background preloader

JDM (not standing for Jellyfish Dark Matter)

Facebook Twitter

More Bad News for Fans of Menu Calorie Counts. When New York City enacted its calorie-labeling regulation in July of 2008, the logic made sense.

More Bad News for Fans of Menu Calorie Counts

By forcing chain restaurants with 15 or more locations to give consumers information about foods' calorie contents, it would allow people to make smarter, better-informed decisions about their eating habits. Alas, as with many other awareness-raising efforts, the evidence that calorie counts lead to smarter nutritional decisions isn't very strong. And now a new study in Health Affairs lends even more reason for skepticism. A team led by Jonathan Cantor, a Ph.D. student at New York University's Robert F. On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit. Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 10, No. 6, November 2015, pp. 549-563 Although bullshit is common in everyday life and has attracted attention from philosophers, its reception (critical or ingenuous) has not, to our knowledge, been subject to empirical investigation.

On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit

Here we focus on pseudo-profound bullshit, which consists of seemingly impressive assertions that are presented as true and meaningful but are actually vacuous. We presented participants with bullshit statements consisting of buzzwords randomly organized into statements with syntactic structure but no discernible meaning (e.g., “Wholeness quiets infinite phenomena”). Across multiple studies, the propensity to judge bullshit statements as profound was associated with a variety of conceptually relevant variables (e.g., intuitive cognitive style, supernatural belief). 1 Introduction. How do common medications influence moral decisions? One group of volunteers received either the serotonin-enhancing antidepressant drug citalopram or placebo.

How do common medications influence moral decisions?

Enhancing serotonin made participants more reluctant to harm, regardless of whether this benefited themselves or another person. The volunteers who received citalopram were willing to pay nearly twice as much money as those who received placebo to prevent both themselves and other people from receiving pain. Another group of volunteers received either the dopamine-boosting Parkinson’s drug levodopa or placebo. Boosting dopamine appeared to induce more selfish decision-making. The volunteers who received placebo would rather harm themselves than another person for profit. Daniel Kahneman: ‘What would I eliminate if I had a magic wand? Overconfidence’ 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.

Daniel Kahneman: ‘What would I eliminate if I had a magic wand? Overconfidence’

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”. Expert philosophers are just as irrational as the rest of us. Theconversation. The Liberal Democrats have been left reeling by the collapse of their vote in the 2015 election, which has left them with just eight MPs in parliament.


But within just a few days of the blow, something surprising started to happen – the party was experiencing one of the largest surges of support in years. Around 8,000 people signed up to membership in the days after the election – amounting to a new member every 39 seconds, according to the party. Psephological pseudoscience. In 1948, the American writer E.B.

Psephological pseudoscience

Write opined that “the so-called science of poll-taking is not a science at all but a mere necromancy.” While political scientists might disagree, they probably would keep their objections quite right about now. It is well known that expert predictions of the 2015 General Election were off target. But how bad were they and what might they mean for how we think about “data journalism”? For almost 20 years I’ve studied and evaluated predictions, on subjects as varied as global sea level rise, hurricane damage, the English Premier League table and the quadrennial World Cup. Terry Burnham: A Trick For Higher SAT scores? Unfortunately no. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a simple trick to score better on college entrance exams like the SAT and other tests?

Terry Burnham: A Trick For Higher SAT scores? Unfortunately no.

There is a reputable claim that such a trick exists. Unfortunately, the trick does not appear to be real. In the spring of 2012, I was reading Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. Professor Kahneman discussed an intriguing finding that people score higher on a test if the questions are hard to read. The particular test used in the study is the CRT or cognitive reflection task invented by Shane Frederick of Yale. The only thing worse than never having a choice is always having to choose. Choice can be a mixed blessing – as you know if you’ve ever spent an evening browsing hundreds of titles on Netflix only to repair despondently to bed without watching a movie.

The only thing worse than never having a choice is always having to choose

One famous if controversial study found that people were much more likely to purchase a jar of jam when faced with a choice of just six flavors than with 24, which short-circuited their brains. Even if we overcome “analysis paralysis” and make a decision, other research suggests that we’ll be less satisfied with our choice when forced to pick from a larger range of options. Yet in politics – and in American politics above all – choice remains an unquestionably positive thing. Sure, it might not always be feasible to allow people maximum choice among doctors, say, or schools; but even politicians who oppose the expansion of choice tend to insist they’re doing so reluctantly and out of necessity.

Q & A With Richard Thaler On What It Really Means To Be A "Nudge" Why we gamble like monkeys. We often make stupid choices when gambling, says Tom Stafford, but if you look at how monkeys act in the same situation, maybe there’s good reason.

