Thursday, March 31, 2016

Unfairness, Emotion, and Performance

When unfair treatment helps performance 
 Jordan Axt & Shigehiro Oishi
Motivation and Emotion, April 2016, Pages 243-257

Abstract: Human beings are responsive to fairness violations. People reject unfair offers and go out of their way to punish those who behave unfairly. However, little is known regarding when unfair treatment can either help or harm performance. We found that basketball players were more likely to make free throws after being awarded a foul specific to unfair treatment (Study 1). Similarly, hockey players were more likely to score during a penalty shot compared to a shootout (Study 2). A laboratory experiment showed that participants were more accurate at golf putting after a previous attempt had been unfairly nullified (Study 3). However, a final experiment revealed that when the task was more demanding, unfair treatment resulted in worse performance (Study 4). Moreover, this effect was mediated by feelings of anger and frustration. These results suggest that performance is sensitive to perceptions of fairness and justice.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

We have to ACT as if we have free will

We MUST act as if we have free will, we have no choice.

(Man, I crack myself up).

But there is a reason why...

Believing there is no free will corrupts intuitive cooperation 

John Protzko, Brett Ouimette & Jonathan Schooler
Cognition, June 2016, Pages 6–9

Abstract: Regardless of whether free will exists, believing that it does affects one’s behavior. When an individual’s belief in free will is challenged, one can become more likely to act in an uncooperative manner. The mechanism behind the relationship between one’s belief in free will and behavior is still debated. The current study uses an economic contribution game under varying time constraints to elucidate whether reducing belief in free will allows one to justify negative behavior or if the effects occur at a more intuitive level of processing. Here we show that although people are intuitively cooperative, challenging their belief in free will corrupts this behavior, leading to impulsive selfishness. If given time to think, however, people are able to override the initial inclination toward self-interest induced by discouraging a belief in free will.

Friday, March 25, 2016

In Holland, even the boondoggles are adorable!

News out of Holland that a pedestrian bridge costing 150,000 euros has only been used 5 times in two years.

By red squirrels.

For realz.

On reflection, I'm not even sure this is a boondoggle. Lets say 3 squirrels a year use the bridge and it lasts for 30 years with no maintenance.

That's 90 fuzzy lives saved for a lousy 150,000 Euros, or a smidge over 1,500 euros per squirrel.

So tell me again what the problem is.

Rock on Low Countries. Rock on.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Plucky Brits Break Biscuit Blockade!

People it was touch and go, but relief has come to South Yorkshire in the form of 2 Emirates 777 cargo planes loaded with lovely biscuits!

Now the Yorkies can again say Ich bin ein Bourbon Cream!

Of course, as always, I am not making this up.

Sadly, the article raises more questions than it answers. An airport spokesman says only,

"In the mean time we’ve been delighted to welcome two flights from Emirates full of the nation’s favourite biscuits.”

Did an enterprising Brit just raid the duty free shops in Dubai and send the haul back to Yorkshire?

Is this ODA from the UAE?

Is British biscuit madness actually quite overstated so that biscuit arbitrage like this is generally unprofitable? Is that why it is not happening more widely/frequently?

What would YOU do for a .........

Hat tip to Yana C. !!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Thank you Donald Trump

People, I believe that Donald Trump is teaching many of us a valuable lesson. He's performing an important public service, and I for one am grateful.

I'm one of those guys who thought, hey we really don't need affirmative action anymore, women are treated with respect and dignity now, facism is a relic of a bygone age.

But Trump is showing me/us that a large chunk of US adults (what like 25-30% or so?) are racist, sexist, xenophobic, economically illiterate morons.

I guess even in a red state like Oklahoma, living in a University town helps to insulate you from the "common man" (thank god).

But Trump's campaign has made it clear to me that we still have serious human rights / equality / logical reasoning issues in our country.

So I say to all you SJWs out there, live long and prosper. You have a lot of work left to do.

And to my libertarian friends I say, continued affirmative action and gender equity programs are needed and important.

We still have a very long way to go in this country. Trump is showing me/us just how far.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Happy Place

Local Happiness and Firm Behavior: Do Firms in Happy Places Invest More? 

Tuugi Chuluun & Carol Graham 
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
May 2016, Pages 41–56 

Abstract: We examine a previously unexplored relationship between local happiness and firm investment. We looked at investment in general and R&D intensity in particular, as the relatively intangible nature of the latter may make it more subject to the effects of sentiment and affect. We find that average local happiness is positively correlated with both R&D intensity and firm investment, after controlling for firm and local area characteristics. This positive relationship may be due to the optimism and longer term perspectives that are typically associated with higher levels of life satisfaction/happiness. We also look at inequality in happiness levels and find that the effect of local happiness is stronger in places with more equal happiness distributions. Younger firms’ investment behavior is also more strongly correlated with local happiness levels. The results remain robust to a battery of robustness tests including the use of residual and hedonic measures of happiness, analysis of a sample of relocated firms, and a test for reverse causality.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

The Drum is dead. Long live the Drum

He don't have shit
He's learned to live with it
The drum's in debt
You owe me, don't forget
That 20 bucks
Interest and moral support
And if you don't I swear