September 10, 2007 at 8:02 am
In France 99.9% of their citizens are organ donors, as apposed to only 28% of Americans. Why are the French dying to give people their kidneys and corneas more often than Americans? Because in France the default position is to be donor, whereas in most US states you have to sign something to indicate that you wish to be donor. According to the blog We’re Only Human run by The Association for Psychological Science this is because of something called “‘default heuristic’ which basically says: If there is a default position, don’t question it.”
Holy crap, that’s exactly how I got fat. It’s also why I keep getting e-mails about kitty litter. When I register with sites online to redeem my Paw Points from boxes of kitty litter or to comment on message boards or just to read the stupid New York Times online, I have to fill out forms – forms with lots and lots of checkboxes. Sometimes the boxes are unchecked, but sometimes they are already checked for me, as if the webmaster [...]
July 25, 2007 at 8:04 am
I don’t think my double chin weighed 195 pounds, but an article I read says weight loss is all in your head. It was first published two years ago, but thankfully information does not go bad as quickly as the unwashed grapes in my fresher drawer, so I think it’s still relevant. A cultural anthropologist located 10 people who had successfully lost a lot of weight, kept it off and gave them all the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI). That’s one of those fancy psychological tests that scientific people like to use instead of horoscopes. It looks at four quadrants of the brain used in problem solving and sees which ones you favor. I have no idea how useful or accurate this test is, but the researcher found that people with the most dramatic losses scored higher as a type B person:
“B” quadrant (lower left): These people are controlled, methodical, disciplined sticklers for structure and routine. Punctual and neat, they always have a plan, timetable and calendar with appointments penciled in.
Calendar? Did someone say calendar? [...]