Gepubliceerd in Spits op 26 februari 2007

Een goed pensioen is belangrijk. Op je oude dag wil je nog leuke dingen blijven doen. Maar dan is het wel zaak het goed te regelen tijdens je werkzame leven. Veel mensen stellen dat uit omdat ze het ingewikkeld vinden en geen zin hebben zich er in te verdiepen. “Wie dan leeft, die dan zorgt” lijkt het motto.

De gemiddelde Nederlander is niet erg goed op de hoogte van standaard pensioenbegrippen. Bijna driekwart weet wel wat een prepensioen is of kent het begrip pensioengat. En de rest heeft er in ieder geval wel eens van gehoord. Maar franchise of geïndexeerde middelloonregeling? Minder dan eenderde van de Nederlanders weet daar (globaal) iets van. Maar bijna de helft heeft nog nooit van de geïndexeerde middelloonregeling gehoord. Voor dertig procent is de term franchise helemaal nieuw, terwijl die toch voorkomt in alle pensioenoverzichten.

Wat is de franchise? Bijna iedereen die in Nederland woont, krijgt automatisch AOW als hij 65 wordt. Je pensioenregeling houdt rekening met de AOW. Over een deel van je salaris bouw je geen pensioen op. Dat deel is de franchise.

De geïndexeerde middelloonregeling betekent dat je pensioen gebaseerd is op je gemiddeld verdiende loon (middelloon) en dat er wel rekening gehouden wordt met inflatie (geïndexeerd). Bij de eindloonregeling is het pensioen gebaseerd op je laatst verdiende loon.

De Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) gaat toezicht houden op informatie die pensioenverstrekkers geven. Die informatie moet kloppen. En de informatie moet duidelijk en begrijpelijk zijn. Maar hoe helder ook geschreven; je moet het wel lezen om het te snappen.


Hoe bekend is de betekenis van pensioentermen?

  • Pensioengat                                        73% (weet [globaal] wat het betekent)
  • Prepensioen                                        72%
  • Eindloonregeling                               48%
  • Franchise                                            33%
  • Geïndexeerde middelloonregeling    31%

Bron: Pensioenmonitor 2006, Intomart Gfk

Minimum Payments and Debt Paydown in Consumer Credit Cards

Ben Keys and Jialan Wang have a working paper called Minimum Payments and Credit Card Paydown. Most of my summary below are copy/pasted sentences from the paper.


Using a dataset covering one quarter of the U.S. general-purpose credit card market, we document that 29% of accounts regularly make payments at or near the minimum payment. We exploit changes in issuers’ minimum payment formulas to distinguish between liquidity constraints and anchoring as explanations for the prevalence of near-minimum payments. At least 10% of all accounts respond more to the formula changes than expected based on liquidity constraints alone, representing a lower bound on the role of anchoring.

Using a back-of-envelope calculation, we estimate that anchoring consumers would save at least $570 million per year in interest charges if all issuers adopted the highest observed minimum payment formula in our sample.

Disclosures implemented by the CARD Act, an example of one potential policy solution to anchoring, resulted in fewer than 1% of accounts adopting an alternative suggested payment. Our results show that the design and salience of contract terms in credit products have significant impacts on household balance sheets.

Keys and Lang  position their paper as “the first empirical study to estimate the economic signicance of anchoring in the credit card market”; “Because the minimum payment is a lower bound on the optimal payment amount for the vast majority of consumers, anchoring would downwardly bias payment amounts and lead to suboptimally high debt levels, lower average consumption, and greater consumption volatility for affected consumers.”

They used the CFPB Credit Card Database (CCDB), that covered February 2008 to December 2013, and the issuers in the full dataset comprise over 85% of credit card industry balances. Based on a 1% random sample with about 40 million observations, they analysed three questions:

  1. Who pays the minimum? “We find that 29% of accounts pay exactly [9%] or close to (i.e. within $50 of) [20%] the minimum in most months. (…) Either many consumers are liquidity constrained at amounts that happen to be near the minimum, or that repayment decisions are in influenced by anchoring.”In the 1970s, typical minimum payments were about 5% of the outstanding balance. By the 2000s, the average minimum payment had fallen to 2%.

    Payment behavior is highly persistent over time both within and across accounts, it is only weakly correlated with traditional proxies for liquidity constraints.

