Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

How Trump screws with your mind

Emily Dreyfuss, Wired magazine editor, has a couple of illuminating articles on how President Trump screws with your mind for his own benefit. He’s not the only one to do so, so it’s in your interest to find out how and what to do about it.

The Cognitive Bias President Trump Understands Better Than You

Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again

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February 18, 2017 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail

Good article.

How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail

January 1, 2017 Posted by | brain, decision making, information, psychology | , , | Leave a comment

Why bullshit is no laughing matter

In this era of fake news all around us, detecting is a major concern, and it looks like we are not very good at it.  I like the definition:

“…bullshit is something that is constructed absent of any concern for the truth.”

As the article explains below,

“Bullshit is much harder to detect when we want to agree with it.”

Why bullshit is no laughing matter

Gordon Pennycook |06 January, 2016 | aeon Continue reading

January 1, 2017 Posted by | brain, decision making, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

The scientists who make apps addictive

A must-read.

The scientists who make apps addictive

Ian Leslie | October/November 2016 | The Economist 1843

Tech companies use the insights of behaviour design to keep us returning to their products. But some of the psychologists who developed the science of persuasion are worried about how it is being used

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October 24, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, psychology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Political Candidates Know If You’re Neurotic

Just like advertising, politics is becoming more targeted to the individual: exploiting all your traits and weaknesses to get you to buy into their product/candidate. It’s a scary direction. (Make sure to watch the video on the source page)

How Political Candidates Know If You’re Neurotic

The latest data-driven campaign pitches target you based on your personality, not just your demographics. But does such profiling work?

David Talbot  | April 15, 2016 | MIT Technology Review

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July 31, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, politics, psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Toxic Masculinity

Are mass shootings  temper tantrums of low self-esteem, sexually frustrated males rather than a result of religious or political ideology ? This article makes a good case for it.  Check out the “conversation” on the original page for some thought-provoking counterpoints.

The weaponised loser

Mass shootings have one thing in common: toxic masculinity. Where does it come from and what can be done to stop it?

Stephen T Asma | aeon | 27 June, 2016

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July 9, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, evolutionary psychology, psychology, sociology, terrorism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blindsight

Interesting experiments reveal that our subconscious is running the show in more ways than we realize.

Blindsight: the strangest form of consciousness

Some people who have lost their vision find a “second sight” taking over their eyes – an uncanny, subconscious sense that sheds light into the hidden depths of the human mind.

By David Robson |  28 September 2015 | BBC Future

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June 4, 2016 Posted by | brain, decision making | , , | Leave a comment

Why Some People Are More Religious

Is a pound of bricks heavier than a pound of feathers?  Your answer may be related to how religious you are.

Here’s Why Some People Are More Religious Than Others

Tanya Basu | Sept. 22, 2015 | Time Magazine

It may have little to do with education; psychologists now believe that religiosity is linked to whether you solve problems intuitively or deliberatively

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June 4, 2016 Posted by | decision making, religion | , , , | Leave a comment

What Neuroscience Says about Free Will

 

Not quite what I expected:

What Neuroscience Says about Free Will

We’re convinced that it exists, but new research suggests it might be nothing more than a trick the brain plays on itself

Adam Bear | April 28, 2016 | Scientific American Mind

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May 17, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, neuroscience | | Leave a comment

Before you take that Tylenol…

… make sure you know what it does to you brain:

This popular painkiller may hamper your ability to notice errors, U of T researchers say

By Don Campbell | University of Toronto News | April 11, 2016

Dan Randles: “We don’t fully understand how acetaminophen affects the brain”

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May 8, 2016 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making | , , , | Leave a comment