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Archive for 'Articles'

A bunch of papers about the widsom of smaller, smarter crowds

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It has come to our attention that a number of papers, all making similar points have been produced at about the same time. Here they are.

Changing the riskiness of bets to make hot hands happen

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A new paper by Juemin Xu and Nigel Harvey called “Carry on winning: The gamblers’ fallacy creates hot hand effects in online gambling” is fascinating.

The annuity or the lump sum?

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If you take a light gloss over the literature, you would think that people are overly attracted to the lump sum, that is, they discount the future too much. One recent paper, however, finds that the appeal of the annuity has much to do with the amount. Small annuity payments are quite unattractive, but large annuity payments become surprisingly attractive.

Citation cartels

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Someone smart said something like ‘when you invent a system, you invent the game that plays that system’.

Big data: Integrating Marketing, Statistics and Computer Science

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The Marketing Science Special Issue draws on recent advances in computer science and statistics to deepen our understanding of consumer behavior and to improve the practice of marketing in data-rich environments.

Heuristics for dodging Swiss customs

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When leaving an international airport, you usually see many people walking straight through customs, but occasionally a passenger with large suitcases up on shiny metal tables, with customs officers going through the contents. How the customs officers decide which people to stop?

3% of doctors receive half the complaints

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One topic in medical decision making that most people can relate to is the problem of choosing a doctor, especially when moving to a new town in which one knows few people from whom to receive references. One way to look at the problem is choosing a doctor you will likely not want to complain about. The likelihood of a doctor getting complaints is somewhat predictable, as shown in this recent article in BMJ Quality and Safety, based on a sample of almost 19,000 complaints filed by patients in Australia.

250 calories, 2.6 miles of walking, or 78 minutes of walking: which would cause you to eat less?

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The new article is called Potential effect of physical activity based menu labels on the calorie content of selected fast food meals. These authors tested four variant menus “(1) a menu with no nutritional information, (2) a menu with calorie information, (3) a menu with calorie information and minutes to walk to burn those calories, or (4) a menu with calorie information and miles to walk to burn those calories”. The authors found, as before that calorie counts decreased the amount of calories people chose to consume, and that exercise equivalents (telling you how much walking time or walking distance you’d need to burn off those calories) increased the effect.

The Texas sharpshooter story

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TRICKING PEOPLE INTO THINKING YOUR SCIENTIFIC SHOTS NEVER MISS You visit the farm of a Texan, Joe, who claims to be a sharpshooter. When walking past his barn, you see a chalk target drawn on the wall with a bunch of tightly-grouped bullet holes in the bullseye. After observing that Joe can’t shoot well at […]

Cognitive aging and the adaptive use of recognition in decision making

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This week, an interesting paper about how heuristics, which have low cognitive demands, can nonetheless become less effective as cognitive decline sets in.