Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Emotion sensor to keep your cool

Want to avoid rash decisions you later regret? Bracelet warns you when you are too emotional/stressed.  Designed for traders, but I could think of some others that should be wearing it. 🙂

From The Economist Oct. 15th, 2009 edition:

Emotions and investing

Gutted instinct

A new device to prevent irrational online trades

JUST before the hovering finger clicks the mouse to trade, there is one thing that online investors of the future might want to check: their “Rationalizer”. The device, a prototype of which was unveiled this week, is an emotion-sensing system designed to help investors keep a cool head when buying and selling.

The idea was dreamed up by Philips, an electronics group based in the Netherlands, and the Dialogues Incubator, an initiative sponsored by ABN AMRO, a Dutch bank with intimate experience of rash decision-makers. Philips has been exploring emotion-sensing systems for a number of years, in part to see how electronic devices might help people cope with stress. ABN’s interest stemmed from research showing that day-traders who exhibit more intense emotional reactions to monetary gain or loss also have significantly worse trading results.

The Rationalizer, which is still under development, consists of a bracelet that measures something called a galvanic skin response. This is a change in the electrical resistance of the skin which can be caused by various stimuli, like anger or elation. It cannot determine if the emotional arousal is negative or positive, only that it is happening.

The bracelet transmits its measurements to the “EmoBowl”, a saucer-like object which displays a moving light pattern to illustrate the user’s mood. If the person becomes emotionally aroused, the light pattern becomes more intense and turns from a soft yellow to orange. By the time it reaches a deep red, the makers reckon, it might be wise for an online trader to take a break and cool down. If only it had been available to deal-crazed bank bosses.

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October 21, 2009 - Posted by | behaviour, decision making, emotions | , ,

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