Archive for the ‘Cognitive behavior’ Category

Digital amnesia: Is Google dulling your memory?

May 5, 2017

First, some background …

The tests I give my students always include some questions that can reasonably be tagged “memorization”.

Some students are repulsed by them them and shout the cultural refrain: “Don’t memorize anything that you can look up.”

The apparent thinking: You’ve only got a limited amount of space in your brain, so don’t clog it with an overload of information … only store the stuff you can’t look-up.

image

What’s wrong with that argument?

(more…)

Gains, losses, the endowment effect … and ObamaCare

March 3, 2017

Here’s why repeal & replace is so challenging …

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Behavioral theorists have long observed that most people are risk adverse and, due in part to an “endowment effect”, they “value” losses greater than gains.

Endowment Effect: People tend to ascribe a higher value to things that they already own than to comparable things that they don’t own. For example, a car-seller might think his sleek machine is “worth” $10,000 even though credible appraisers say it’s worth $7,500. Sometimes the difference is due to information asymmetry (e.g. the owner knows more about the car’s fine points), but usually it’s just a cognitive bias – the Endowment Effect.

The chart below illustrates the gains & losses concept.

  • Note that the “value line” is steeper on the losses side of the chart than on the gains side.
  • L & G are equivalently sized changes from a current position.
  • The gain (G) generates an increase in value equal to X.
  • The loss (L) generates a decrease in value that is generally found to be 2 to 3 times an equivalently sized gain

clip_image001

=====

For example, would you take any of these coin flip gambles?

  1. Heads: win $100; Tails: lose $100
  2. Heads: win $150; Tails: lose $100
  3. Heads: win $200; Tails: lose $100
  4. Heads: win $300; Tails: lose $100

Most people pass on #1 and #2, but would hop on #3 and #4.

OK, now let’s show how all of this relates to ObamaCare.

(more…)

Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World …

February 22, 2017

In class, we touched on left-brain, right-brain thinking and I made reference to a book I’d read:  A whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World.

As a hard core left-brainer, I found the title ominous ….

image
Amazon link

=====

Here’s the crux of the book …

The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind — computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers.

But, the future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind — creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.

We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computerlike capabilities of the Information Age …

… to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age.

Why the shift?

Because any kind of work that be reduced to repeatable rules and defined processes can be automated or shipped off-shore – even so-called knowledge work

Survival in the Conceptual Age requires thinking skills utilizing the right-side of the brain.

Specifically, “high concept” involves the capacity to:

  • detect patterns and opportunities
  • create artistic and emotional beauty
  • craft a satisfying narrative

…. and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new and distinctive.

 

 

What’s required to to succeed in Conceptual Age?

(more…)

Digital amnesia: Is Google dulling your memory?

February 7, 2017

Don’t memorize anything that you can lookup (<=bad advice!)

=======

First, some background …

The tests I give my students always include some questions that can reasonably be tagged “memorization”.

Some students are repulsed by them them and shout the cultural refrain: “Don’t memorize anything that you can look up.”

The apparent thinking: You’ve only got a limited amount of space in your brain, so don’t clog it with an overload of information … only store the stuff you can’t look-up.

image

What’s wrong with that argument?

(more…)

Digital amnesia: Is Google dulling your memory?

September 22, 2016

First, some background …

The tests I give my students always include some questions that can reasonably be tagged “memorization”.

Some students are repulsed by them and shout the cultural refrain: “Don’t memorize anything that you can look up.”

The apparent thinking: You’ve only got a limited amount of space in your brain, so don’t clog it with an overload of information … only store the stuff you can’t look-up.

image

What’s wrong with that argument?

(more…)

Digital amnesia: Is Google dulling your memory?

July 1, 2016

First, some background …

The tests I give my students always include some questions that can reasonably be tagged “memorization”.

Some students are repulsed by them them and shout the cultural refrain: “Don’t memorize anything that you can look up.”

The apparent thinking: You’ve only got a limited amount of space in your brain, so don’t clog it with an overload of information … only store the stuff you can’t look-up.

image

What’s wrong with that argument?

