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Archive for 'Tools'

How to make a Romeo and Juliet sandwich

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The question often arises: What is the best decision science food? It’s the Romeo and Juliet sandwich, an adaptation of the popular Brazilian desert “Romeu e Julieta”.

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers

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The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.

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.

How to tell which side your exit is on

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In response to last week’s surprisingly popular “How to tell which side the gas cap is on”, we received a number of emails, one by our friend and co-author Preston McAfee, who shares a tip that also helps driving by letting you know in advance on which side your exit will be.

Icon array generator

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We’ve written before about using information grids when communicating risks to the general public. We like them. Turns out they are also called pictographs and, as we learned from an email from Brian Zikmund-Fisher, icon arrays.

Benjamin Franklin’s rule for decision making

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Ben Franklin had views on how to make a decision.

If you bet that you’ll lose weight, do you regain it when the bet is over?

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At Decision Science News, we love the commitment devices. But, as we’ve have spoken about, we have mixed feelings about them, including the nagging concern is that commitment devices they may not lead to deep-seated changes or habit formation.

Chicago: Not all that windy

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At DSN, we’ve been playing a bit with FetchClimate Explorer from Microsoft Research. It lets one define regions of the globe over which it superimposes spatial and time series data concerning temperature, precipitation, sunlight, and, pictured above, wind speed.

Are you Risk Literate?

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THE BERLIN NUMERACY TEST We’ve written before about the challenges of communicating risks. Can people understand the risks inherent in their savings plans, loans, surgeries, or medications? This week, researchers have published a new instrument designed to very quickly assess exactly that (www.riskliteracy.org). We introduce the Berlin Numeracy Test, a new psychometrically sound instrument that […]

You’ve got the whole world in your portfolio

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A famous finance professor once told us that good diversification meant holding everything in the world. Fine, but in what proportion?

Suppose you could invest in every country in the world. How much would you invest in each? In a market-capitalization weighted index, you’d invest in each country in proportion to the market value of its investments (its “market capitalization”). As seen above, the market-capitalization of the USA is about 30%, which would suggest investing 30% of one’s portfolio in the USA. Similarly, one would put 8% in China, and so on. All this data was pulled from the World Bank, and at the end of this post we’ll show you how we did it.