Posts tagged with 'Cognition'
Dec 17, 2007
Experimental result: People held more extreme positions after they spoke with like-minded others. Liberals favored an international treaty to control global warming before discussion; they favored it far more strongly after discussion. Conservatives were neutral on that treaty before discussion, but they strongly opposed it after discussion.

The creation of enclaves of like-minded people also squelched diversity. Before people started to talk, many groups displayed a fair amount of internal disagreement on the three issues. The disagreements were greatly reduced as a result of a mere 15-minute discussion.

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Jan 9, 2009
Most people like to believe something is or is not true. Great scientists tolerate ambiguity very well. They believe the theory enough to go ahead; they doubt it enough to notice the errors and faults so they can step forward and create the new replacement theory. If you believe too much you'll never notice the flaws; if you doubt too much you won't get started. It requires a lovely balance." http://www.paulgraham.com/hamming.html

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Aug 17, 2007
One needs to exit doubt to produce science — but few people heed the importance of not exiting from it prematurely.

One usually exits doubt without realizing it. We are dogma-prone from our mother’s wombs.

— Simon Foucher, “Dissertations on the Search for Truth”, 1673. via

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Feb 23, 2008
In order to attract more eaters, an all-you-can-eat restaurant added ingredients to the salad bar, hoping to make it a better value and more diverse. Already confronted by too many choices, customers would shrink back to the standard salad they knew how to make. The result: customers self-reinforced their notion that the place was only about a single dish — whatever they ate the most.

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May 8, 2008
One of the advantages of small monitors, ironically, is that because they’re small, they nudge users into a simpler, windowless method of working.

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May 8, 2008
We chase after features, so is simplicity overrated? No, customers just want simple decisions as much as simple products.

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Jun 26, 2008
Our imagination fails us in three ways. It lacks detail, it tends to extrapolate from the present, and it over-estimates how bad bad things will feel once they have happened.

Use other people’s experiences to predict the future, instead of imagining it.

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Apr 6, 2008
The world imposes constraints on us all, employee or free-lancer. But employees get handed constraints from above, without the motivations that ground them. Worse, they get used to the idea of constraints without reason.
— me in counterpoint to Nivi

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Jul 2, 2007
Schedulers are judicious about schedules, Probers perceptive of options. Schedulers tend to believe that one’s work comes before all else. Probers are much more insistent that the work be enjoyable and to the purpose. By committing themselves to a set agenda, Schedulers tend to stop looking for alternatives and options and so may never know what they’re missing. By keeping their options open Probers are reluctant to commit themselves to schedules and so are inclined to miss deadlines and leave tasks unfinished.

Schedulers tend to be neat and orderly. They like their desk at work to be tidy, and their house picked up. Not that they always manage all of these chores, but they are unhappy when their personal space is a mess, and straightening things up is often near the top of their list. Probers, in contrast, have a much greater tolerance for disorder in their physical environment. They seem absorbed in whatever they’re doing or thinking about at the moment, and are somewhat oblivious to the details of housekeeping.

The two styles are complementary in turning in a job well done: Probers to spot opportunities and lay out alternatives, and Schedulers to be timely and press for closure.

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Apr 10, 2008
If you tell people that something is important, often they hear it as: everything else is unimportant. People just seem to be wired that way.

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