Archivio per 10 febbraio 2014

10
Feb
14

“Money, Well-Being, and Loss Aversion”

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Do the negative psychological consequences of a pay cut differ in magnitude than the positive psychological consequences of a pay raise? Researchers haves shown that people tend to be loss averse. That is, people anticipate losses, in money for example, will have greater negative effects than an equally sized gain will have positive effects. While a significant body of research demonstrates the effect anticipated losses or gains have on anticipated well-being, a recent study, published in Psychological Science, Boyce et. al set out to examine the actual effects of pay cuts and pay raises on actual psychological well-being. Boyce et al. utilized two large, longitudinal, national datasets from German and British Households to compare changes in income to changes in subjective well-being. The researchers found that actual raises and cuts in income have similar psychological effects as anticipated raises and cuts, and thereby provide the first evidence that the concept of loss aversion applies to both anticipated and actual experience. Thus, a lower income, if stable, may be better for psychological well-being than a higher, but less stable one. Such findings have significant sociopolitical implications, as small reductions in national income levels, for example, may negate the increases in subjective well-being that a nation’s inhabitants receive from overall income growth.

 
See on personalpages.manchester.ac.uk

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10
Feb
14

“Money, Well-Being, and Loss Aversion”

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Do the negative psychological consequences of a pay cut differ in magnitude than the positive psychological consequences of a pay raise? Researchers haves shown that people tend to be loss averse. That is, people anticipate losses, in money for example, will have greater negative effects than an equally sized gain will have positive effects. While a significant body of research demonstrates the effect anticipated losses or gains have on anticipated well-being, a recent study, published in Psychological Science, Boyce et. al set out to examine the actual effects of pay cuts and pay raises on actual psychological well-being. Boyce et al. utilized two large, longitudinal, national datasets from German and British Households to compare changes in income to changes in subjective well-being. The researchers found that actual raises and cuts in income have similar psychological effects as anticipated raises and cuts, and thereby provide the first evidence that the concept of loss aversion applies to both anticipated and actual experience. Thus, a lower income, if stable, may be better for psychological well-being than a higher, but less stable one. Such findings have significant sociopolitical implications, as small reductions in national income levels, for example, may negate the increases in subjective well-being that a nation’s inhabitants receive from overall income growth.

 
See on personalpages.manchester.ac.uk

10
Feb
14

The Psych Report | When a Theory is Too Good to Be True: Fallacies in Perception Research

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Over the past few decades, research in the fields of perception and psychophysics has seemingly demonstrated that our vision is inherently tied to the current psychological, emotional, or physical state of our body. Wearing a heavy backpack makes hills appear steeper (Bhalla & Proffitt, 1999); holding a baton makes objects appear closer (Witt, Proffitt, & Epstein, 2005); holding your arms out to the side makes doorways appear narrower (Stefanucci & Geuss, 2009). Findings like these suggest that the image we see is the product of our brain coordinating information about our visual environment with information about our bodily state. Subtle changes in, say, our body’s position, produce noticeable changes in how we perceive our environment, or so the theory goes.

Several scientists have argued that having distorted vision allows you to better adapt to your environment. Walking up a hill with a heavy backpack requires burning more calories, so seeing the hill as steeper allows your body to anticipate the extra burden. Holding a baton makes a nearby object easier to reach. Holding your arms out makes some doorways impassable.

There are many results like these, and when added together they build a bold, intriguing theory about how we see and interact with our visual environment. However, a growing body of research has raised substantial doubts about this theory, as well as the experimental validity of the evidence supporting it. An article in July’s Perspectives on Psychological Science, called How “Paternalistic” Is Spatial Perception? Why Wearing a Heavy Backpack Doesn’t—and Couldn’t—Make Hills Look Steeper (Firestone, 2013), offers a new perspective in this debate and argues why a theory like this, as intriguing as it may be, cannot actually be true.

 
See on thepsychreport.com

10
Feb
14

The Psych Report | When a Theory is Too Good to Be True: Fallacies in Perception Research

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Over the past few decades, research in the fields of perception and psychophysics has seemingly demonstrated that our vision is inherently tied to the current psychological, emotional, or physical state of our body. Wearing a heavy backpack makes hills appear steeper (Bhalla & Proffitt, 1999); holding a baton makes objects appear closer (Witt, Proffitt, & Epstein, 2005); holding your arms out to the side makes doorways appear narrower (Stefanucci & Geuss, 2009). Findings like these suggest that the image we see is the product of our brain coordinating information about our visual environment with information about our bodily state. Subtle changes in, say, our body’s position, produce noticeable changes in how we perceive our environment, or so the theory goes.

