The academic power couple On Amir and Orly Lobel report on a clever experiment on non-compete agreements  in a recent Harvard Business Review article:

We recruited 1,028 participants to complete an online task for pay. Half of them were asked to do a purely effort-based activity (searching matrices for numbers that added up to 10), and the other half, a creative activity (thinking of words closely associated with other words). Some subjects in each group were placed under restrictions that mimicked a noncompete agreement: They were told that although they would later be invited to perform another paid task, they’d be barred from accepting the same type of task. The remaining subjects were used as a control group and given no restrictions.

Sixty-one percent of the subjects in the noncompete group gave up on their task (thus forgoing payment), compared with only 41% in the control group. Among the subjects who completed the matrix task, people with noncompete conditions were twice as likely to make mistakes as people in the control group. Those who were restricted also skipped more items and spent less time on the task—further indications of low motivation.

The finding seems to fit the theme of Orly Lobel’s book Talent Wants to Be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free Riding. When the authors replaced the matrix task with the more enjoyable creative activity, the differences went away. As the authors say “Prior research had shown that in creative endeavors, people are primarily driven by intrinsic motivations. So it made sense that subjects working on the word associations would be less affected by a negative external incentive than people working on math tasks would be.”

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Children do not behave like adults: Gender gaps in performance and risk taking

Abstract
Using unique panel data, we compare cognitive performance and wagering behavior of children (10-11 years) with adults playing in the Swedish version of the TV-shows Jeopardy and Junior Jeopardy. Although facing the same well-known high-stakes game, and controlling for performance differences, there is no gender gap in risk-taking among
girls and boys in contrast with adults, and, while girls take more risk than women, boys take less risk than men. We also find that female behavior is differently sensitive to social context. While women wager more, girls perform worse and employ inferior wagering strategies when randomly assigned male opponents.

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Investors susceptibility to heuristics and some individual differences

Investors susceptibility to heuristics and some individual differences | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

ABSTRACT

The myth of rational investors is long gone broken but great number of finance theorists andmainstream orthodox economists are still advocating the theory ofhomo economicus. In this paper, we take closer look at susceptibility of investors to heuristics and biases, in general,and looking at some individual differences. We found that average investor is susceptible toheuristics and biases. From the perspective of individual differences, we found that professional investor status interacts with the length of investors trading experience, meaningthat professional investors through years of investing get more susceptible to heuristics/biaseswhile non- professional investors get more “rational”.

 

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The Pershing Square Foundation awards $17M to Harvard

The Pershing Square Foundation awards $17M to Harvard | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Harvard University announced today that New York–based The Pershing Square Foundation (PSF), founded by alumni Bill Ackman ’88, M.B.A. ’92, and his wife, Karen Ackman, M.L.A. ’93, has awarded the University $17 million to catalyze the work of its Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative.
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The Heat of the Moment: The Effect of Sexual Arousal on Sexual Decision Makin DAN ARIELY and GEORGE LOEWENSTEIN

ABSTRACT

Despite the social importance of decisions taken in the ‘‘heat of the moment,’’ very little research has examined the effect of sexual arousal on judgment and decision making. Here we examine the effect of sexual arousal, induced by self-stimulation, on judgments and hypothetical decisions made by male college students. Students were assigned to be in either a state of sexual arousal or a neutral state and were asked to: (1) indicate how appealing they find a wide range of sexual stimuli and activities, (2) report their willingness to engage in morally questionable behavior in order to obtain sexual gratification, and (3) describe their willingness to engage in unsafe sex when sexually aroused. The results show that sexual arousal had a strong impact on all three areas of judgment and decision making, demonstrating the importance of situational forces on preferences, as well as subjects’ inability to predict these influences on their own behavior.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, May 1, 2014 9:55 AM

This makes sense for men.  We're pigs, we can go crazy in the pursuit of sexual conquest and do things that we otherwise would not ordinarily do.

 

But what about women, the people who are actually making the arguable final judgement about whether sex is going to happen or not happen?  How do they make judgements with regards to sex?

 

Personally, I'm willing to hypothesize that it'll be different for each woman and be more complicated and nuanced than the male end of things, even though I know that they enjoy sex as much as men.

 

Ladies, your thoughts?  Feelings?

Think about it.

