Monthly Archives: July 2012

Double jeopardy: How the pecking order influences your Mickey D’s order

Status. In the United States, the only time it is really acceptable to talk about status is when it involves an airplane. Otherwise, it is pretty much a matter of dogma in the U.S. that we don’t do status and … Continue reading

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En Fuego: How “Clumpy” Fruit Influences Sports (and Stock Market) Gambling

Evolution favored a tendency to expect “clumps” of resources. The cave man who stumbled upon a small bush with berries in it, then scoured the area nearby for more such bushes, would have fared better than his neighbor who saw the bush, ate what it offered, then moved on without looking for more of the same. As a result, we see hot streaks and perceive momentum where there are really just random occurrences of one outcome or another — like flipping a coin 1,000 times and getting occasional long “streaks” of either heads or tails. Continue reading

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Why A Bird in My Hand is Worth Two Anywhere Else

Our natural inclination is to value what we already have more highly than others would. When considering whether it is worth hanging on to that stock, or whether we should accept a price for our used car, try to step back and consider the thing more objectively. Ask yourself how you would establish the value of that item if you encountered it for the first time. You might make a better decision. Continue reading

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It’s a boy! On The Developmental Biology of Your… Car?

One of Volkswagen’s promotional billboards for the latest version of their popular Beetle proclaimed, “It’s a boy!” in reference to the new styling the car sported for 2012. That would seem to suggest that perhaps the model prior to 2012 … Continue reading

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Last week’s blog entry described a series of studies conducted by Professor Robert Cialdini and colleagues, which demonstrated one of the means by which we are persuaded. Professor Cialdini’s work also illuminated a variety of other means by which we … Continue reading

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