Several scientists have argued that having distorted vision allows you to better adapt to your environment. Walking up a hill with a heavy backpack requires burning more calories, so seeing the hill as steeper allows your body to anticipate the extra burden. Holding a baton makes a nearby object easier to reach. Holding your arms out makes some doorways impassable.

There are many results like these, and when added together they build a bold, intriguing theory about how we see and interact with our visual environment. However, a growing body of research has raised substantial doubts about this theory, as well as the experimental validity of the evidence supporting it. An article in July’s Perspectives on Psychological Science, called How “Paternalistic” Is Spatial Perception? Why Wearing a Heavy Backpack Doesn’t—and Couldn’t—Make Hills Look Steeper (Firestone, 2013), offers a new perspective in this debate and argues why a theory like this, as intriguing as it may be, cannot actually be true.

 
See on thepsychreport.com

10
Feb
14

The Psych Report | The Cognitive Burden of Poverty

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Nobody is perfect. At times we have difficulty managing our finances, we don’t always take our medications as planned, and sometimes we don’t perform up to par at work. However, research shows that people experience these problems to different degrees. Across financial strata, research reveals that the financially less well-off engage in these behaviors more often than those who are financially stable (1). These behaviors are particularly concerning, because, for those with limited financial resources, they can lead to poverty as well as perpetuate it.

In their article, “Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function,” which appears in the latest issue of Science, University of Warwick Professor Anandi Mani and several other social scientists (2) suggest poverty, and the ever-present concerns that come with it, places an undue burden on an individual’s limited mental resources. Compared with those who are free from poverty, this burden leaves those in poverty with fewer cognitive resources with which to make choices and take action. Mani et al. write, the poor “are less capable not because of inherent traits, but because the very context of poverty imposes load and impedes cognitive capacity.”

However, it is important to note that their explanation is not limited to the traditional populations of poverty, defined by a specific income level or ability to access basic human needs. The authors define poverty “broadly as the gap between one’s needs and the resources available to fulfill them.” That is, people in poverty are those who feel “poor,” who feel they have less than they need.

See on thepsychreport.com

10
Feb
14

The Psych Report | The Cognitive Burden of Poverty

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Nobody is perfect. At times we have difficulty managing our finances, we don’t always take our medications as planned, and sometimes we don’t perform up to par at work. However, research shows that people experience these problems to different degrees. Across financial strata, research reveals that the financially less well-off engage in these behaviors more often than those who are financially stable (1). These behaviors are particularly concerning, because, for those with limited financial resources, they can lead to poverty as well as perpetuate it.

In their article, “Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function,” which appears in the latest issue of Science, University of Warwick Professor Anandi Mani and several other social scientists (2) suggest poverty, and the ever-present concerns that come with it, places an undue burden on an individual’s limited mental resources. Compared with those who are free from poverty, this burden leaves those in poverty with fewer cognitive resources with which to make choices and take action. Mani et al. write, the poor “are less capable not because of inherent traits, but because the very context of poverty imposes load and impedes cognitive capacity.”

However, it is important to note that their explanation is not limited to the traditional populations of poverty, defined by a specific income level or ability to access basic human needs. The authors define poverty “broadly as the gap between one’s needs and the resources available to fulfill them.” That is, people in poverty are those who feel “poor,” who feel they have less than they need.

See on thepsychreport.com

10
Feb
14

The Psych Report | UK’s Behavioral Insights Team Leaves Government, Launches Joint Venture

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

The UK’s Behavioral Insight Team will no longer be a section of the UK Cabinet Offices, the Guardian reported earlier today.  Instead the Behavorial Insights Team (BIT) will form for-profit joint venture with the UK Cabinet Offices and the innovation charity Nesta.

“Today the Behavioural Insights Team is being ‘spun out’ of government and set up as a social purpose company,” the newly launched Behavioural Insights Team websitestates. “We are now a world-leading consulting firm whose mission is to help organisations in the UK and overseas to apply behavioural insights in support of social purpose goals.”

The move comes as the BIT faced increasing demand for its work applying behavioral science to public policy from governments and organisations around the world. Demand that it was unable to meet under its old structure.

Moreover, as Halpern explained to the Guardian, “There is no reason for the UK taxpayer to be paying us to work for the White House.”

See on thepsychreport.com




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