Low-pitched noise
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
7h ago
Low-frequency Noise Is Pervasive. Does That Matter? For two years, Erica Walker routinely wore ear plugs to dampen the sound of stomping footsteps penetrating her basement apartment ceiling. Still, the noise from her upstairs neighbors, undetected by sound level meters, rumbled in her chest day and night. “The funny thing about it was that the noise wasn’t loud,” she said. But it bothered her, this unwelcome sensation she couldn’t control. The pleasant and unpalatable sounds that envelop daily life travel through the air in different frequencies perceived as pitch. In bustling cities, the high ..read more
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Emotional regulation
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
1d ago
Are emotionally resilient people also skilled at soothing others? We all experience emotions, but we certainly don’t all handle them in the same way. Some people are sensitive and ride frequent ups and downs. By contrast, others are gifted with a thick skin and an even temperament. In the psychological jargon, they are highly skilled at emotional regulation. Perhaps you can think of friends, family or colleagues in your own life who match this description. At the same time, there’s a social side to managing emotions. Many of us have friends or relatives who are able to provide steady emotional ..read more
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Public domain art
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
2d ago
When Is da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” like Mickey Mouse? Residing in Italy’s Gallerie dell Accademia, Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is 500 years old. However, the questions about its ownership are rather recent. Owned by everyone (and no one), the Vitruvian Man is in the public domain. And yet, saying it had some ownership rights, the museum in Venice where it resides sued the puzzle manufacturer that used the image. The Gallerie dell Accademia took puzzle maker Ravensburger to court because Italy’s Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code permits public institutions to prohibit or be paid for th ..read more
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Navigation skills
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
2d ago
Why do some people always get lost? Like many of the researchers who study how people find their way from place to place, David Uttal is a poor navigator. “When I was 13 years old, I got lost on a Boy Scout hike, and I was lost for two and a half days,” recalls the Northwestern University cognitive scientist. And he’s still bad at finding his way around. The world is full of people like Uttal — and their opposites, the folks who always seem to know exactly where they are and how to get where they want to go. Scientists sometimes measure navigational ability by asking someone to point toward an ..read more
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The thick skin bias
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
3d ago
Many of us have the wrong idea about poverty and toughness Imagine this upsetting scenario: two women are both suffering physical abuse from their partners. One woman is relatively affluent, while the other struggles to make ends meet. In this kind of situation, where two people of different means are experiencing similar harm, who will receive help? Are the neighbours of both women, upon learning of the violence, equally likely to reach out or call the authorities? Or might they decide in one of these cases that getting help isn’t so urgent? One might guess that people in poverty are generall ..read more
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The psychology of cash
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
3d ago
Where Money Grows On Trees The life of a Japanese 10,000 yen note began on a Himalayan hillside. Starting as the stripped, beaten, and dried bark from a wigeli shrub, it traveled almost 3,000 miles to a Japanese printing press: According to Deutsche Bank research, from 1995 to 2022 Japan’s circulating cash grew from less than 10% of GDP to 23%. However, like most other high income countries, the trend reversed toward a cashless economy. During the first half of 2023, cash circulation declined while coin use had been sliding for more than a year. Covid is one reason for the cashless surge. ….[R ..read more
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Oceanic feeling
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
5d ago
William James was right about our strange inner experiences Rather than Freud’s cynicism or Jung’s enthusiasm, we need an inquisitive approach to unusual forms of consciousness In 1901, William James stood at the podium in a lecture hall at the University of Edinburgh and gave the first in a series of 20 lectures supposedly on theology. He had been invited to present the prestigious Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion at the Scottish university, but he introduced himself as a scientist and psychologist, not a theologian. He chose to ‘hardly consider theology or ecclesiasticism at all’, he lat ..read more
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Free football
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
6d ago
When Free Football Has a Cost Saying they wanted to bring the community together, Paris FC offered free tickets to everyone (with several small exceptions) at its home stadium. For the second division men’s team and first division women’s play, fans have paid nothing since November 11, 2023. Free football fills seats. Whereas the Paris FC stadium was usually just 24% occupied during games, free tickets were supposed to attract more fans. When Germany recently tried the same policy for its second division Foruna Düsseldorf team, ticket demand surged. As attendance rose from 27,000 to 33,000, me ..read more
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Insurance costs
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
1w ago
Why car insurance rates are so high If you pay for car insurance, you’ve probably noticed that rates are really high lately. You’re not alone. This week’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report — the government’s method for tracking what people are paying for goods and services and how that’s changing over time — noted that the price of car insurance is up more than 22 percent over the same time last year, the largest jump since 1976. What’s particularly painful is that rates were already rising: Previous CPI reports have shown that, overall, car insurance rates are up more than 38 percent since Ja ..read more
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Bad bosses
The daily blog of behavioral and cognitive economics
by Alessandro Innocenti
1w ago
Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses? Hey there, it’s Stephen Dubner. This week, we wanted to share an episode from our archives that’s one of our most popular episodes — perhaps because it talks about a problem that many of us have had. It’s called “Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses?” I hope you enjoy it. And if by chance you’ve already listened to this episode, do stick around to the end for a career update from this person: Katie JOHNSON: My name is Katie Johnson, and I’m a data scientist. Johnson is 33 years old, and lives in England. She grew up near Bristol, went to university in Birmingham ..read more
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