Photo: Just Taken Pics: Flickr
An edition about dolphins, mice and men. I report. You decide:
1) Deep thinkers:The more we study dolphins, the brighter they turn out to be: guardian.co.uk (via Marginal Revolution)
Anuschka de Rohan describes the various, amazing ways that Kelly, a bottlenose dolphin, has devised to get more fish. After being taught to retrieve trash for a fish reward, Kelly realized that a small piece of paper trash got the same reward as a large piece. So now, when she finds any paper in the pool, she hides it under a stone and tears it off, piece by piece to get lots and lots of fish. And now she's using some of the fish she's given to bait gulls which she then grabs for a huge fish payout!
2) I only read it for the articles: Mind Hacks
Mind Hacks comments on an article in The Economist which shows how easily we can fool ourselves and rationalize our behavior. Researchers asked male students to rate two different sports magazines, one of which "just happened" to be a special swimsuit issue. The students chose the swimsuit issue but they justified their choice by referring to the other differences between the magazines (breadth of coverage, number of articles). Not that surprising but, as The Economist points out, it's more evidence of: "how people behave in ways they think might be frowned upon, and then explain how their motives are actually squeaky clean." This research should remind us that what people say about why they do something is often an unreliable guide to what actually influences their behavior. (You can read the original study on this pdf file.)
3) Tiny Irrationalities That Add Up: Texting While Driving: predictably irrational
This is, in part, a Public Service Announcement. Don't Text and Drive. It's dangerous. Dan Ariely starts his post by referring to a story in The New York Times which describes the UK's new, get tough policy on drive-texting and a particular case where a 24-year old design student died after a texting driver plowed into her car. It's another example of how we can make irrational decisions, this time potentially leading to tragic consequences. Dan's post explores the ways in which we can combat this particular problem, from graphic media campaigns to developing voice-activated texting (which would bypass the problem altogether).
4) 25 ideas for 2010: Hyperopia: Wired.co.uk (via Mind Hacks)
The latest issue of Wired (UK) explores 25 ideas for 2010, everything from neurosecurity to bionic noticing. Not as indigestible as it sounds. This "hyperopia" idea is about those who suffer from excessive far-sightedness and incorrectly think that frugality today will lead to longer term benefits. New research suggests that the future you won't thank you for your sacrifices and will wish you had partied harder and longer. Another idea from the series worth reading is the one about digital forgetting which argues that the ability to store photos, conversations and social network interactions forever is more of a curse than a blessing and asks: Do we need to remember how to forget?
5) Going to Extremes: Psychology Today
I'm going to start and end with dolphins but I must have a mouse story for this edition. Here's one that talks about how mice have shown us that while moderate exercise boosts immunity, extreme exercise is actually worse than being completely sedentary. In a recent experiment, mice on a moderate exercise program were better protected against a flu virus than those on an extreme program. Listen to the mice and take it easy.
6) So long and thanks for all the fish: Fihssticks
"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." Douglas Adams
That's it! Back soon with more stories from the world of brand strategy (and vaguely related areas). More thoughts and comments also available on Twitter (@martinjbishop).
Friday, November 6, 2009
Photo: Just Taken Pics: Flickr