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“What is fair for you?” Judgments and decisions about fairness and Theory of Mind

Theory of Mind (ToM) is involved in decision making in strategic games with adults, while its results with children are still controversial, probably because the literature to date has not directly assessed children’s concept of fairness. The goal of this research is to investigate what constitutes fairness across different age groups (children aged seven, eight and nine years) by assessing both their judgements and their decisions concerning the offers made by a social partner and then to relate this to ToM understanding by using second-order false-belief tasks. Results show that, across age groups, the concept of fairness evolves from divisions in one’s advantage towards those of equality; although ToM is not related to the concept of fairness, it plays a role in the strategic behaviour that orients children to accept more equal divisions and to reject hyperfair divisions.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 30, 2014 6:19 PM

I wonder if this could be replicated across cultures at the same age group.  Would certainly help confirm or deny the whole Theory of Mind conception for humanity.

 

I'm willing to bet that, especially at young ages, we're more alike mentally than we are different.  It is the mixture of experiences, genetics and so forth that, I think, creates the diversity of perspective that is needed in order to have a healthy, functional and, dare I say, thriving and adaptable society.  For sure, there are ticks in our brains that may help strengthen or weaken our connection with reality.  But, in general, humanity must be allowed to remain dynamic, because we are in a dynamic universe.  No sense calcifying our brains, because that would be rigid and breakable in common reality.

 

So, very interesting survey.  Would like to see more research.

 

Enjoy!

 

Think about it.

 

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TED: Dan Ariely on Why We Cheat | Business | WIRED

TED: Dan Ariely on Why We Cheat | Business | WIRED | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Dan Ariely is a people hacker. A professor of behavioral economics at Duke University and MIT as well as director of MIT’s Center for Advanced Hindsight, Ariely deconstructs human behavior to find the hidden ways we deceive ourselves about the things we do and to construct better ways of resolving some of life’s issues.

Ariely, who was born in the U.S. and raised in Israel, wrote a book called Predictably Irrational, which showed how people are irrational in calculable and dependable ways. He’s also conducted tests on cheating that produced some interesting results.

In his research, Ariely gave test subjects 20 math problems to solve and told them they’d be paid cash for each correct answer. The subjects were given only five minutes to do the exam, ensuring that no one would complete it. When the time was up, the control subjects were told to count their correct answers and collect their pay.

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The Oxford Handbook of Social Cognition

The Oxford Handbook of Social Cognition | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Social cognition, as a field, can be characterized as a distinct subarea of social psychology that examines all of the countless cognitive complexities, mental representations, and processes implicated in interaction, as well as an approach to studying interactions in the context of the groups, cultures, and societies to which they belong. Together these two facets of social cognition create one of the most influential and important social sciences to come along in some time. Providing a comprehensive review of major topics in the field of social cognition, The Oxford Handbook of Social Cognition expresses that excitement and fascination in describing the content and approach that constitute the field today. The 43 chapters included in this handbook cover:  central aspects of the field of social cognition, including its history and historically important foundational research areas (attribution, attitudes, impression formation, and prejudice/stereotyping), along with methodology – core issues relating to social cognitive representationsand processes (including those that are visual, implicit, or automatic) and the stages of information processing (attention, perception, memory, and judgment, along with simulation and thought suppression) – applications of the social cognition approach to areas of social psychology, general psychology, and other disciplines, such as marketing, law, health and politics.  After more than 30 years, the vibrant field of social cognition continues to reign as one of psychology’s most dominant approaches. The impressive chapters collected in this volume define the field and contribute enormously to our understanding of what social cognition is today.
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Modern Finance Is Seeing Historic Levels of Speculation

Modern Finance Is Seeing Historic Levels of Speculation | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Not surprisingly, the 2008–2009 global financial crisis sent many financial professionals looking to history for a sense of appropriate context and perspective to understand the magnitude of such a catastrophic financial shock. 

Why study financial history? For historical context that helps to make sense of the current world.

Not surprisingly, the 2008–2009 global financial crisis sent many financial professionals looking to history for a sense of appropriate context and perspective to understand the magnitude of such a catastrophic financial shock. This, in turn, sparked a general interest in financial history but with few professional sources to turn to. At the 2014 Middle East Investment Conference, professor Adrian R. Bell, head of the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading’s Henley Business School, considered the question of whether  modern finance existed in the Middle Ages.

