The Endowment Effect, also known as divestiture aversion, is a rather subtle psychological mechanism that is often leveraged to get people to happily act and behave in a specific manner. Now you might be wondering what this means, so lets focus down on that with a specific example workers work harder to maintain ownership of a provisional awarded … Read moreHow to Manipulate people into doing anything you want them to do
EA Hanks, a writer based in Los Angeles, has written a very personal article in the Guardian that takes us on her journey from Fundamentalist born again Christian to atheist. In it we find two rather common answers to some truly fascinating questions. Why do people convert and become “born again”? After making that emotional investment, … Read moreWhat has convinced many believers to not believe? … the bible did.
There are some individuals who, when confronted with facts that clearly conflict with a belief, will become even more entrenched within the belief, not less. The observation that this happens is known as the backfire effect. The “backfire effect” is a name that was first coined by Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, for the finding that, given evidence against … Read moreWhy do some Ignore the facts and embrace a fantasy as fact?
We do not just impart information, but often construct a narrative and tell stories to each other – now here is something odd / amusing / strange / funny / scary that happened to me / a friend / somebody famous – and often when doing so we are simply repeating something we have heard … Read morePopular Myths
First a Bit Of Background – What the heck is the Turing Test? The idea is to test how intelligent a machine is. The basic idea is that if you communicate via a screen, can you tell if you are talking to another human, or to a machine? If you think you are taking to a … Read moreClaim: Turing Test has been passed
As I look back and ponder about how I managed to make the transition from being very religious to a far more rational position, one observation is that it was a slow process and not an instant flash of insight. The transition in my thinking was perhaps reflected by the religious groups I attended and so the process … Read moreReligion – Why is it so hard to let go?