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The “Real” Reason for Brains

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“We really are Bayesian inference machines”

I think this insight could be useful beyond the neuroscience of movement.


How CNET Learns Their Users Behavior to Double Banner Clicks

CNET segments and targets users based on their cognitive style

Recently, the MIT Center for Digital Business Marketing Group led a study to test the real-world effectiveness of morphing, a term they use to describe when a banner ad changes dynamically to match a user’s cognitive-style segment. The results are impressive and orders of magnitude higher than what had been seen in earlier content-matching studies.

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Most people’s beliefs are shaped not by arguments but by the beliefs of others they trust. Counterintuitive as it may seem to scientists, most people believe in conclusions before they accept arguments. So stories and source credibility are at least as important as the quality of arguments. ~ Daniel Kahneman


Capitalizing on Cognitive Ease

How Easy Thinking Can Mean Easy Money: One of 3 Most Important Influences in Decision Making

What is the perhaps the single most effective way to predict short-term stock prices after an initial public offering? One might guess that savvy Wall Street types keep secret success formulas stenciled on the backs their silken pocket squares. Algorithms can beat Gary Kasparov at chess, so surely they must be able to use the available relevant information to predict IPO winners and losers, right?

Well it turns out, algorithms don’t perform much better than monkeys playing darts. But there is a simpler way to pick the winners. In fact, it’s quite easy.

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Are Time & Age the Same?

How GOOGLE is capitalizing on the one of the biggest influences in decision making

In a recent conversation I had with Hal Hershfield, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business who researches the effects time perspectives have on decision making, I was struck by something he came to rather casually. The more I study time, he said, the more I come to think of time and age as the same concept.

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What Drives You? The 3 Biggest Influences on YOUR Decisions

You’re a marketer. What if you knew the secret cognitive formula to make your brand more appealing and better positioned than the competition? Imagine if you had the tools to help mentally nudge the consumer into making a purchase, expressly at the right moment. These are exactly the two applications most exciting about research into judgment and decision making: prediction and persuasion. However, to get at the “secret formula,” one must first understand the underlying mechanisms by which we all make decisions; we must first identify the true causes for behavior. I believe there are three areas which show the most promise in yielding the secrets. Namely, I want to describe the three biggest influences in decision making: relativity, time, and cognitive ease. This is the introductory post to a series where I’ll look at the three in more depth.

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How Sex Compels Leads to Sex Sells

In my last post, I cited a study which provides evidence that men alter their decision-making preferences when given mating primes. In a nutshell, this means that men take more risks when in the presence of women (or even photos of them). If you view purchasing a product as taking a risk, the implication for marketing is obvious and age-old: sex sells.

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