Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

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

Rational financial decision making

We don’t make rational decisions, and that’s especially bad for us when it comes to our financial health.  The article below, from Benefits Canada, explores this:

Keeping feelings out of financial decision-making

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September 28, 2010 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, emotions, investing, psychology | , , , , | Leave a comment

How ads take advantage of you

Just one of the many ploys marketers use to sell their merchandise to you — taking advantage of your desire to avoid the “uncool” crowd.  Good to know.  From the Globe and Mail, Dec. 10, 2007:

Sorry, but that is so not me

How the uncool crowd is actually influencing the purchases you make

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April 27, 2010 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, emotions | , , , | Leave a comment

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

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October 21, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, emotions | , , | Leave a comment

We all lie…

Great article about lying and its consequences.  Useful suggestion (aside from the obvious “don’t lie”): rather than assume people are telling the truth, maintain “an awareness that everything you are told could be a lie,” and then ferret out what you care about.

From The Globe & Mail, August 6, 2009:

Liar, liar

‘Oh yeah, you’re the best I’ve ever had’

It’s true: We lie every day, and at an alarming rate. Experts say even small fibs are more toxic than we realize

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August 27, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, emotions, psychology | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Smart People Do Stupid Things

…or why people are irrational.  A must read. From the University of Toronto magazine:

Why Smart People Do Stupid Things

By Kurt Kleiner | Feature, Summer 2009

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August 3, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, emotions, psychology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Humor Makes You Friendlier, Sexier

Scientific American Mind –  March 25, 2009

How Humor Makes You Friendlier, Sexier

Seeing the bright side of life may strengthen the psyche, ease pain and tighten social bonds

By Steve Ayan

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April 22, 2009 Posted by | behaviour, emotions, psychology | , , | Leave a comment

Why Darwin Would Have Loved Botox

It seems that our brains evolved to identify emotions from watching a face.  The interesting part is that we accomplish this by mimicking the facial movements with our own muscles.  But when we use Botox to paralyze some of those facial muscles, this process is interrupted…

From Discover Magazine:

Why Darwin Would Have Loved Botox

10.15.2008

All those wrinkle-causing winces, smirks, and sneers may have been the product of evolution.

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November 27, 2008 Posted by | behaviour, brain, emotions, evolution | , , | Leave a comment

Moral thinking

Human evolution

Moral thinking

Feb 21st 2008 | BOSTON
From The Economist print edition

Biology invades a field philosophers thought was safely theirs

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July 22, 2008 Posted by | behaviour, brain, decision making, emotions, evolutionary psychology | , | Leave a comment

Improve your negotiation skills

It seems empathy is not a good thing when it comes to negotiations…

Inside a deal

May 1st 2008
From The Economist print edition

It pays to get inside your opponents’ heads rather than their hearts
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May 1, 2008 Posted by | decision making, economics, emotions, psychology | , | Leave a comment

Market boom/bust cycles are men’s fault

…well, actually, it’s the testosterone… from BBC News, and below it, TIME Magazine’s take on it:

Hormones ‘may fuel market crises’

Hormone surges among City traders could be partly responsible for driving “boom and bust” economics, say researchers. Continue reading

April 15, 2008 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, economics, emotions | , , , , , | Leave a comment