  2. Minimal payments due to anchoring? “Taking advantage of the fact that several issuers changed their minimum payment formulas during the sample period. allows us to estimate the fraction of anchoring consumers by measuring before and after formula changes. using a dierence-in-dierences approach we nd that 9 to 20% of all accounts changed their payments by more than the mechanical effect alone.”At least 22% of accounts payed close to the minimum and at least 9% of all accounts anchor to the minimum payment. Estimated range is between 22% and 38%. Notably, the behavioral response is consistent, yielding a signicant fraction of anchoring consumers in response to both minimum payment increases and decreases. Consumers’ repayment choices are sensitive to changes in minimum payment formulas.
  3. Did the CARD-act nudge work? “”Nudges” that encourage higher payments; they measured the effect of one such disclosure required by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. The disclosure was mandated on more than half of all statements, and presents a calculation of the payment needed to amortize the outstanding balance in three years.” Figure 7 below shows what the disclosure looks like. “Fewer than 1% of accounts adopt the three-year repayment amount (…) a prominent policy change aimed at de-biasing consumers failed to yield a large economic effect relative to the influence of anchoring.”


We interpret the fraction of accounts that adopt the three-year repayment amount as an estimate of the ability for mandated disclosure to establish new anchors for consumer payments. The regulation specified that consumers who paid their balances in full for two months in a row and those whose minimum payments are higher than the three-year repayment amount are exempt from the disclosures.

Panel B of Figure 8 (see below) presents the difference-in-differences results around the implementation date. There are no pre-trends in the period prior to the implementation of the disclosure, in large part because very few consumers actively chose the three-year repayment amount in the absence of the disclosure.


In the five months following the CARD Act, we observe a sharp increase in the share of accounts paying the three-year disclosure amount. Although the economic impact is small, with treatment effects of less than 1%, the effect is statistically significant. Another trend visible in the figure is a deterioration of the effect of the disclosure over time. One reason for the decline in the disclosure’s effect could be habituation as consumers become accustomed to seeing the disclosure and “tune out” after its novelty wears off. We use this medium-run effect of 0.5% as the benchmark estimate of the disclosure’s overall impact.

Economic significance
Assuming that 0.5% of consumers who adopt the three-year payment amount would have otherwise made the minimum payment, we find that the disclosures led to an $0.18 per month increase in payments averaged across all accounts. We estimate that the disclosures saved consumers $62 million in interest charges in 2013.

If the disclosures had instead caused all anchoring consumers (estimated range between 22% and 38%) to move from the minimum payment to the three-year payment amount, we find that the interest savings in 2013 would have been two orders of magnitude larger, between $2.7 and $4.7 billion. The effect of the disclosures is substantially smaller than the economic role
of anchoring.

The modest effects we document of the CARD Act disclosures illustrate the challenges of changing real-world behavior using traditional forms of disclosure.

The answers to the 3 questions:

  1. Who pays the minimum? 29%
  2. Minimal payments due to anchoring? 22% – 38%
  3. Did the CARD-act nudge work? Yes, but very little (<1%)

From advert to action: behavioural insights into the advertising of financial products

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published Occasional Paper No. 26 on April 12th 2017: From advert to action: behavioural insights into the advertising of financial products. It was written by Paul Adams and Laura Smart.

Laura Smart also wrote an Insight (FCA’s term for a blogpost I suppose): Economical with the truth: three ways behavioural science can help to spot a misleading advert. Add there is an infographic.

And on June 29th, they have a nice event for regulated firms. Experts Rory Sutherland and Joe Gladstone will present, as will Laura Smart and the FCA Financial Promotions team.


How are we affected by financial advertising? What do we pay attention to and when might we be misled? We explore the science of advertising to answer these questions. Building on earlier FCA work into behavioural biases, we summarise a large body of academic literature to explore the mechanisms behind consumer attention, understanding, and behaviour. We build this into a framework for understanding how consumers process information in the form of advertisements, divided into three stages: See, Interpret and Act. We then apply our findings in a novel setting: explaining what the science says about when an advert may be unclear, unfair or misleading.

In See, we find that attention may be predicted by the relative salience of information and is also affected by consumers’ motivation and intentions; for example, those searching for a house are more likely to notice mortgage deals.

