Friday, November 28, 2014

Skippy Love

Skippy Squirrelbane is a very affectionate pup.  He's also a muscular 70 pound pup.  So when he wants a hug, it's pretty much going to happen.  Here he surprises the EYM, after warming up at the fire.  Hello!  HELLO!

Managerial Empathy

Managerial Empathy Facilitates Egocentric Predictions of Consumer Preferences 

Johannes Hattula et al. Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming 

Abstract: Common wisdom suggests that managerial empathy (i.e., the mental process of taking a consumer perspective) helps executives to separate their personal consumption preferences from those of consumers, thereby preventing egocentric preference predictions. The results of the present investigation, however, show exactly the opposite. First, the authors find that managerial empathy ironically accelerates self-reference in predictions of consumer preferences. Second, managers' self-referential tendencies increase with empathy because taking a consumer perspective activates managers' private consumer identity and thus their personal consumption preferences. Third, empathic managers are less likely to use market research results as a consequence of their self-referential preference predictions. Finally, the findings imply that when explicitly instructed to do so, managers are capable of suppressing their private consumer identity in the process of perspective taking which helps them to reduce self-referential preference predictions. To support their conclusions, the authors present four empirical studies with 480 experienced marketing managers and show that incautiously taking the perspective of consumers causes self-referential decisions in four contexts: product development, communication management, pricing, and celebrity endorsement. 

Nod to Kevin Lewis

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Driving Lessons

So the LMM has been learning to drive the BMW.  It's a 330i, with a six speed manual transmission.  Pretty muscular car, and fun to drive.

But she has had some trouble with the whole "starting on a hill" thing.  So she was practicing, down on the hill at the Wood Valley Racquet Club in our neighborhood.

She got flustered, and couldn't get the thing to go.  Panicked a little bit, and for reasons I'm not really clear about decided she would coast backward to flat ground, and then try again.  The thing that I'm not understanding is that she pretty much just put in the clutch, let go of the brake, and coasted backward off a small embankment and into a culvert.  Why not, if I may ask, look behind you using the mirror thingies thoughtfully provided by the manufacturer.  As you can see, she didn't miss the actual paved part of the road by a little.  She missed it completely.

You can't really tell, but the right rear wheel is a good foot off the ground.  And the left front wheel was six inches off the ground.  So the car was teetering back and forth quite a bit, about to fall into the culvert.  There's a pretty deep hole hidden in the shadow under the car.

I asked her to set the parking brake and GET OUT OF THE CAR.  NOW.

We called AAA to come give us a tow.  LMM went home, and I stayed with the car.  Tow truck guy was some fine old redneck, who actually had no visible neck at all, and a classic combo bald-crewcut look.  He pulled up, took a walk-around, and looked at me.  "What?"

I said, "Wife."  He nodded gravely, and pulled the car out.  We didn't really say much more.


This is how I imagine thanksgiving at Chez Mungo!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

AirBnB in INC Mag

Had a great time talking to Burt Helm of INC about AirBnB.  He did a very informative article, for which I provided a small and largely uninformative set of thoughts.  But the article is worth reading in full.

The best background I know of on AirBnB is--unsurprisingly--from Russ Roberts.  At this point, Russ no longer has corporeal form, and has evolved into pure energy.

Lagniappe:  Zach Weiner sends this link.  Hmmmm...... Raising the question:  is it just opportunism?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Interesting initiative from CATO: is a comprehensive database that aims at spreading rational optimism to people around the world. We cautiously collect data from many reliable sources, and show our findings in a new viewer-friendly webpage. Since it includes very comprehensive data on various research topics, it might be able to provide scholars with very useful and reliable evidence for their arguments.

SNL: Just a Bill

Pretty well done.  

I don't really have an opinion on the "executive order" thing.  The number of them is not that important, but rather their scope.

President Bush asserted nearly unlimited authority.  And now when Obama does the same thing, the Republicans squeal, and the Democrats who squealed about Bush come up with transparently self-serving and absurdly false justifications.

A pox on both their House, and the Senate.

Had a Bad Day

This guy had a bad day.

Making me think of the song.

In turn, making me think of this set piece from the past.  Or this guy.

Still, I think the "falling naked out of the ceiling of the ladies' loo and then running naked and bleeding down the concourse, then being charged with attempted murder in an airport" may be worse.