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Is There a Buying Mindset?

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Clinical Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern Scott Galloway predicts that “buy” buttons on Facebook may not be effective, as buyers may not be in the mood to buy. His comments raise bigger questions about mindsets more generally, and how they influence consumer behavior.


Counterbalanced Choice in Qualtrics

Accounting for slight variations in choices which are intended to be “the same”

This article outlines a procedure to use in Qualtrics to counterbalance two choices within a single question. This is useful when you are offering a choice between to items which are intended to be the same, with the exception of some experimentally manipulated item. But when you offer two choices, it is obvious your intention if you make them the same, so instead you make them similar. This leads to problems, however. Are differences you see in the data the result of the experimental manipulation or a slight preference for one of the options? You can correct this by counterbalancing, associating your manipulation with one choice to half the participants, and to the other choice with the other half. Here’s how.

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Ann Althouse "Chalk artist"

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

How Can Confidence Hurt Your Organization?

I’ve been thinking a lot about competence lately. Apparently, so have Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of the new book Think Like a Freak. In their recent podcast, I think the duo missed an important point.

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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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