In Interpret, we find that certain ways of presenting information, particularly those which make use of behavioural biases or which involve percentages may impede understanding and have the potential to mislead consumers in certain circumstances.

In Act, we see that consumers may be influenced into action through techniques which encourage reliance on heuristics or emotion, rather than reason, and that this may cause problems.


What is advertising for? (p6)

  • Marketing professionals point to the role of advertising in changing customers’ preferences or improving their brand recognition
  • Psychologists and behavioural scientists argue that advertising aims to prime potential customers to buy products when opportunity presents itself.
  • Economic approach
    • persuasive; that it altered consumers’ tastes and created (potentially spurious) product differentiation and brand loyalty.
    • informative; advertising helped to solve the problem that it is costly for consumers to search for products by providing information directly and efficiently.
    • complementary to the advertised product; that it does not change views or provide information, but simply enhances the existing features of a product.
  • Traditional approach: AIDA model attention, interest, desire and action. “require a high level of cognitive involvement, which does not necessarily concur with the behaviour we see
  • Behavioural approach (used by this FCA paper): how advertising draws on inbuilt psychological mechanisms, invokes our emotions, changes our preferences and invites automatic responses, as well as tells us a story.


How do we process adverts?

  1. See: getting our attention
    • Salience (“bottom-up attention”); size, colour, incongruities, pictures, music , language (e.g. personalised, or containing signal words such as “danger” or “warning” [Wogalter et al (2002) Research-based guidelines for warning design and evaluation])
    • Motivation (“top down attention”); people are also affected by their current circumstances; what they are thinking and feeling at the time in which they come across an advert. This highlights the importance of considering context and possible effects of priming in assessing consumer responses.
  2. Interpret: reaching an understanding
    • Numbers: “People are highly likely to make systematic errors when processing numbers”, especially with percentages. Or availability bias. “When it comes to communicating risk, comprehension may be reduced still further”. I fully endorse the FCA’s recommendation of David Spiegelhalter (@d_spiegel) and Gerd Gigerenzer’s work (see this book review for summary Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart).
    • Framing: such as playing to loss aversion, tinkering with the choice-set (e.g. decoy effect), defaults (save lives), anchoring, and drip pricing:

      “Another way to present costs in a way that makes them seem less unattractive is to present the first cost and then add additional or optional costs later (such as adding sales fees, platform fees and termination fees for investments after presenting the initial cost; OFT, 2010, Advertising of Prices). Because the customer is already psychologically invested in the purchase by this point, they are less likely to back out when the further costs appear.”

    • Words and truth. I had never heard of Gricean Maxims, named after Paul Grice, who described conversational implicature in a piece called Logic and Conversation (1975).

      Omissions and caveats which lead to false impressions are often called “pragmatic implications” (see Gricean Maxims box). Common examples include:
      * two juxtaposed phrases which imply a causalrelationship: “You want only the best. Buy brand X”,
      * hedge words such as “may”,
      * comparative adjectives: “Gives you more rewards”, and
      * piecemeal survey results: “Better than Competitor A on price, better than Competitor B on coverage”.
      It may be helpful to consider pragmatic implications in understanding what consumers take away from advertisements and to pay attention not only to what is said, but also how it is said. Even if the words are literally true, the message that the customer takes away could be incorrect.

      Adams en Smart conclude on #2 Interpret: “Techniques such as framing and pragmatic implications affect what consumers take away from an advertisement, which may be a different impression from what the words literally say.” (p26)

  3. Act: being influenced
    Consumers may be influenced to purchase products through appeals to emotion or the use of principles of influence, such as reciprocity or scarcity.

    • Emotion (“affect”). Possible counters:
      • “cooling on” periods, customers need to actively do something to complete the decision and activate the product. This provides a pressure-free period in which the customer can stop and think
      • pop-up warnings during purchase processes, (…) To test comprehension directly, it would even be possible to ask mandatory questions to check that a customer has understood what they are buying.
    • Influence. The Cialdini 6: Liking, Authority, Scarcity, Social Proof, Consistency, Reciprocity.


