Hugo Mercier

Cultural variation in the mitigation of moral judgments

A few weeks back, Clark Barrett and his colleagues published a fascinating piece in PNAS in cultural variations in moral judgments. They found wide cultural variation in the factors people take into account to mitigate bad behavior. For instance, it seems natural to us, WEIRD people, that intent ...

Read More

The origin of fairy tales

Over at The Atlantic, Ed Young has a very good write up of some work done by Sara Graça da Silva and Jamie Tehrani on the origins of folktales. The researchers have used existing databases of folktakes, fitted them with their geographical distribution, and used statisti...

Read More

Relationship Thinking

Nick Enfield -- ethnolinguist at the Max Planck institute for psycholinguistics (and contributor to ICCI) -- has published a new book, Relationship Thinking. Here's the blurb from Oxford University Press: In Relationship Thinking, N. J. Enfield outlines a framework for analyzing social ...

Read More

This year’s Edge question

The new The Edge annual question, and the answers, are now online. The question was: "What scientific idea is ready for retirement?" Here are some answers that could be relevant to the ICCI crowd: Oliver Scott Curry Associationism N.J. Enfield A Science of Language Should Be ...

Read More

The spread of medical innovations

Atul Gawande has an interesting article in the New Yorker about the spread of medical innovations. He points out some striking disparities in the speed at which medical innovations spread -- mere months for anesthetics, decades for aseptic surgery. He offers some interesting pointers to understand ...

Read More

Uncovering and Punishing Unconscious Bias

Uncovering and Punishing Unconscious Bias (paper here) Philip E. Tetlock, Gregory Mitchell and L. Jason Anastasopoulos Recent technological advances in psychology hold out the promise of detecting unconscious biases before they cause harm. Advocates of the technology may fail to appreciate ...

Read More

Social influences on self-control

Social influences on "self"-control (paper here) Joe Kable, University of Pennsylvania As Duckworth and Kern (2011) note, currently over 1% of the abstracts in PsycInfo are indexed by “self-control” or one its synonyms. As part of this widespread interest, cognitive and ...

Read More

Framing, defaults, trust

Framing Effects, Default Effects, and Trust (paper here) Craig R. M. McKenzie (UC San Diego), Michael J. Liersch (New York University), Shlomi Sher (UC San Diego) Framing effects and default effects are often seen as examples of inconsistent preferences and are usually explained in purely ...

Read More

Modularity and decision making

Modularity & Decision Making (paper here) Robert Kurzban University of Pennsylvania & Chapman University Mechanisms that are useful are often specialized because of the efficiency gains that derive from specialization. This principle is in evidence in the domain of tools, artificial ...

Read More

Judgments and decisions based on attempts to disambiguate the given information

Eric Igou Judgments and decisions based on attempts to disambiguate the given information: Effects of decision frames, non-diagnostic information, and information order (you can find the paper here) The author presents evidence for the impact of conversational rules (Grice, 1975) on judgment ...

Read More

The cost of collaboration

The cost of collaboration: Why joint decision-making exacerbates rejection of outside information (article here) Julia Minson and Jennifer Mueller Existing research asserts that specific group characteristics cause members to disregard outside information which leads to diminished performan...

Read More

Exploiting the wisdom of others

Exploiting the wisdom of others: A bumpy road to better decision making (article here). Ilan Yaniv and Shoham Choshen-Hillel While decision makers often consult other people’s opinions to improve their decisions, they fail to do so optimally. One main obstacle to incorporating others&...

Read More