Bell hesitated, but nonetheless conceded, that finance seems to be as old as the agricultural revolution in Mesopotamia more than 3,000 years ago. It was then that forward contracts carved into cuneiform tablets — one for barley (at an interest rate of 33.33%) and the other for silver (at an interest rate of 20%) — were entered into between a person and a god (at least the god’s intermediary, a priest). Put another way, finance seems to be an inevitable consequence of human activity, and its invention was predetermined.

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How Did the Neoclassical Paradigm Conquer a Multi-disciplinary Research Institution?

How Did the Neoclassical Paradigm Conquer a Multi-disciplinary Research Institution? | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
The paper analyses the social conditions of a disciplinary evolution and paradigmatic shift. It is based on the history of economics at the EHESS from 1948 to 2005. An analysis of the PhD committees database enables us to trace the importance and evolution of different economic paradigms within this institution. In the early eighties, the traditional interdisciplinary humanist economics was challenged by a new generation of neoclassical engineer-economists. Far from being a mere declination of a general trend in the discipline, this paradigmatic shift was largely contingent, resting on local context and the influence of a few key persons. The exhibition of international capital and the building of political alliances within the assembly were also key elements for the change and for the survival of the new lineage in a rather hostile environment.
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A Multidisciplinary Approach to Mind and Consciousness | Grandpierre | NeuroQuantology

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Mind and Consciousness | Grandpierre | NeuroQuantology | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
In the last 400 years physics has achieved great success, in theory and experimentation, determining the structure of matter and energy. The next great step in the evolution of science will be exploring the role of mind and consciousness in the universe, employing mathematics and fundamental theoretical constructs to yield specific predictions. Based on recent findings in biological autonomy, we propose to approach consciousness from the key aspect of decision-making. This approach allows us to develop a quantitative theory of consciousness as manifested in information processing. Since decision-making occurs at a certain level of organization, natural relations are obtained between consciousness at one level of organization and unconsciousness at another. By following this chain of argument, we also consider the possibility that levels of consciousness and unconsciousness form a self-closing hierarchy. This line of reasoning has led us to theoretically formulate the possible relationships between mind, cellular activity (both neuronal and non-neuronal), and the universe, working with the categories of consciousness, self-consciousness, and unconsciousness. What we propose in the present paper is a natural and straightforward extension of information theory to quantitative measures of consciousness at different levels and scales. A framework that integrates data from multiple disciplines can help us develop a broader theory of consciousness than what is possible from any single field alone. We present quantitative estimations for the rates of information processing at the global and cellular levels of the human organism and suggest values at the level of the universe. Our picture yields a new, quantitative picture of the mental capabilities of Homo sapiens and a reformulation of our place in the universe.
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Philippe Vallat's curator insight, May 7, 2014 11:24 AM

Some quotes:

  • if biological decision-making occurs through the quantum-vacuum and the Universe as a whole can be regarded as conscious or equivalently living, then decision-making can also occur through the autonomy of a living Universe.
  • At present, it is generally conceded that we do not know how our minds interact with our bodies.
  • the phenomenon of intuition seems to be related to cellular and universal consciousness as basic ingredients of organismal mind
  • living organisms, including the human, are first of all systems of consciousness capable of making decisions.


David Hain's curator insight, May 7, 2014 12:23 PM

Physics, spirituality and timeless life skills seem to be increasingly coming together. There should be mystery left for a while though!

Eli Levine's curator insight, May 7, 2014 3:45 PM

We are all one with the universe, regardless of our superficial or substantive differences.

 

A shame that this universe could raise so many people who are so incapable of living within it for a very long time.  Then again, isn't that what evolution works out over time?

We're a very young species and if we don't die off in the meantime, we will be stronger than before, especially if we identify, isolate and care for those who are not really fit for living, in spite of being otherwise functional, thanks to their brains and behaviors that prove to be dangerous to themselves and dangerous to others in the long and short terms.

 

It's time we take our mental health seriously, because we are all human and are all working with a second hand perspective of the world.  Some people's views are more accurate and helpful than others.

 

Think about it. 