On Targeting & Timing

Targeting: now easier than ever to target adverts to consumers based on data about them. Two important considerations:

  1. As choices become more tailored to the individual’s current preferences, the individual is less likely to discover new preferences . They may even develop a distorted knowledge of what products are actually available.
  2. Data about consumers may be used to target those in particular circumstances, for example, those in debt or those who enjoy gambling, which could be detrimental to customers who are less able to ignore poor value or risky offers (Ronson, 2005 Who killed Richard Cullen?).

On Timing (p15): I tweeted the Ellering 2016 reference. He also quotes Dan Zarella who, in my experience, also has good, data-backed advice on how to get retweets or mail opens. Blog is not updated much though.


FCA regulation of Financial Promotions

The overarching principle [of the FCA] is that financial promotions must be clear, fair and not misleading.” (p4)

The FCA already requires that all relevant product information, including risk warnings and key exclusions, is sufficiently prominent” (p15)

The FCA published guidance on social media and customer communications in 2015 which explained that shorter adverts, including tweets, should still be standalone compliant (clear, fair and not misleading) without the need for users to click on a link to see balancing information or caveats (Financial Conduct Authority, FG15/4, 2014). However, as part of the Smarter Consumer Communications initiative, the FCA is undertaking further work to explore alternative approaches to firms’ communications through social media (Financial Conduct Authority, 2016). (p24)


Where to draw a line? What is acceptable advertising?
When is a sell too hard? When does selling become misselling? (In Dutch: the difference between “verleiding” & “misleiding”).

“What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.”

Vilhjalmur Stefansson, explorer and ethnologist (p16)

It is difficult to find a suitable way to measure when techniques might be unfair. Is it better to measure consumer understanding of their products, the decision making process of the consumer or the literal interpretation of the rules? In practice, it might be appropriate to take all of these factors into account. (p33)

For example, the UK Advertising Standards Authority recently adjudicated a case in which a company sent out marketing material in white windowed envelopes and found that the envelope breached the CAP code by making it insufficiently clear that the direct mailing was a marketing communication before opening it (Advertising Standards Authority, 2017). (p13)

Week van Wilte in Tweets #19 #wvwit

Editie nummer 19, welke tweets van afgelopen week wil ik weer onder de aandacht brengen? Met deze keer: reclame, Geolocated Kim Jong Un, Shirkers, hypotheken, xkcd, bord dat zeker waar is, fun stuff, en pensioen.

Interessant slidedeck van twee Groningse professoren, voor het Customer Insights Center (RUGCIC) (links en informatie op website komen wel wat gedateerd over, niet erg recent geupdate).

Deze advertentie van BMW kende ik nog niet. Genereerde controverse, toch zijn er aanwijzingen dat het een effectieve uiting is.

Geolocated Kim Jong Un
Heel gaaf verhaal van desk research om te achterhalen waar Noord Koreanse leider zich ophield. Leve het internet!

Vragenlijsten afraffelen
In jargon heten zulke mensen shirkers; respondenten die (te) snel een vragenlijst invullen.

Een manier om daar rekening mee te houden en te weten wat voor respondent iemand is; Screener vraag.

We would like to get a sense of your general preferences.

Most modern theories of decision making recognize that decisions do not take place in a vacuum. Individual preferences and knowledge, along with situational variables can greatly impact the decision process. To demonstrate that you’ve read this much, just go ahead and select both red and green among the alternatives below, no matter what your favorite color is. Yes, ignore the question below and select both of those options.

What is your favorite color?

Someone speeding through the survey might skip to the question and click their favorite color, or perhaps click a random color. Only those who read the full question closely will know to pick both “red” and “green” as their choices.

Altijd fijn als een onderzoekje van je uit 2009 weer de krant haalt. En ESB met hele special over hypotheken.

Misschien wel “mijn” populairste tweet ooit, briljante cartoon van xkcd. En o zo waar

Bord dat zeker waar is

Fun stuff

OK, toch nog wat pensioen-gerelateerde tweets


Drie keer raden hoe oud ik ben geworden

Rendement en toch verlies?

Gepubliceerd in Spits op 19 februari 2007

Een fantastisch product met een gemiddeld rendement van 15% per jaar. Dat spreekt aan! Je gaat de kleine lettertjes lezen. Bij dit product wordt ieder jaar de balans opgemaakt. In het de eerste helft van het jaar is het rendement +80%. In de tweede helft van het jaar is het rendement –50%. Gemiddeld is dat +15% per jaar. Je mag na ieder jaar stoppen, maar je kan niet halverwege een jaar uitstappen en je geld opnemen.