(more…)

Health: Get skinny by sleeping more …

June 30, 2016

The Daily Mail reports that scientists have discovered that sleep deprivation increases cravings for junk food:

  • Sleep deprivation impairs activity in the brain’s frontal lobe
  • The frontal lobe is the part of the brain responsible for complex decision making
  • Lack of sleep increases activity in the centers that respond to rewards
  • This means sleep deprived people are more likely to choose junk food

 

image

Here’s the skinny on the study…

(more…)

“Multitasking makes me more productive” … oh, really?

May 9, 2016

Everybody multitasks. Some more than others.

You know, simultaneously several things (like talking on the phone when cooking) … or, switching back-and-forth among tasks.

Hard core multitaskers swear that their modus operandi makes them more productive … that it gives them a competitive advantage.

clip_image001

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But, research suggests that while multitasking may help us feel productive, it may actually be paring our productivity.

=======

According to the Washington Post, a group called Common Sense Media did a study that takes aim at multitasking.

Michael Robb, the group’s director of research, concludes that multitasking should no longer be seen as “some desirable trait that makes you the best 21st-century worker.”

He says that multitasking is a problem in a couple of ways:

Constant reorientation (i.e. bouncing back-and-forth among tasks) causes cognitive fatigue.

Cognitive fatigue can decrease your ability to get things done well, and can actually slow the rate of work.

When you’re multitasking, you’re not you’re not fully encoding memories.

If you’re browsing on Facebook while someone is talking, you’re not fully embedding memories that you may need to retrieve later.

Heavy multitaskers have a hard time filtering out irrelevant information.

In other words, they subconsciously treat all information they came across with equal weight instead of allotting more attention to the most credible and important.

Bottom line: Don’t confuse activity with results.

Sometimes, it makes more sense to “focus & complete” than to just keep a bunch of plates spinning.

As a former boss repeatedly told me “I pay you for finished goods, not work-in-process.”

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

When can you “trust your gut”?

May 3, 2016

I teach problem-solving in my courses and preach that intuition is a good thing – not flying by the seat of your pants — but rather, sub-consciously tapping into your cognitive storehouse of education, experiences and emotions.

The more you learn, the more you practice and the more you discipline yourself mentally … the better you get as a problem-solver.

clip_image002

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Digging deeper, I came across an interesting article in Inc., positing that intuition is evident in 4 distinct types of “thinking preferences” which are naturally intuitive in different ways…

(more…)

Digital amnesia: Is Google dulling your memory?

July 7, 2015

First, some background …

The tests I give my students always include some questions that can reasonably be tagged “memorization”.

Some students are repulsed by them them and shout the cultural refrain: “Don’t memorize anything that you can look up.”

The apparent thinking: You’ve only got a limited amount of space in your brain, so don’t clog it with an overload of information … only store the stuff you can’t look-up.

image

What’s wrong with that argument?

(more…)

Nums: 94% of profs rate themselves above average … but, don’t we all?

January 14, 2015

According to LiveScience.com

Since psychological studies first began, people have given themselves top marks for most positive traits.

While most people do well at assessing others, they are wildly positive about their own abilities.

image

The phenomenon is known as illusory superiority. (more…)

Sen. Schumer awakens to gains, losses, the endowment effect

December 1, 2014

Last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer caused a stir in Democrat ranks’ by observing that President Barack Obama’s insistence on revamping the healthcare system was, in Schumer’s words, “misguided” and was a major cause of the GOP’s mid-term election romp & stomp.

Schumer is still all for massive healthcare changes.

His observation is strictly political.

His reasoning:

“Democrats were targeting the uninsured, a population that  makes up only about 5 percent of registered voters. Only about one-third of the uninsured are registered or eligible to vote.”  Source

Schumer’s on the right track, but misses a bigger point: When people are forced to give up something they have, they overvalue the loss and try hard to recoup it.

Think, the higher premiums and changed doctors that millions of folks have had had to endure.

Behavioral theorists have long observed that most people are risk adverse and, due in part to an “endowment effect”, they “value” losses greater than gains.

