Our lives are full of yes-or-no questions: Will it storm today? Will the stock market rebound? Is this plane safe to fly? Is the witness lying? Do I have cancer? We are all diagnosticians in our own worlds, but such questions often lack tidy answers. The evidence is ambiguous and More
A common way that researchers induce stress in study volunteers is by making them give a speech. In that case, there were plenty of opportunities during the APS 22nd Annual Convention to see the stress response in action, joked Mara Mather of the University of Southern California, during her introduction More
Behavioral economist Ofer Azar did an intriguing study of premier soccer goalies a few years ago, worth dusting off for the World Cup. Azar, a lecturer at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, studied penalty kicks. A penalty kick is awarded after a foul, and is often used as a tie-breaker in More
Would Sisyphus have been happier just sitting in a jail cell, twiddling his thumbs? After all, the punishment Zeus meted out to him was nothing more than make-work: rolling that boulder up the hill again and again and again, without purpose or sense of accomplishment. It couldn’t have been very More
A number of recent studies have looked at what happens to humans when faced with extensive choice — too many kinds of chocolate or too many detergents to choose from at the grocery store. Under such circumstances, consumer psychologists believe that the brain can be “overwhelmed,” leading to poorer quality More
Within just a few blocks of my office, street vendors will sell me a Versace t-shirt or a silk tie from Prada, cheap. Or I could get a deal on a Rolex, or a chic pair of Ray Ban shades. These aren’t authentic brand name products, of course. They’re inexpensive More
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