Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

The unfairness effect on ‘Homo economicus’

Economic theories are based on certain assumptions — one of them is that humans act in self-interest. Dr. Falk’s work suggest that this is not entirely true — “fairness” has a great deal of effect on human decision making.  From The Globe and Mail Metro,  April 20, 2012:

The unfairness effect on ‘Homo economicus’

CHRYSTIA FREELAND
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April 21, 2012 Posted by | decision making, economics | , , , | Leave a comment

Misery Index

Low social status seems to activate genes associated with inflammation and the production of various immune-related cells and chemical signalling factors — sounds like low-level chronic stress to me.  It affects the responsiveness of the body to the glucocorticoids (stress) hormones.  Just from a blood test, scientists were able to predict the social status within 80% accuracy. Especially noteworthy is the discovery that all this stems from epigenetics.  From the print edition of The Economist, Apr 14th 2012:

Social status and health:Misery index

Low social status is bad for your health. Biologists are starting to understand why

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April 21, 2012 Posted by | behaviour, genes, health | , , , , | Leave a comment