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On the Same Wavelength: Predictable Language Enhances Speaker–Listener Brain-to-Brain Synchrony in Posterior Superior Temporal Gyrus

Recent research has shown that the degree to which speakers and listeners exhibit similar brain activity patterns during human linguistic interaction is correlated with communicative success. Here, we used an intersubject correlation approach in fMRI to test the hypothesis that a listener's ability to predict a speaker's utterance increases such neural coupling between speakers and listeners. Nine subjects listened to recordings of a speaker describing visual scenes that varied in the degree to which they permitted specific linguistic predictions. In line with our hypothesis, the temporal profile of listeners' brain activity was significantly more synchronous with the speaker's brain activity for highly predictive contexts in left posterior superior temporal gyrus (pSTG), an area previously associated with predictive auditory language processing. In this region, predictability differentially affected the temporal profiles of brain responses in the speaker and listeners respectively, in turn affecting correlated activity between the two: whereas pSTG activation increased with predictability in the speaker, listeners' pSTG activity instead decreased for more predictable sentences. Listeners additionally showed stronger BOLD responses for predictive images before sentence onset, suggesting that highly predictable contexts lead comprehenders to preactivate predicted words.

 
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A rough guide to spotting bad science - Decision Science News

A rough guide to spotting bad science - Decision Science News | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
A rough guide to spotting bad science
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Social Reference Points and Risk Taking

Abstract: This study test whether social reference points impact individual risk taking. In a laboratory experiment, decision makers observe the earnings of a peer subject before making a risky choice. We exogenously manipulate the peer earnings across two treatments. We find a signicant treatment effect on risk taking: decision makers vary their risk taking in order to surpass or stay ahead of their peer. Our findings are consistens with a social-comparison-based, reference-dependent preference model that formalizes relative concerns via social loss aversion. Additionally, we relate our findings to the impact of private reference points on risk taking.

 
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How to Set Goals That Lead to Happiness — PsyBlog

How to Set Goals That Lead to Happiness — PsyBlog | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

People are wrong about the type of goals that will make them happiest. New research suggests that certain concrete goals for happiness work better than abstract goals.The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, may answer one of the paradoxes of happiness: why trying to be happy sometimes makes us less happy (Rudd et al., 2014).

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The battle for the soul of economics

The battle for the soul of economics | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

SFI Professor Sam Bowles and External Professor Herb Gintis were among the "young radical economists" at Harvard in the late 1960s whose ideas were rejected by mainstream economists, ideas that have since gained credibility, according to a feature in Adbusters magazine on the value of diverse perspectives.

These young academics "called for a politicization of economics, accusing fellow economists of ignoring the important questions and being 'instrumental to the elite’s attainment of its unjust ends.'...A campaign ensued the next few years to eradicate the young radicals from top positions. Contract after contract and tenure after tenure were denied, including to the Harvard four."

"Among them, the most notable case was that of Sam Bowles, one of the brightest economists of his generation, as confirmed by his later work. His tenure candidacy was rejected by a nineteen to five vote in 1973."

Read the article in Adbusters magazine (May 1, 2014)

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Eli Levine's curator insight, May 2, 2014 4:57 PM

I would like to be on the frontlines of this fight.

 

Economics is political, but it's also a science in the sense that there are technical right and wrong ways to make policy that yield positive or negative results for everyone (including for the people who have political power).  Negative effects in the society tend to yield negative effects for the leadership, regardless of whether they're private or public.


I say that we take an honest look at economics without being swayed by personal opinion or belief.  Facts are facts; it doesn't matter what you think when it comes to figuring out what works and what doesn't work, and sometimes, that pay day that you're going for is toxic for your own self.

 

These are the stakes: do we live in ignorance and constantly create sub-optimal results from the flaws of both the left and the right?  Or do we grow up, accept the truths of the world, and make our laws work in accordance to natural law?

 

For the governing faction's sake, as well as for the general population's sake.

 

Think about it.

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Great expectations: neural computation underlying the use of social norms i decision-making

Social expectations play a critical role in everyday decision-making. However, their precise neuro-computational role in the decision process remains unknown. Here we adopt a decision neuroscience framework by combining methods and theories from psychology, economics and neuroscience to outline a novel, expectation-based, computational model of social preferences. Results demonstrate that this model outperforms the standard inequity-aversion model in explaining decision behavior in a social interactive bargaining task. This is supported by fMRI findings showing that the tracking of social expectation violations is processed by anterior cingulate cortex, extending previous computational conceptualizations of this region to the social domain. This study demonstrates the usefulness of this interdisciplinary approach in better characterizing the psychological processes that underlie social interactive decision-making.

