Archivio per giugno 2014

30
Giu
14

Using empathy to use people: Emotional intelligence and manipulation | The Moral Universe, Scientific American Blog Network

People tend to stereotype psychological phenomena.  It’s tempting to think that stress is always bad, resilience is always good, and so forth.  Like other stereotypes, these beliefs help us neaten the world and extract signal from noise.  Also like other stereotypes, such beliefs are misleading and often harmful.  Call me pessimistic, but whenever the media breathlessly praises a practice or trait—meditation and grit come to mind—I always wonder about its downsides.  Jogging is great for you, but not always, and not in every way (ask my knees).  The same goes for happiness.

My own favorite human characteristic, empathy, is no different.  Recently, empathy has gotten lots of good press.  Books like The Age of Empathy, The Empathic Civilization, and The Better Angels of Our Nature suggest that empathy is on the rise, and might provide a cure for many of our social ills.  Barack Obama is likely the most empathy-positive president in history, often suggesting that curing our country’s “empathy deficit” is mission critical.

But empathy is not always used in the service of good.  Two papers last month highlight this idea through evidence that people use empathy to use other people, manipulating them through a savvy understanding of emotions.

Source: blogs.scientificamerican.com

Annunci
30
Giu
14

Using empathy to use people: Emotional intelligence and manipulation | The Moral Universe, Scientific American Blog Network

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

People tend to stereotype psychological phenomena.  It’s tempting to think that stress is always bad, resilience is always good, and so forth.  Like other stereotypes, these beliefs help us neaten the world and extract signal from noise.  Also like other stereotypes, such beliefs are misleading and often harmful.  Call me pessimistic, but whenever the media breathlessly praises a practice or trait—meditation and grit come to mind—I always wonder about its downsides.  Jogging is great for you, but not always, and not in every way (ask my knees).  The same goes for happiness.

My own favorite human characteristic, empathy, is no different.  Recently, empathy has gotten lots of good press.  Books like The Age of Empathy, The Empathic Civilization, and The Better Angels of Our Nature suggest that empathy is on the rise, and might provide a cure for many of our social ills.  Barack Obama is likely the most empathy-positive president in history, often suggesting that curing our country’s “empathy deficit” is mission critical.

But empathy is not always used in the service of good.  Two papers last month highlight this idea through evidence that people use empathy to use other people, manipulating them through a savvy understanding of emotions.

See on blogs.scientificamerican.com

28
Giu
14

The evolution of eusociality. [Nature. 2010] – PubMed – NCBI

Eusociality, in which some individuals reduce their own lifetime reproductive potential to raise the offspring of others, underlies the most advanced forms of social organization and the ecologically dominant role of social insects and humans. For the past four decades kin selection theory, based on the concept of inclusive fitness, has been the major theoretical attempt to explain the evolution of eusociality. Here we show the limitations of this approach. We argue that standard natural selection theory in the context of precise models of population structure represents a simpler and superior approach, allows the evaluation of multiple competing hypotheses, and provides an exact framework for interpreting empirical observations.

 

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

28
Giu
14

The evolution of eusociality. [Nature. 2010] – PubMed – NCBI

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Eusociality, in which some individuals reduce their own lifetime reproductive potential to raise the offspring of others, underlies the most advanced forms of social organization and the ecologically dominant role of social insects and humans. For the past four decades kin selection theory, based on the concept of inclusive fitness, has been the major theoretical attempt to explain the evolution of eusociality. Here we show the limitations of this approach. We argue that standard natural selection theory in the context of precise models of population structure represents a simpler and superior approach, allows the evaluation of multiple competing hypotheses, and provides an exact framework for interpreting empirical observations.

