Empathy: effect on decisions

Notice an article on “Paving the road to preferential treatment with good intentions: Empathy, accountability and fairness”. Abstract says: Four studies explore whether, why, and under what conditions empathy may prompt group authorities and decision makers to enact preferential treatment toward particular members, favoring those group members over others when making allocation decisions. Based on…

Decision making

Two pieces from Wired: a short one on the neuroscience of decisions (jusst a paragrpah, really, Kahneman has said it better) and a longer one on why sexual attraction influences decisions. The second paper says: “The ability to identify and manage emotions and make better decisions is referred to as emotional intelligence…. Developing emotional intelligence…

BroApp

For sheer cheek its hard not to like a new Australian app, which automatically sends texts to your girlfriend. You fill in loving messages (or amend the ones it suggests) then it fires them off when you are not thinking about here. The app is surprisingly complex: “Understandably, a girl who discovers their guy using…

The contagion effect

A paper by George Newman and Paul Bloom analyses the prices paid at auctions for articles which have been owned or used by celebrities, and finds a correlation between usage and prices, and links this to magical thinking The abstract says: “Contagion is a form of magical thinking in which people believe that a person’s…

Cyberattacks from everywhere…

Gloom about the number of serious, undetected cyberattacks is matched by lack of confidence amongst those charged with defending against them. A gloomy article in New Eastern Europe Quarterly, written from the viewpoint of Piotr Borkowski, a Polish academic, points out that these days cyber-espioane attacks come not only from the NSA but also from…

When is an exercise scenario unacceptable?

According to the Athens County News, officials in Athens County have had to apologise to a pressure group for using their cause in an emergency response exercise scenario. The exercise, held on 11 December, at the Athens County Fairgrounds, had a scenario which “revolved around hypothetical anti-fracking extremists.” The Athens County Emergency Management Agency and…

An attack of Pyrrhonism

We bought a book recently called 30 Second Psychology which refers to the Kitty Genovese murder. Popular headlines at the time suggested that 38 people had watched for approximately half an hour, whilst Ms Genovese was murdered, and done nothing. This has given rise to many psychological theories: – the Bystander effect (aka the Genovese…