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Heuristics

Is Powerlessness the Key to Successful Negotiation?

Wray Herbert | Posted 10.23.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Leigh Steinberg, the inspiration for the title character in the film Jerry Maguire, is one of the most successful agents in the history of American sports. He is also a master negotiator. Psychological scientists believe they may have an explanation for Steinberg's seemingly irrational behavior and for its ironic success.

Understanding the Implications of Consumer Empowerment in Health Care

Renée Richardson Gosline | Posted 09.30.2014 | Healthy Living
Renée Richardson Gosline

The days of the passive patient and omnipotent Marcus Welby-like physician are long gone. Since the 1990s, consumer empowerment in health care has bee...

Why Do Giraffes Have Long Necks?

Wray Herbert | Posted 01.25.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Clearly the giraffe evolved this uncommon and helpful trait in order to reach those nourishing leaves. That's how natural selection works. If you're a 6-year-old.

Spooky Judgments: How Agents Think About Danger

Wray Herbert | Posted 08.18.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

We hire and train intelligence agents to weigh risks and make judgments, and most of us want to believe that these assessments are sound. But how rational are the individual men and women who are making the life-and-death decisions that influence national security?

Hunger and Hoarding in the Welfare State

Wray Herbert | Posted 08.11.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Our primitive human ancestors hunted and foraged for plants, and they also faced periods of debilitating hunger. But our ancient ancestors came up with a better solution to the problem of scarcity. They embraced communal values, in words if not in actions.

The New (Malevolent) Ageism

Wray Herbert | Posted 07.22.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

The elderly have never been honored in American society. They have more often been stereotyped, stigmatized and pitied. And according to Princeton University psychological scientist Susan Fiske, this unfair ageist stereotyping could become even darker with the new influx of seniors.

The Two Faces of Attractiveness

Wray Herbert | Posted 06.16.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Attractiveness is the modern equivalent of what our ancient ancestors saw as trustworthy and safe, so we would expect any deviation in the faces we actually know to diminish attractiveness. Yet a huge amount of research says the opposite.

Budgets and Biases: Summing Up American Values

Wray Herbert | Posted 04.07.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Psychological scientists Daniel Ames and Susan Fiske are reporting evidence that our judgments of harm may be badly distorted by deeply-rooted cognitive biases that operate out of our awareness. Specifically, we may be prone to exaggerate damage when we perceive it as deliberate and blameworthy.

Crash! Collisions in the Mind's Eye

Wray Herbert | Posted 01.28.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Is it possible that automobile drivers are routinely misjudging motorcycles' distance and speed, and that this misperception is somehow related to the motorcycles' size?

Cognitive Bias and the Blame for Benghazi

Austin Dacey | Posted 12.03.2012 | Media
Austin Dacey

How much blame is deserved by the morally unlucky producers of incendiary material that sparks violence given that the Internet and the rest of the world is littered with loads of comparable material that, as it happens, does not?

Cornfield Creek Diary: Collision and Solidarity

Wray Herbert | Posted 10.24.2012 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

Neighbors lingered a long time on the lawns and street, long after the emergency workers and police had left. There was nothing we could do to help, but nobody seemed quite ready to give up the sense of solidarity that emerges around such threatening experiences.

Balancing Money & Happiness: A Discussion With Daniel Kahneman (VIDEO)

Laura Rowley | Posted 12.12.2011 | Fifty

Daniel Kahneman is one of the most important thinkers on human decision making. The Princeton psychologist won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002 fo...

What The ‘Jeopardy!’ IBM Challenge Reveals About How Our Minds Work

Wray Herbert | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

Well, think about just what it is that "Jeopardy!" really tests in people. It's nothing less than the natural human ability to negotiate a vast amount of general knowledge and all very rapidly.

Border Bias: When We Think State Lines Can Protect Against Disasters

Wray Herbert | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

We think of Spokane and Olympia as psychologically close because they're both in Washington, even though Olympia is actually much closer to Portland, Ore. The mapmaker in our neurons favors the category over actual proximity.

The Link Between Ownership and Creativity

Wray Herbert | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

New research suggests that our moral judgments about property ownership may be an intuitive process--one more fundamental than society's laws and regulations.

Reconsider the Rules of Thumb You Use in Everyday Life

Gretchen Rubin | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Gretchen Rubin

My adventures in happiness research led me to the concept of heuristics. Heuristics are "rules of thumb," the quick, common sense principles people apply to solve a problem or make a decision.