Predictably Irrational

A book I will be reading soon (thanks, Alex) by Dan Ariely. Neuroscience and psychology principles through the eyes of economics - interesting stuff.

He describes how placebos work in the video below. Another example of research on the effect expectations and top-down processing have on perception (in this case, pain and flavor). It's experiments like these that makes you realize how subjective and malleable ideas of pain and taste are.

Human experience is a messy operation - one science continues to analyze the same way we would balance a chemical equation. Most "data" in psychology and neuroscience is too confounded to be applicable.

(PS - not a huge surprise that he mentions how antidepressants don't fare much better than placebos.)

1 comment:

jasonwclark said...

Your place just blew my brain in many several ways. Great collection - I love it when the Internet indulges my insomnia like this.

The entry above reminded me of a Bernays documentary someone sent my way a couple months ago. Old school to be sure, with the grainy VHS feel and the ominous early 80s soundwork that only Adam Curtis can be trusted to pull off so effectively in 2002. Good stuff --

Maybe you’ve checked it already, but for those who haven't, Vienna is always nice for the time warp, so I figured a rogue link couldn't hurt:


Take care man, and thanks for putting all this together.