In many settings, people exhibit behavior that is inconsistent across time --- we allocate a block of time to get work done and then procrastinate, or put effort into a project and then later fail to complete it.
How to broaden your thinking and make better decisions.
Suppose you’re evaluating a job candidate to lead a new office in a different country. On paper this is by far the most qualified person you’ve seen. Her responses to your interview questions are flawless. She has impeccable social skills. Still, something doesn’t feel right. You can’t put your finger on what—you just have a sense. How do you decide whether to hire her?
You might trust your intuition, which has guided you well in the past, and send her on her way. That’s what most executives say they’d do when we pose this scenario in our classes on managerial decision making. The problem is, unless you occasionally go against your gut, you haven’t put your intuition to the test. You can’t really know it’s helping you make good choices if you’ve never seen what happens when you ignore it.
This week's guest, Phil Rosenzweig joined EconTalk host Russ Roberts to talk about his new book, Left Brain, Right Stuff. We'd like to know what you took away from this week's recorded conversation, and hopefully spark some more here online....
Electoral prediction from Twitter data is an appealing research topic. It seems relatively straightforward and the prevailing view is overly optimistic. This is problematic because while simple approaches are assumed to be good enough, core problems are not addressed. Thus, this paper aims to (1) provide a balanced and critical review of the state of the art; (2) cast light on the presume predictive power of Twitter data; and (3) depict a roadmap to push forward the field. Hence, a scheme to characterize Twitter prediction methods is proposed. It covers every aspect from data collection to performance evaluation, through data processing and vote inference. Using that scheme, prior research is analyzed and organized to explain the main approaches taken up to date but also their weaknesses. This is the first meta-analysis of the whole body of research regarding electoral prediction from Twitter data. It reveals that its presumed predictive power regarding electoral prediction has been rather exaggerated: although social media may provide a glimpse on electoral outcomes current research does not provide strong evidence to support it can replace traditional polls. Finally, future lines of research along with a set of requirements they must fulfill are provided.
Humans typically discount future gains more than losses. This phenomenon is referred to as the “sign effect” in experimental and behavioral economics. Although recent studies have reported associations between the sign effect and important social problems, such as obesity and incurring multiple debts, the biological basis for this phenomenon remains poorly understood. Here, we hypothesized that enhanced loss-related neural processing in magnitude and/or delay representation are causes of the sign effect. We examined participants performing intertemporal choice tasks involving future gains or losses and compared the brain activity of those who exhibited the sign effect and those who did not. When predicting future losses, significant differences were apparent between the two participant groups in terms of striatal activity representing delay length and in insular activity representing sensitivity to magnitude. Furthermore, participants with the sign effect exhibited a greater insular response to the magnitude of loss than to that of gain, and also a greater striatal response to the delay of loss than to that of gain. These findings may provide a new biological perspective for the development of novel treatments and preventive measures for social problems associated with the sign effect.
Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness -- sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces.
In the United States, social media sites—such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—are currently being used by two out of three people (1), and search engines are used daily (2). Monitoring what users share or search for in social media and on the Web has led to greater insights into what people care about or pay attention to at any moment in time. Furthermore, it is also helping segments of the world population to be informed, to organize, and to react rapidly. However, social media and search results can be readily manipulated, which is something that has been underappreciated by the press and the general public.
In times of political elections, the stakes are high, and advocates may try to support their cause by active manipulation of social media. For example, altering the number of followers can affect a viewer's conclusion about candidate popularity. Recently, it was noted that the number of followers for a presidential candidate in the United States surged by over 110 thousand within one single day, and analysis showed that most of these followers are unlikely to be real people (3).
Social Scientists traditionally regard people's beliefs about the future to be exogenous to their desires and wishes. It's one thing to want something to happen, but it doesn't suppose to affect our beliefs that it will. My grandfather's German passport which I found among my dad's documents (see photo) shows how beliefs can be intermingled with wishes. Hugo Winter, a Jewish businessman from Koenigsberg, escaped Nazi Germany in 1934 to Palestine, leaving behind a flourishing business, a huge villa, and many friends and relatives. He never wanted to replace his fancy lifestyle in Germany
Philosophers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have put forward a new model that explains how humans recognise the emotions of others. According to their theory, humans are capable of perceiving feelings directly via pattern recognition.
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