Word je slapend rijk met dit product? Je zou denken van wel. Maar het tegenovergestelde is het geval. Stel dat je met € 1000 meedoet. Na een half jaar heb je dan € 1800 (+80%). Op papier welteverstaan, want je mag het nog niet opnemen. Dan komt het magere halve jaar:  min 50%. Blijft over na een jaar: € 900. Hoe kan dat?

Een bekende uitspraak over statistiek luidt: Er zijn drie soorten leugens: leugens, grove leugens, en statistiek. De berekening van het gemiddelde rendement klopt helemaal. Het is alleen het rekenkundig gemiddelde. Je kan ook het meetkundig gemiddelde berekenen. Dan blijkt dat je per jaar 5% verliest! De grafiek laat dit duidelijk zien. Na tien jaar is er nog maar € 350 over van je oorspronkelijke € 1000 inleg.

Je moet dus soms niet alleen goed kunnen lezen, maar ook kunnen rekenen. Maar er is een vuistregel die helpt: Geen rendement zonder risico. Als de spaarrente 3% is, dan kan een product dat 12% belooft nooit net zo veilig zijn. Hoe hoger de beloofde winst, hoe meer risico je loopt. Wil je zekerheid, dan is de opbrengst lager. Voor niets gaat de zon op.


Review: De limieten van de markt

De limieten van de markt
De limieten van de markt by Paul De Grauwe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zeer toegankelijk en soepel geschreven boek over de “slinger tussen overheid en kapitalisme”. Goed en helder verhaal.

“De markt is niet inherent beter of slechter dan de overheid. Het enige wat telt is de welvaart van mensen. Markt en overheid zijn instrumenten om dat te bereiken” (p.8)

Centrale planning (communisme) faalt door het informatieprobleem en omdat er geen/te weinig prikkels zijn voor bijvoorbeeld innovatie (p19)

“Lofzang kapitalisme: als iedereen zijn eigenbelang nastreeft, wordt collectieve belang het best gediend. Wat goed is voor het individu, is ook goed voor de hele collectiviteit” (p27)

Limieten aan marktsysteem:
* Externe effecten (externaliteiten), zoals milieu (opwarming aarde), financiële markten (oa kudde-effecten, interconnected banks die te weinig rekening houden met externe risico’s, too big to fail), en publieke goederen (tragedy of the commons, free-rider/vrijbuiter-probleem).
* Interne limieten: botsing tussen Kahnemans Systeem I (gevoelsmatig) en Systeem II (rationeel); “collectieve uitkomst van het marktsysteem botst met onze individuele ervaring van geluk” (p31).
Het vrijemarktsysteem spreekt vooral het calculerende en rationele systeem II aan (p71)

De markt stuit op haar grenzen omdat zij binnen veel individuen stuit op een gevoel dat het systeem niet fair is (p67)

Mechanisme: naarmate de markt meer aan belang toeneemt, komen publieke goederen in de verdrukking”. Uitbreiding van markten: meer publiek kwaad en minder publiek goed (p58).

“Er zit iets zelfvernietigends in het succes van het marktsysteem” (p60)

Interne limieten van kapitalisme, discrepanties:
* markt – verdeling (rechtvaardige inkomensverdeling, minder inequality)
* extrinsieke – intrinsieke motivatie
* concurrentie – samenwerking
Discrepantie tussen collectieve en individuele welzijn.

Rol overheid- externe instantie om markt te corrigeren:
* aanpakken externaliteiten
* verschaffen publieke goederen (denk: wegen)
* herverdeling (te veel gelijkheid (vgl Sovjet Unie) is niet goed voor economische groei, te veel ongelijkheid leidt tot sociale en politieke instabiliteit, p.108).
Overheid moet optreden als discrepantie tussen individuele en collectieve belang te groot wordt.
Democratische instellingen zorgen voor stabiliteit (niet: crony capitalism).

Politiek wordt mechanisme waarbij onze gevoelens (Systeem I) een uitdrukking krijgen (bv rechtvaardigheid) (p125). Specialisatie: markt = Systeem II, politiek = Systeem I.

