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Quick Note
ProfPattersonProfPatterson 16 Dec 2015 15:28
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Team2

Hi guys, just a quick note to let you know that I'm using the little "x" to the left of an entry to check off that I've moved it to the HLC evidence repository in Blackboard. You're of course welcome to move your stuff there yourself, but if you don't and you put an "x" next to it I may miss it when I go to move things. —SP

Quick Note by ProfPattersonProfPatterson, 16 Dec 2015 15:28

Hello all,

I've added a timeline for completion of our work that goes all the way to submission of our final draft in July 2016. I have also added notes in everyone's area based on things I've found out and conversations I've had in the past few weeks as I've been working on this.

As of today we have 72 days to complete the gathering of evidence for our report if we wish to remain on schedule. Don't know about you guys but come summer I know I'll be keen to be doing other things. Let's try not to let this work get away from us!

Awesome job!

Just a reminder here that any of us can click on "history" in the gray bar at the top or the red letters at the bottom in order to see what changed, view old versions, etc. That's the beauty of a wiki!


Nice work, Sarah! by ProfPattersonProfPatterson, 21 Jul 2015 18:42

I've just bumped you guys up a level. See if it works now…

Re: Permission error by ProfPattersonProfPatterson, 20 Jul 2015 14:16

I got a permissions error when I clicked on the Edit button below.

Permission error by Sarah HeidtSarah Heidt, 20 Jul 2015 13:44
Sarah HeidtSarah Heidt 20 Jul 2015 13:42
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Team2

Looks like I can post. - Sarah

Test by Sarah HeidtSarah Heidt, 20 Jul 2015 13:42
carleylynncarleylynn 12 Dec 2010 22:21
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Nudge Part IV

I do agree that before marriage couples, if they want, should come up with their own provisions, such as prenums, if they find it necessary. Although most couples believe that they will last forever statistics show different and hopefully by having something in place in case of divorce it will be less ugly then it would be by not having one.
On page 226 it reads in the first paragraph that nudges should be introduced to protect those who are most vulnerable, frequently women and above all children. For instance Michigan is a state for mothers but in my eyes if a couple is married with a child but the mom goes and cheats on the dad and the dad is forced out of the child's life due to the actions of the mother then the mother should not get the upper hand, therefore any consequences should be faced by the woman. This goes for both men and women, if the man is the caused of a divorce (legit reason-beating, cheating, addict, or etc, not for un-ligit reasons- I'm bored).
On the last page it reads that privatization will reduce ugly and unnecessary debates but there will always be debates and with this view a more likely chance for more debates. I think it would be harder for people to choose what institution or religious organization they want to be part of. Yes most people are raised in an institution or religious organization and believe most what what they have to say. But there comes a time a person questions an organization. Say a person beliefs all of what their church practices besides the fact there church does not believe in interracial marriage and they do (something that was fought a long time ago through the government). Depending on the persons stand point depends on her actions. If she has a fiance or boyfriend of a different race it is likely she will abandon her institution but if she does not, although she disagrees she will continue to stay. Overall it will be more chaotic if the state was not involved to set some guidelines. Yes times have changed so guidelines should change. There needs to be provisions for same sex marriages- homosexuality is not new, it has been around for hundreds of years. Without the state being involved divorce will be chaos, more than it already is because there is no protection of laws even within private institutions. A person can say to an institution well that is not law. The only benefit will be the company of one another. If something happens to the spouse pension is out of the question because that is government. What if a institution believes that a man should never get custody of a child- who are they to say? I believe there is more equality within the state then in institutions. People do join religious groups and institutions based on what they believe but overall the state over powers these organizations to protect people of the unfairness that can occur within these groups.

Marriage by carleylynncarleylynn, 12 Dec 2010 22:21

I think it is a little over dramatic to tell high schoolers they cannot graduate unless they fill out an application to nearby colleges. I say this for many reasons. What if they are going to move? What if a girl is pragnant and unable to attend college right away? What if a family does not have the sources to send there child to college- a car or what not? College is also not meant for everybody. Say yes everyone summitted an application and even if they did not want to because they knew college was not for them. Well 88% of the appicants go and by the end of the semester 30% drop out because they knew it was not for them but tried anyways due to the fact they wanted to graduate high school. Well now these students will be required to pay off loans right away that perhaps they don't have the money for. And say they did get state grants for the whole year but only use up half a year, they are now entitled to pay that back- plus in the future they will be on some type of probation if they decide to go back to college. Now having recuiters coming to schools to talk about college and point peple in the right direction is a good idea but to keep a high school diploma from a student is wrong.

From high school to college by carleylynncarleylynn, 08 Dec 2010 15:29

For the past couple months now I have been house hunting. There are a lot of good deals out there due to the many foreclosures and short sales, but because Michigan has taken a big tax cut because of the housing market taxes on homes have not contracted to fit the prices of the homes; like they should. For instance there was a house that I very much liked at a asking price of $185.9 but the taxes were around 5,000 which would add another 400 dollars to your mortgage each much. Well because I do not want to pay that much in taxes although I like the home I will continue to look at real estate, which in the long run will save me a couple hundred dollars, since I will look in the same price range but make sure taxes are lower. That extra two hundred dollars can help with other necessities.

Choice to Welfare by carleylynncarleylynn, 07 Dec 2010 18:32

Every election people hear on tv the controversies that arise during the election, which made make voting decisions hard for some people. But also on tv you have this actor, this talk show host, so on and so forth talk about or promote who they like. Well say you don't like Opera well your not going to vote for the candidate she likes, so you vote for who Kid Rock likes since he is your favorite singer; consider this a nudge.