Why we gamble like monkeys

When we gamble, something odd and seemingly irrational happens. It's called the 'hot hand' fallacy – a belief that your luck comes in streaks – and it can lose you a lot of money. Win on roulette and your chances of winning again aren't more or less – they stay exactly the same. But something in human psychology resists this fact, and people often place money on the premise that streaks of luck will continue – the so called 'hot hand'. Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? There’s a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s comic masterpiece Dr.

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

Strangelove in which Jack D. Ripper, an American general who’s gone rogue and ordered a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, unspools his paranoid worldview—and the explanation for why he drinks “only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure grain alcohol”—to Lionel Mandrake, a dizzy-with-anxiety group captain in the Royal Air Force. HPV Vaccination Not Linked to Riskier Sex. Receiving the human papillomavirus vaccine does not increase rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in adolescent females. The vaccine, which can prevent cervical cancer in women, has had a low uptake, partly because of concerns about how it will affect adolescent sexual activity. Get more HMS news here. The findings, based on investigations by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Southern California, published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that the vaccine does not promote risky sexual behaviors among those who have received the vaccine.

Human Papillomavirus. Image: iStock In Australia, which has instituted a national policy of mandatory HPV vaccination, delivered for free through the schools, more than 80 percent of girls ages 14-16 have received at least one of the three recommended doses of the vaccine. Two HPV vaccines currently exist in the market. Awareness Is Overrated. Think of the last time you were at a party and shocked your fellow guests with some dire statistic about the black-white incarceration divide or global warming or poverty in Brazil. What you felt at that moment probably wasn’t just empathy or sadness at the state of the world. No.

If you’re honest with yourself, it mostly felt good to be the bearer of bad tidings. “Vaccine Hesitancy”: The PLOS Currents Collection - Speaking of Medicine. Peter Hotez (@peterhotez), President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, announces the launch of PLOS Currents Outbreaks collection on Vaccine Hesitancy. Image Credit: Dawn Huczek, Flickr Measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000 – with elimination defined as “the absence of continuous disease transmission for 12 months or more in a specific geographic area”. But in 2014 things began to unravel when the US experienced its largest number of measles cases since elimination was declared, and later at the beginning of 2015 when a measles outbreak began in Disneyland and subsequently spread to multiple states. The primary cause of the California measles outbreak was parents who chose not to vaccinate their children because of unwarranted fears that vaccines were linked to autism, despite the fact that such connections have been disproven in the scientific literature.

How the world could better fight obesity. Obesity is a critical global issue that requires a comprehensive, international intervention strategy. More than 2.1 billion people—nearly 30 percent of the global population—are overweight or obese. That’s almost two and a half times the number of adults and children who are undernourished. Obesity is responsible for about 5 percent of all deaths a year worldwide, and its global economic impact amounts to roughly $2 trillion annually, or 2.8 percent of global GDP—nearly equivalent to the global impact of smoking or of armed violence, war, and terrorism (Exhibit 1). Close the menu, enjoy your meal more. Risk And Reason. Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Wet bias in weather reporting. Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Wet bias in weather reporting. Fighting Crime by Going Cashless. Since the early 1990s, crime rates have generally been falling in the U.S. TheWorldImages: Clever idea from the Japanese... Fighting Crime by Going Cashless.

Why We Try (And Fail) To Keep Sunk Costs Afloat. You spend five dollars ordering a movie on demand. Ten minutes in, you’re already bored. What the Dunning-Kruger effect is and isn’t. Bright idea: Smart street lamps light up only when needed. 20th APS Annual Convention - Inside the Psychologist's Studio with Daniel Kahneman. When prescription works better than proscription. Why does printing cover pages save paper? A decidedly mixed bag. “Paper or plastic?” [11] “Exactly”: The Most Famous Framing Effect Is Robust To Precise Wording. Britain’s Ministry of Nudges. [3] A New Way To Increase Charitable Donations: Does It Replicate? A new paper finds that people will donate more money to help 20 people if you first ask them how much they would donate to help 1 person. Public Policies, Made to Fit People. Mechanical Turk Workers Are Not Anonymous. Climate change will damage your health! Why You’re More Likely to Die After Getting Paid. Thinking in a Foreign Language Makes Decisions More Rational.

Magnificent application of game theory on a game show. Cognitive Bias VideoSong. Does nudge policy work? A critique of Sunstein and Thaler. Dan Ariely's ITW - Better the devil you know. Women make safer financial decisions when faced with sexual stereotypes. (When) are religious people nicer? Religious salience and the ``Sunday Effect'' on pro-social behavior. Playing by the same rules reduces the differences between humans, chimps and monkeys. We're Only Human...: "The Piece of Cake Heuristic" How a simple point of grammar could affect our voting decisions. It is human nature to cooperate with strangers - life - 13 June 2011. Just rewards. In Praise Of Vagueness. Daniel Kahneman: 'We're beautiful devices'