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Near Death Experiences: A New Algorithmic Approach to Verifying Consciousness Outside the Brain | Laws | NeuroQuantology

Near Death Experiences: A New Algorithmic Approach to Verifying Consciousness Outside the Brain | Laws | NeuroQuantology | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Near Death Experiences: A New Algorithmic Approach to Verifying Consciousness Outside the Brain Quantum mechanics arose to explain 'wobbles' in predicted effects of Newtonian physics, such as the stability of electron orbitals. Similarly, scientifically verified phenomena in the field of neuroscience which contradict known theories of brain function, could give weight and credibility to neuroquantology, stimulating new research and discovery. The existence of consciousness outside the physical brain, often recounted anecdotally in various forms, if verified, could be such a phenomenon. Accounts of ‘Out of Body Experiences’ (OBEs), often incorporating ‘Near Death Experiences’ (NDEs) have accumulated over many years, with believers in the empirical actuality of the OBE/NDE, and sceptics entrenched. After an overview of explanations and theories on both sides, with counter-arguments, we make the case for a new approach, for identifying verifiable cases, if any. This would allow critical appraisal of evidence, according to scientific methodology, though with certain inescapable limitations. Using a specific, much-cited case, we show how distorted accounts of NDEs may be used to support supposedly ‘scientific’ arguments. We propose an algorithm, to discount unsuitable cases, identify verifiable features, and allow further reputable scientific study, and an online cache, of suitable cases. Verifying out-of-brain consciousness would stimulate new technology, for medical science, and even communication between brains – and new science to explain it, conceivably using quantum models, as it’s impossible according to current neuroscience. It would advance arguments about defining death, even survival after death. However slim the chance of verifying OBEs, the potential benefits and advances in scientific and biomedical knowledge make the attempt worthwhile.

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 30, 2014 7:13 PM

It's a pretty interesting algorithm to go through.  Buddhists have been talking for millenia about being able to transcend physical reality and have out of body experiences through meditation.  But they're hardly up to snuff as far as the algorithm is concerned.

 

It would make sense that consciousness is apart of the universe.  After all, we seem to have it, as do all other animals in some form or another.  Even plants are able to sense sunlight and tilt towards it to get the most amount of food.  Whether that counts for consciousness or bio-chemical reactions to energy is unknown to me. 

 

Yet what would be consciousness other than bio-chemical reactions in our brain, carried out either in house (not likely, due to the connectedness of our universe) or else, stimulated by unknown phenomenon outside of ourselves? 

 

Perhaps finding people with extremely good intuition and foresight would be a first step to solving these problems?  See what their brains look like in comparison to others?  But how would we test for foresight and intuition?

 

Interesting stuff.

 

And, not for nothing, I could be potentially convinced if more evidence was found to support it.  That's just the way science works: the truth may be more bizarre than any fiction, because a fiction has to at least be plausible.

 

Think about it.

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Path dependence in risky choice: Affective and deliberative processes in brain and behavior

a b s t r a c t
Decision-makers show an increased risk appetite when they gamble with previously won money, the house money effect, and when they have a chance to make up for a prior loss, the break even effect. To explore the origins of these effects, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging to record the brain activities of subjects while they make sequential risky
choices. The behavioral data from our experiment confirm the path dependence of choices, despite the short trial duration and the many task repetitions required for neuroimaging.
The brain data yield evidence that the increased risk appetite after gains and losses is related to an increased activity of affective brain processes and a decreased activity of deliberative brain processes.

