Categorie: Psychologie

The pitfalls of being intelligent

In economics, one of the first assumptions we are taught is that we are dealing with rational actors. The idea that people make rational and well-considered decisions. But in life, this almost never seems to be the case. When we look around us in the world, we see experts ignoring certain facts, authorities making the wrong decisions, and skillful professionals misinterpreting results. Even the people who teach us these principles make decisions in real-life that seem far from rational. We may ask ourselves: Why do the smartest people still make the dumbest mistakes? Smart people […]

14 januari • Door Fenna Beentjes Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten

Embrace the spook

Scratching noises, soft but certainly close and drawing closer. You wake up and listen to them getting louder. Right in front of your bedroom door, the noise stops. The door handle starts to move down and the door is opening. Startled you reach for the light on your nightstand and turn it on. Movement at the doorpost. A hand, black and rotten, as if the owner has been dead for years, pulls back from the doorpost, back into the hallway. You scream. You hear loud stumbling noises in the hallway and the next moment the […]

29 oktober • Door Jochem Hak Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten

Do we need medication to cure diseases?

The whole world has been undergoing quite some big changes since the start of the year 2020, all due to the new disease COVID-19. The scientists are in a hurry to find either a preventative vaccine or a curing medicine. However, what if something as harmless as a sugar pill could cure the disease? Now, I’m not saying this would work in this situation, but this kind of treatment has worked for different situations. This mysterious idea is called the placebo effect.  What is the placebo effect? The placebo effect is based on the idea […]

20 oktober • Door Deirdre Westenbrink Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten
Online education

A different look at online education

By now, most students will have a lot of experience with attending online lectures and tutorials. It truly has become the new normal. It might therefore also look as if online classes have nothing new or exciting to offer. However, I want to challenge you to take a different look at online education and discover all curious phenomena that occur when attending an online class. A typical online lecture or tutorial starts with a lecturer finding him or herself in a very unfamiliar and confusing setting. Instead of making a bright and well-prepared first impression, […]

08 oktober • Door Fenna Beentjes Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 5 minuten

What we can learn from Norway’s prison system

This story begins on the island Bastøy, about 100 kilometres south of Oslo. With men and women happily swimming, barbecuing and sunbathing together, this place may at first glance look like a holiday destination. However, the contrary is true. 115 of the heaviest criminals are here to undergo the last years of their prison punishment. They don’t have too much to complain here, as they can visit the cinema, record songs at their own music studio or even go ski jumping. All of this is guided by unarmed guards who aren’t wearing uniforms. Some of […]

24 september • Door Sjors Keet Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 4 minuten
Friendship

The secret recipe for making friends

It is the spring of 2021. A vaccine for Covid-19 has been distributed and life is getting back to normal. The weather is improving and it is the so-called first ‘Rokjesdag’. The perfect day to hit the terrace with your friends. You are enjoying a drink with your friends, while reminiscing all the good times you had together before the pandemic. You mention that it is quite remarkable that even though you could not really spend time together, you still kept in contact with each other. One of your friends responds that it is only […]

22 september • Door Jochem Hak Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 6 minuten

Never lose ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ again

We all suffer from it from time to time. You have just had a quite big meal with your friends and the last thing you would like to do is wash the dishes. To decide who will do the terrible job, you play a game of ‘Rock, paper, scissors’. However, how great would it be to never lose the game again? That every time you are at the point of deciding who will do the dirty job, you can have the winning strategy.   The rules of the game are very simple. Scissors cut paper. Paper […]

03 september • Door Deirdre Westenbrink Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten
Motivated reasoning causes a lot of biases and smart econometricians might even be more susceptible to this.

Why smart econometricians say stupid things

A lot of different opinions circulate through society about the ongoing corona crisis. One thinks that the government imposed ridiculous measures, another believes that the government is being far too lenient and maybe you feel that it is fine this way. Even among researchers, there is still a lot of dissension. Where does this radical difference of opinions come from if everyone has the same data? Motivated reasoning Obviously, fighting the coronavirus is a complex problem and therefore, there is not one simple solution. However, this polarity among experts in the field can partially be […]

01 september • Door Stan Koobs Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 6 minuten
dark humor

Dark humor to lighten the mood

‘If the coronavirus doesn’t kill me, being stuck in the house with my wife for three weeks will.’ Tasteless or funny? Since the lockdown, the number of jokes concerning the current pandemic has grown day by day. And while some may take offense from this dark type of humor, others just use them as a laugh to pass the time. They might be tasteless, but for most it’s just a distraction from the current situation. While sitting at home and being separated from the world, we use humor to connect with others. No matter in […]

21 mei • Door Fenna Beentjes Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten
Peer pressure

Peer pressure

In the past few weeks, our supermarkets have been swamped by a huge demand for durable goods. This is due to the quarantine measures our government has taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, despite the notion of our prime minister to discourage buying every single roll of toilet paper, people still continued hoarding these goods. This behaviour is very typical in crisis situations and experiments have been conducted to explain the psychology behind peer pressure. Asch conformity A pioneer of social psychology Solomon Asch introduced fundamental concepts in conformity and many other […]

26 maart • Door Sam Ansari Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 4 minuten

Guess the number of M&M’s in the jar and win …

We have all seen it at least once in our life: ‘Guess the number of M&M’s in the jar and win …’. Unfortunately, most of us have never been able to give an accurate guess. However, there exists a concept that can consistently yield accurate guesses.  The wisdom of crowds is the concept that a large group of people has a higher collective intelligence than individual experts. This idea is applicable to a vast variety of instances including problem-solving, decision-making, forecasting, and policymaking. For example, some companies measure market sentiment via Twitter feeds. Data from […]

14 november • Door Berke Aslan Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 3 minuten

The math behind your love life

Normally, when we apply mathematics in the real world it is to find patterns, to find the underlying dynamics of something which is complex at first sight. We use it for example to predict earthquakes, to compute the premium of an insurance or to find the optimal strategy how to run our business. These are things which follow patterns, they do not happen out of the blue and there is some underlying logic. However, not everything can easily be described by math. On that side, I would put love. Love is mysterious and a lot […]

15 oktober • Door Stan Koobs Tijd om te lezen Estimated reading time: 4 minuten

By Daniele Zedda • 18 February

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