Limieten van politiek:
* herverdeling vs efficiëntie
* evenwicht Systeem I en Systeem II
* Sociale zekerheid en moral hazard (profiteurs hollen houdbaarheid sociale zekerheid uit).

H9: Hoge loonkosten zijn teken van hoge productiviteit, hoog welvaartsniveau; bevordert concurrentievermogen. En creëert middelen voor collectieve voorzieningen en sociale zekerheid.

Geen significant verband hoogte werkgeversbijdrage en loonkosten in Europa (figuur 9.7)

“Paradoxaal genoeg kan men stellen dat de overheden (centrale banken en regeringen) door hun reacties na 2008 het vrijemarktsysteem hebben gered”(p219)

Nodig voor een reformistisch en optimistisch scenario: democratische instellingen moeten binnen een land moeten goed functioneren, en landen moeten bereid zijn samen te werken (bv mileu, yax havens) (p229-230)

Op p232 mooi citaat van Camus over de absurditeit van het leven: “Il faut s’imaginer Sisyphe heureux” (gelukzalige Sisyphusarbeid)

View all my reviews

Dispositional Greed (paper)

In 2015, two papers came out with exactly the same title: Dispositional Greed. Here, I focus on the paper by Seuntjes et al (Tilburg). The other one is by two Belgian scholars (Ghent). Fortunately, results were similar. A concurrent replication.


Greed is an important motive: it is seen as both productive (a source of ambition; the motor of the economy) and destructive (undermining social relationships; the cause of the late 2000s financial crisis). However, relatively little is known about what greed is and does.

This article reports on 5 studies that develop and test the 7-item Dispositional Greed Scale (DGS). Study 1 (including 4 separate samples from 2 different countries, total N = 6092) provides evidence for the construct and discriminant validity of the DGS in terms of positive correlations with maximization, self-interest, envy, materialism, and impulsiveness, and negative correlations with self-control and life satisfaction. Study 2 (N = 290) presents further evidence for discriminant validity, finding that the DGS predicts greedy behavioral tendencies over and above materialism. Furthermore, the DGS predicts economic behavior: greedy people allocate more money to themselves in dictator games (Study 3, N = 300) and ultimatum games (Study 4, N = 603), and take more in a resource dilemma (Study 5, N = 305).

These findings shed light on what greed is and does, how people differ in greed, and how greed can be measured. In addition, they show the importance of greed in economic behavior and provide directions for future studies.

To compare, the Belgian paper had two studies, N=317 “fully employed US citizens” and N=218 US MTurkers.


Further Research
In Study 1, the authors found an “unexpected result, namely the absence of a relationship between greed and risk taking.


Future research could also focus on the observation that some groups of people appeared to score higher on dispositional greed than others. For example, we found that younger people were greedier than older people. (…)

We also found relationships between greed and levels of education and between greed and gender, but, interestingly, we did not find relationships with income or religiosity.

The Belgian study concluded “Greed is higher in men, professionals in financial sectors and non-religious people“;

As expected, men (M = 3.72, SD = 1.27) are more greedy than women (M = 3.40, SD = 1.13, t(216) = 1.99, p < .05). By regrouping the 20 potential industries, we found that respondents working in financial and management sectors (M = 3.84, SD = 1.28) are significantly greedier than those working in services, or the arts (M = 3.22, SD = 1.20, t(114) = 2.70, p < .01). Whether greedy people are more likely to start a financial job or whether financial jobs trigger a greedy disposition is not clear from our results and requires further research. [Krekels & Pandelaere, 2015]

DGS is Dutch
The Dispositional Greed Scale (DGS) consists of these 7 items, with response on a 5-point scale; (Sterk oneens |Oneens | Niet oneens/niet eens | Eens |Sterk eens):

  • Ik wil altijd meer
  • Ik ben eigenlijk wel hebberig
  • Geld heb je nooit genoeg
  • Zodra ik iets heb denk ik alweer aan het volgende dat ik wil hebben
  • Het maakt niet uit hoeveel ik heb, ik ben nooit echt tevreden
  • Mijn levensmotto is ‘meer is beter’
  • Ik denk dat ik nooit genoeg spullen kan hebben

Past week’s tweet summarized #18 #WeekVanWilteInTweets

My tweets from the past week, installment #18 [I did #9 twice…], with: nudge for good, FCA, Backfire effect, Why cartoons have four fingers, Baseball, and good webcare.