Endowment Effect: People tend to ascribe a higher value to things that they already own than to comparable things that they don’t own. For example, a car-seller might think his sleek machine is “worth” $10,000 even though credible appraisers say it’s worth $7,500. Sometimes the difference is due to information asymmetry (e.g. the owner knows more about the car’s fine points), but usually it’s just a cognitive bias – the Endowment Effect.

The chart below illustrates the gains & losses concept.

  • Note that the “value line” is steeper on the losses side of the chart than on the gains side.
  • L & G are equivalently sized changes from a current position.
  • The gain (G) generates an increase in value equal to X.
  • The loss (L) generates a decrease in value that is generally found to be 2 to 3 times an equivalently sized gain

clip_image001

=====

For example, would you take any of these coin flip gambles?

  1. Heads: win $100; Tails: lose $100
  2. Heads: win $150; Tails: lose $100
  3. Heads: win $200; Tails: lose $100
  4. Heads: win $300; Tails: lose $100

Most people pass on #1 and #2, but would hop on #3 and #4.

OK, now let’s show how all of this relates to ObamaCare.

(more…)

Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World …

November 14, 2014

Recently referenced in class a book called A whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World.

As a hard core left-brainer, I figured I’d better pay attention to this one.

image

=====

Here’s the crux of the book …

The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind — computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers.

But, the future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind — creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.

We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computerlike capabilities of the Information Age …

… to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age.

Why the shift?

Because any kind of work that be reduced to repeatable rules and defined processes can be automated or shipped off-shore – even so-called knowledge work

Survival in the Conceptual Age requires thinking skills utilizing the right-side of the brain.

Specifically, “high concept” involves the capacity to:

  • detect patterns and opportunities
  • create artistic and emotional beauty
  • craft a satisfying narrative

…. and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new and distinctive.

Amazon link

What’s required to to succeed in Conceptual Age?

(more…)

Gains, losses, the endowment effect … and ObamaCare

July 29, 2014

Behavioral theorists have long observed that most people are risk adverse and, due in part to an “endowment effect”, they “value” losses greater than gains.

Endowment Effect: People tend to ascribe a higher value to things that they already own than to comparable things that they don’t own. For example, a car-seller might think his sleek machine is “worth” $10,000 even though credible appraisers say it’s worth $7,500. Sometimes the difference is due to information asymmetry (e.g. the owner knows more about the car’s fine points), but usually it’s just a cognitive bias – the Endowment Effect.

The chart below illustrates the gains & losses concept.

  • Note that the “value line” is steeper on the losses side of the chart than on the gains side.
  • L & G are equivalently sized changes from a current position.
  • The gain (G) generates an increase in value equal to X.
  • The loss (L) generates a decrease in value that is generally found to be 2 to 3 times an equivalently sized gain

clip_image001

=====

For example, would you take any of these coin flip gambles?

  1. Heads: win $100; Tails: lose $100
  2. Heads: win $150; Tails: lose $100
  3. Heads: win $200; Tails: lose $100
  4. Heads: win $300; Tails: lose $100

Most people pass on #1 and #2, but would hop on #3 and #4.

OK, now let’s show how all of this relates to ObamaCare.

(more…)

Buyer’s remorse, post-purchase cognitive dissonance, and the 2012 election …

July 28, 2014

First, a definition lifted from Wiki:

Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of a big ticket item such as a car or house.

It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller.

Buyer’s remorse is thought to stem from the post-decision cognitive dissonance that arises when a person makes a difficult decision.

Factors that affect buyer’s remorse include resources invested, the involvement of the purchaser, whether the purchase is compatible with the purchaser’s goals, and what positive or negative evidence the purchaser encounters post-purchase that confirms or denies the purchase as a good idea.

 

image

= = = = =

Bet you can guess where this one is going.

Remember the 2012 election when Obama squared off against Romney?

Obama won the election with 51% of the popular vote.

My, how things have changed.

(more…)

Buyer Behavior: Aversion to extremes …

May 7, 2014

A couple of interesting analyses in the WaPo last week re: what folks are signing up for on the ObamaCare Exchanges.

Based on HHS data, the majority of sign-ups are for the mid-range Silver plans.

 

image

That’s not surprising.

Here’s why …

(more…)

Nums: 94% of profs rate themselves above average … but, don’t we all?