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Swarm Intelligence : From Natural to Artificial Systems

Swarm Intelligence : From Natural to Artificial Systems | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Social insects--ants, bees, termites, and wasps--can be viewed as powerful problem-solving systems with sophisticated collective intelligence. Composed of simple interacting agents, this intelligence lies in the networks of interactions among individuals and between individuals and the environment. A fascinating subject, social insects are also a powerful metaphor for artificial intelligence, and the problems they solve--finding food, dividing labor among nestmates, building nests, responding to external challenges--have important counterparts in engineering and computer science. This book provides a detailed look at models of social insect behavior and how to apply these models in the design of complex systems. The book shows how these models replace an emphasis on control, preprogramming, and centralization with designs featuring autonomy, emergence, and distributed functioning. These designs are proving immensely flexible and robust, able to adapt quickly to changing environments and to continue functioning even when individual elements fail. In particular, these designs are an exciting approach to the tremendous growth of complexity in software and information. Swarm Intelligence draws on up-to-date research from biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, robotics, operations research, and computer graphics, and each chapter is organized around a particular biological example, which is then used to develop an algorithm, a multiagent system, or a group of robots. The book will be an invaluable resource for a broad range of disciplines.
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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 30, 2014 11:58 AM

Indeed, each human society or network of societies combines to form a self-organizing system, not unlike the bees or wasps or ants or termites.  I think this is based on culture, or rather, the psychological composition of the people who form the given society, as influenced by culture, history, environmental dynamics, inter and intra social relationships, economics, psychology, temperament and group condition.  This is what Gustave le Bon was arguably getting at in his book, "The Crowd."

 

Human beings, I think, need hierachy and order to make it so that they can live, be well and happy.  With disorder comes lack of economic activity, greater povery and fears of street crime.  It is through collective human efforts, not necessarily coordinated by govrenmnt agencies and buearuocracies.  The notion that we need less government to maximize freed, forgets the true place of freedom and the true meaning of wealth on the back burner while they produce money for themselves and only themselves at the expense of the workers who produce the honey that the rich live on. The way I see it, the one who has these conditions in effect are the helpless and dependent ones who aren't sensed in the world or how they relate to all of its parts.

 

Frankly, I don't think they are going to tap into their deep senses.  They don't seem to understand how the universe and its parts all work together to form something greater than itself.  Thus, they are perpetually out of touch with common reality and are, therefore, making terrible choices and priorities for themselves and others while in any position of society.

 

It's time we have them changed out, either by voting, resignation or ousting.  They can change themselves or be removed from those positions.

 

it is th itis choice to do so, reggardless of the complaints and issues that will be coming up from these ideologues, radicals and delusional individuals who can't even be expected to save their own skins while they hold power and authority in our social world.

 

Think about it.

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Julia Galef on Applied Rationality & CFAR

Julia Galef's talk at EA in Melbourne, Australia - Ever made a mistake? Missed an opportunity? Cognitive scientists have found that even highly educated and successful people make predictable errors in judgement, and just knowing about these experimental results often isn't enough to fix the problem. But with practice and exercises, you can. At our workshops, you can learn about newly discovered failure patterns in human decision-making, and get trained to overcome them... 

--- Part of a meetup in Melbourne titled 'The Mind and Altruism':

The challenges we face in making the world a better place are more complex than even the smartest human brains evolved to handle. To actually eliminate poverty, cure disease, and stop war, we need to make the best decisions we can. To do that, we must understand both the strengths and limitations of our minds.
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The Neuroscience of Desire - Less Wrong

The Neuroscience of Desire - Less Wrong | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Who knows what I want to do? Who knows what anyone wants to do? How can you be sure about something like that? Isn’t it all a question of brain chemistry, sign
The birth of neuroeconomics

Much work has been done on the affective neuroscience of desire,1 but I am less interested with desire as an emotion than I am with desire as a cause of decisions under uncertainty. This latter aspect of desire is mostly studied by neuroeconomics,2 not affective neuroscience.

From about 1880-1960, neoclassical economics proposed simple, axiomatic models of human choice-making focused on the idea that agents make rational decisions aimed at maximizing expected utility. In the 1950s and 60s, however, economists discovered some paradoxes of human behavior that violated the axioms of these models.3In the 70s and 80s, psychology launched an even broader attack on these models. For example, while economists assumed that choices among objects should not depend on how they are described ('descriptive invariance'), psychologists discovered powerful framing effects.4

In response, the field of behavioral economics began to offer models of human choice-making that fit the experimental data better than simple models of neoclassical economics did.5 Behavioral economists often proposed models that could be thought of as information-processing algorithms, so neuroscientists began looking for evidence of these algorithms in the human brain, and neuroeconomics was born.

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