Nudge for good

One day of OECD conference is on ethics of nudges. (To be honest: the other conference day looks more interesting)

Famous Evil Nudge

FCA on advertising
Interesting paper by the Financial Conduct Authority on behavioral economics and financial advertisements.

Backfire effect
Great podcast series, in 3 intallments. Why do rational arguments not convince people and make them change their position/opinion? When exposed to findings contrary to their own beliefs, people will engage in motivated reasoning. If facts conform, not so much. Not much effort put into finding the counterfactual. Nice test on critical thinking:

YANSS 095 – How to fight back against the backfire effect

Why cartoons have 4 fingers
But not in Japan

Pretty good webcare!

New MLB season has started. Can the Cubs defend their title? Two tweets unrelated to the new season, but cool takes on baseball.

Review: Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on lots of conversations, Turkle argues for more face-to-face interaction. Valid and important points, but a bit too much fluff (i.e. Anecdotes of Turkle speaking with “seventeen year old senior Thomas who etc etc”). The first 50 pages with the Case for Conversation pretty much make the point. Maybe my high need for cognition and my bias against qualitative research.

“Reclaiming conversation: speaking and listening are skills that can be taught. They take practice” (p14).

For most of us, our exercise in conversation wil not be at device-free summer camps. Most of the time, we’ll reclaim conversation by working to protect sacred spaces, spaces without technology, in our everyday lives. With more experience away from our devices, we’ll develop a better sense of when we need solitude and when we need to give each other undivided attention (p318)

Even a silent phone disconnects us; changes what we talk about, keeps conversation light (p21); Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality (2012) Andrew K. Przybylski, Netta Weinstein…

Empathy gap; Study found a 40% drop in empathy among college students in past 20 years (p21, p171): Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis (2011)…

Rule of three: when with a group at dinner, check that at least three others have their heads up, before you check your phone (people going in and out of conversation).

“We are not as strong as technology’s pull, weird little pressure”. And: a dull moment is never necessary. “Technology gives us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship”

From conversation to connection. “Interruption is not experienced as an interuption but as another connection”‘(p37).

Thoreau, 3 chairs;
1 solitude (self)
2 friendship (friends and family)
3 society (social world)
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Later toegevoegd; I forgot my phone

Zekerheid of de gok

Gepubliceerd in Spits op 12 februari 2007

Volgens veel theorieën in de economie zijn consumenten rationeel denkende mensen. Alle beslissingen die we nemen zijn weloverwogen. Koel calculerend nemen we altijd de beste beslissing.

Maar niet iedereen gedraagt zich zoals de economische theorie voorspelt. Psychologische factoren spelen ook een rol bij veel financiële beslissingen. Voor dit inzicht won Daniel Kahneman in 2002 een Nobelprijs.

Een voorbeeld: Stel dat je moet kiezen tussen een zekere winst van € 350 of 80% kans op € 500. Wat zou je doen? De economische mens kiest altijd de gok. De gemiddelde opbrengst is dan namelijk € 400. Acht van de tien keer wint hij € 500 en twee van de tien keer niets. Als je het spelletje vaak speelt, verwacht je dat je uiteindelijk € 400 per keer verdient.

Maar wat doet de mens van vlees en bloed? Eenderde gaat voor de zekerheid en denkt “binnen is binnen”. Als je kiest voor de zekere winst van € 350, dan “kost” je dat  € 50. Natuurlijk staat iemand die gokt en verliest wel met lege handen. Maar gemiddeld genomen verdient een gokker € 400.

Gaat de normale mens altijd vaker voor zekerheid dan de economische mens? Nee! Als we verlies willen beperken is bijna de helft ineens wel bereid tot gokken. Ook al is dat onvoordeliger. De keuze is tussen een zeker verlies van € 400 of 80% kans op € 550 verlies. De economische mens neemt het zekere verlies. De gok kost gemiddeld genomen namelijk meer, want 80% van € 550 is € 440.

Meestal kiezen echte mensen net zo goed als de economische mens. Maar soms levert onze intuïtie minder geld op. De moraal van dit verhaal?: Welke keuze je ook maakt, doe het bewust!