Hugo Mercier’s blog

Hugo writes mainly about cognitive psychology – in particular reasoning – with the occasional foray into cultural phenomena.

Can you tell who will win the election in another society just by looking at the faces of the candid

Our face tells a lot about us. Well, at least this is what other people seem to think: having seen our face for a few seconds-or even a few milliseconds-they will think that we are more or less ...

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Experimental epidemiology: The work of Chip Heath

The aim of the post is to bring to the attention of experimentally minded anthropologists the work of Chip Heath and his collaborators. A professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Heath ...

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“I read Playboy for the articles”

Zoe Chance and Michael Norton have a delightful book chapter on the very creative ways in which people justify their questionable decisions. They report an experiment in which male participants ...

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Outbreak!

Hilary Evans and Robert Bartholomew have compiled and "Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior". This is quite an impressive endeavour that can be used for scholarly purposes (it is ...

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The compromise effect or, cross-cultural psychology is messy

Among the many ‘irrational' effects unearthed by decision making researchers, one has been the focus of a relative wealth of cross-cultural work: the compromise effect. Strictly speaking, ...

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The Evolution of God?

Robert Wright has written a new book, much in the tradition of his previous, and famous, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny : The Evolution of God . His main goal is to argue that as religious ...

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Cross-cultural differences in argumentation

Richard Nisbett and his collaborators have carried out an extensive program of experimental cross-cultural psychology, mostly aimed at establishing differences between the ways of thinking of ...

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An update on the Pirahã

The Pirahã are a tribe of Amazonian Indian who have become famous among linguists and psychologists because it has been claimed that they lack a number system (not even  a word for one), ...

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Cross-cultural differences in risk taking

The study of our way of dealing with risky situations (situations that involve potential losses) is one of the cornerstones of the judgment and decision making literature. It is generally taken for ...

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The Wisdom of Whores

I realize it may be a bit late, but I'm just discovering the wonderful 'The Wisdom of Whores’ by Elizabeth Pisani (and this is her blog). She's an epidemiologist working on AIDS and ...

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Cutting and breaking across languages

A nice cross-cultural (or cross-linguistic) study appeared in the last Cognition. Asifa Majid, James Boster, and Melissa Bowerman have studied the variations in the use of words for "cutting and ...

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Cold and warm relationships: A universal metaphor?

Two papers have recently come out on the relationship between physical and interpersonal warmth. Pedersen's illustration of Andersen's tale "The Little Match Girl" The first, by ...

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