 
See on ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

26
Giu
14

Why Standard Macro Models Fail During Crises

David Hendry and Grayham Mizon show why the models used by many policymakers perform so poorly in the face of uncertainty

The standard macroeconomic model used by most central banks and other policymakers are “dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models” or “DSGE” as they are known (economists have a knack for catchy branding).  There has been much discussion and debate about why these models performed so poorly during the 2008 financial crisis.  Not only did these models fail to anticipate the crisis, but during the crisis itself – when they were most needed by policymakers – they often failed to give useful or correct advice. The Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford’s David Hendry and Grayham Mizon in a recent paper show that these standard models crucially depend on the assumption of “stationarity” – that there are no unanticipated or structural changes to the world that could affect agent’s decision making.  Of course the real world is far from stationary – particularly in times of crisis.  Hendry and Mizon show that economic history is full of “location shifts” when the means of distributions change.  For example they identify four major epochs in British employment history, the pre WWI era 1860-1914, the period from WWI to 1939, the post-war reconstruction until 1979, and then the modern era from 1979 to present.  Both the means and variances of employment shifted significantly across these epochs. Unfortunately such shifts run afoul of the rational expectations hypothesis (REH) that macroeconomic DSGE models are built on.  In the rational world of these models agents may face uncertainty about the future, but are supposed to have well defined, stationary probabilistic models to make their decisions on.  But in the real world they do not, and as Hendry and Mizon show, this is very damaging for the performance of DSGE models.

 

Source: ineteconomics.org

26
Giu
14

Why Standard Macro Models Fail During Crises

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

David Hendry and Grayham Mizon show why the models used by many policymakers perform so poorly in the face of uncertainty

The standard macroeconomic model used by most central banks and other policymakers are “dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models” or “DSGE” as they are known (economists have a knack for catchy branding).  There has been much discussion and debate about why these models performed so poorly during the 2008 financial crisis.  Not only did these models fail to anticipate the crisis, but during the crisis itself – when they were most needed by policymakers – they often failed to give useful or correct advice. The Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford’s David Hendry and Grayham Mizon in a recent paper show that these standard models crucially depend on the assumption of “stationarity” – that there are no unanticipated or structural changes to the world that could affect agent’s decision making.  Of course the real world is far from stationary – particularly in times of crisis.  Hendry and Mizon show that economic history is full of “location shifts” when the means of distributions change.  For example they identify four major epochs in British employment history, the pre WWI era 1860-1914, the period from WWI to 1939, the post-war reconstruction until 1979, and then the modern era from 1979 to present.  Both the means and variances of employment shifted significantly across these epochs. Unfortunately such shifts run afoul of the rational expectations hypothesis (REH) that macroeconomic DSGE models are built on.  In the rational world of these models agents may face uncertainty about the future, but are supposed to have well defined, stationary probabilistic models to make their decisions on.  But in the real world they do not, and as Hendry and Mizon show, this is very damaging for the performance of DSGE models.
See on ineteconomics.org

26
Giu
14

La crise économique sur le divan du psychanalyste

L’analyse économique repose sur un postulat faux : la rationalité des acteurs. La nouvelle norme est celle du chaos perpétuel. Même le FMI a avoué qu’il avait beaucoup de mal à analyser avec les outils « classiques » de l’économie l’enchaînement de crises qui se succèdent depuis 2008 dans le monde. Deux économistes de renom, Vivien Levy-Garboua, « senior adviser » de BNP Paribas, et Gérard Maarek, conseiller scientifique de l’Edhec, prennent acte de ce constat d’impuissance dans ce nouveau livre qui propose ni plus ni moins une sorte de révolution pour leur discipline. Le problème, expliquent les deux auteurs, l’un et l’autre praticiens aguerris des modèles économétriques, c’est que ces modèles reposent sur l’hypothèse de rationalité de l’homo oeconomicus, de moins en moins pertinente pour analyser les évolutions convulsives de notre économie financiarisée et mondialisée. « Depuis quelques décennies, observent-ils, le psychisme de l’homme moderne s’est profondément modifié et, avec lui, celui des groupes constitués, familles, entreprises, peuples, dans lesquels il s’insère. »

Source: www.lesechos.fr




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