March 20, 2014

According to LiveScience.com

Since psychological studies first began, people have given themselves top marks for most positive traits.

While most people do well at assessing others, they are wildly positive about their own abilities.

The phenomenon is known as illusory superiority.

image

Illusory superiority is everywhere

  • In studies, most people overestimate their IQ. For instance, in a classic 1977 study, 94 percent of professors rated themselves above their peer group average.
  • In another study, 32 percent of the employees of a software company said they performed in the top 5%.
  • Drivers consistently rate themselves as better than average — even when a test of their hazard perception reveals them to be below par.

Ironically, the most incompetent are also the most likely to overestimate their skills, while the ace performers are more likely to underrate themselves.

Psychologists say the illusory superiority happens for several reasons:

  • people don’t usually get honest feedback from others others (who are too polite to say what they really think)
  • incompetent people lack the skills to assess their abilities accurately
  • most positive traits — like being a good driver — are so vaguely defined that there’s plenty of wiggle room
  • self-delusions can actually protect people’s mental health serving as a protective mechanism that shields self-esteem

The remedy for illusory superiority ?

Since people are generally more accurate in assessing other people (than assessing themselves), get — and take to heart — constructive criticism from others.

Yeah, right.

Source: Why We’re All Above Average

* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma              >> Latest Posts

Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World …

December 19, 2013

Recently finished a book called A whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World.

As a hard core left-brainer, I figured I’d better pay attention to this one.

=====

Here’s the crux of the book …

The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind — computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers.

But, the future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind — creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.

We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computerlike capabilities of the Information Age …

… to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age.

Why the shift?

Because any kind of work that be reduced to repeatable rules and defined processes can be automated or shipped off-shore – even so-called knowledge work

Survival in the Conceptual Age requires thinking skills utilizing the right-side of the brain.

Specifically, “high concept” involves the capacity to:

  • detect patterns and opportunities
  • create artistic and emotional beauty
  • craft a satisfying narrative

…. and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new and distinctive.

image
Amazon link

What’s required to to succeed in Conceptual Age?

(more…)

Sell side bias, the "developer’s curse" … and ObamaCare.

December 15, 2013

President Obama is clearly perplexed on why the dogs aren’t eating the ObamaCare food.

He’s trying to give people a better “product” … and they just don’t get it.

What the heck is going on?

Well, shoving the roll-out snafus aside, much of the answer lies in good old behavioral economics.

Last week we talked “loss aversion” and the “endowment effect”.

image

======

Today, let’s look at the “developers curse” …

(more…)

Loss aversion, the endowment effect … , and ObamaCare.

December 10, 2013

President Obama is clearly perplexed on why the dogs aren’t eating the ObamaCare food.

He’s trying to give people a better “product” … and they just don’t get it.

What the heck is going on?

Well, shoving the roll-out snafus aside, much of the answer lies in good old behavioral economics.

 

image

======

Let me explain …

(more…)

Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World …

September 17, 2013

Just finished a book called A whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the World.

As a hard core left-brainer, I figured I’d better pay attention to this one.

=====

Here’s the crux of the book …

The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind — computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers.

But, the future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind — creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.

We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computerlike capabilities of the Information Age …

… to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age.

Why the shift?

Because any kind of work that be reduced to repeatable rules and defined processes can be automated or shipped off-shore – even so-called knowledge work

Survival in the Conceptual Age requires thinking skills utilizing the right-side of the brain.

Specifically, “high concept” involves the capacity to:

  • detect patterns and opportunities
  • create artistic and emotional beauty
  • craft a satisfying narrative

…. and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new and distinctive.

 

image
Amazon link

 

What’s required to to succeed in Conceptual Age?

(more…)

Health: Get skinny by sleeping more …

August 14, 2013

The Daily Mail reports that scientists have discovered that sleep deprivation increases cravings for junk food:

  • Sleep deprivation impairs activity in the brain’s frontal lobe
  • This is the part of the brain responsible for complex decision making
  • Lack of sleep increases activity in the centers that respond to rewards
  • This means sleep deprived people are more likely to choose junk food

 

image

Here’s the skinny on the study…

(more…)