- This is fascinating: researches at Northwestern University showed that consumer preferences can be radically manipulated by re-grouping the presentation of products. In a print advertisement featuring two sofas, participants preferred sofa B over sofa A -- until sofas C & D were added to the advertisement. Then, by a large majority, participants switched their preference from sofa B to sofa A. More here and a possible explanation.
- Simon Baron-Cohen at In Character discusses deception, theory of mind and autism.
Children on the autistic spectrum, such as those with Asperger's syndrome, show delays in the development of mind-reading ability. This neurological (and ultimately genetic) set of conditions can leave the person with autism or Asperger's syndrome prey to deception and exploitation.
- Neurophilosopher on the rise and fall of the prefrontal lobotomy.
- Language Log discusses the word "loophole." Is it a loaded, partisan word that undermines the objectivity of news reports?
- Study finds that teenagers miss the responsibility messages in alcohol advertisements:
Each teen was hooked up to a device that used the reflection in the cornea and pupil to track eye movements when they were looking at the ads. Teens spent an average of seven seconds looking at the ads but only 0.35 seconds looking at moderation messages, according to the study. They spent more time looking at bottles, product names, models and headlines than moderation messages.
Immediately after looking at the ad, most of the teens could not remember the general concept of the responsibility message.
A spokesperson for the Distilled Spirits Council dismissed the significance of the finding, stating that the messages aren't intended for teens. The question remains, are the messages simply window dressing or would the messages have any effect on teen or adult drinking behavior even if drinkers noticed the message?
- Deric Bownds on brain synchrony and coordinated eye movements during dialog.