Using the example of the petrified wood and the signs that are trying to preserve it is an effective way to see how people will react, just like the logo don't mess with Texas. Before this logo no one cared about littering but with a more catching, positive logo people were more willing to listen and participate in not littering.When something sounds negative people look at it and say oh well, you don;t want to buy a toy for your child if the box had said will brake after open. But if something sounds positive and something will come to use your more likely to listen. This toy is the number one toy in America. Just like the petrified forest it is asking to please leave the wood in place to keep the forest preserved so people get the sense that they are doing good when in actuality they ar enot doing anything at all but getting a sense of goodness.

I just would like to add something about the comment of birth control, don't females also know that birth control advertising no period or reduced period is not a good thing. I know we all hate the thing but not having a regular period is way unhealth and can cause major health issues. Just because something seems to be convient does not mean it is better.

I am going to say that I am a fan of paternalism, which may be unpopular, but if people know that it is paternalism and they can make free choice if they choose, then it's the best option for me. Even though people say they prefer a wide range of choices, because its their "freedom", I don't think many people actually believe that. For example, I've noticed on facebook, that when people are looking to buy televisions or hire contractors, or any such difficult choice (not made every day), they post in their status to solicit advice from friends who might know better than them how to make the decision. Just like the video we watched in class, the more options that I am given, the more confused I become. I agree that nudges are beneficial when dealing with difficult decisions that are not made every day and by implementing defaults that are in the best interest of the person.

I found the feedback section in the Choice Architecture section especially funny because the government is now getting rid of the useless color coded system that I have been making fun of for years now. It is for the very reason that the authors talk about, it is not clear and gives no direction. I think that clear mapping is very important to making the kinds of decisions that the authors are talking about in the book. For example, it is suggested with any serious medical problem to get a second opinion, but I don't even know how much that really helps. I wonder if the treatment choice that people end up going with has less to do with competing choices and more to do with which doctor they liked more.

I tried to look at different health insurance policies a few years ago, and if they had been following the RECAP strategy, I might have actually gotten somewhere. Not only were the plans pretty much incomprehensible to me, but the forms to apply were even worse. I stayed with the default (Blue Cross) and probably pay way too much as a result. However, the idea of looking into that again is painful, and I want to just say, "Can't someone do it for me?' Which is where the idea of good defaults sounds awesome to me.

One last point on this chapter, in the section on expected error. The birth control pill example was fantastic and I would just like to add to it by pointing out the lengths people will go to to have things simplified for them. The birth control patch carries a much higher risk of clotting and stroke because it requires a higher level of hormone to make it effective in it's more simple form of delivery. Many women opted to choose this instead of having to take the pill even though they were aware of the risks involved in using it. I think that these kinds of choices show that we are much more like how the authors in the book describe then how economists describe us.

Side note: I want that alarm clock that runs away from you. That's just awesome.
As seen by the fact that I am just now getting around to posting about a book that I am almost done with should show that I have some serious issues in this area. Christmas is coming up and, being that I never ever save for Christmas, the Christmas club example just reminded me of how much I FAIL in this area. I thought about how they mentioned the cigarette taxes as a deterrent to smoking and realized that actually, they are very wrong about this. From my personal experience, and what I have heard from others, it is actually the next chapter about social nudges that creates more of a difference when discussing addictive habits. For myself, the social stigma of smoking that exists now is far more of a deterrent than the cost of a pack of cigarettes (as in the power of the Don't Mess With Texas example). I also know that my boyfriend tends to pick up stuff more when I'm around then he did prior to me being at his apartment more (ha ha). I think that mental accounting tricks are great, and I do try to implement them myself all the time; however, the success or failure of these types of things most often depends on my accountability. The social nudges from the people around me most affect how I operate, even when actively trying to regulate spending, smoking, video games, etc.

Another note on the power of social influence: The unit that I work on has 42 psych patients, 7 techs, and 4 nurses at any given time (at least it's supposed to). The acuity or "tone" of the unit is greatly dependent on just a few people. This is not due to the fact that they are psych patients though, because the acuity affects the staff as much as it does the rest of the patients (also a bad tone can be caused by staff just as much as patients). If there are one or two angry and loud people on the unit, everyone's mood is affected and it can make for a horrible night, or stretch of nights. I find this really interesting because it is not always larger patterns of behavior that command conformity, but it can often be sheer force of will from a few that set the tone for an entire community. This section made me think of the Milgram experiment, and how authority (strong nudge) shapes the actions of others. I have to say that I think that this experiment was ethically messed up, but it does show a very interesting outcome. Authority and strong personality have an overwhelming affect on how those around them make choices. This information about how people operate is not used to benefit us as often as I would like to see it used, in the way of positive social nudges, or at least the acceptance that this is true. I could be wrong, but I think that social nudges are probably the most powerful ones that exist and also the most dangerous.

Julia NewmanJulia Newman 21 Nov 2010 18:57
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Nudge Part I

Sorry this took so long, but my mental tricks to keep myself on track have been derailed this semester and the autonomic nervous system favors laziness. Just kidding. I found that the first few chapters in particular were pretty much a review of a lot of the material I read in Jonah Lehrer's book How We Decide, which I read for a class last semester. Carley, read that book when your not buying a house and commuting from Kentucky, k? It's really good. Anyway, earlier when you mentioned optimism and overconfidence it made me think of how that concept works in concert with the concept of anchors. Though I agree with you Carley that fear exists and impacts decisions, I think that it depends on where your anchor for that particular situation is. For example, the use of heroin among suburban, middle-class teens has exploded over the last (oh say) 10 years. The main problem in the prevention of this is that the anchor for most of these parents when it relates to drug use and their teens is firmly set on pot and drinking. The strategies for prevention that these school systems and communities had did not even consider the possibility of this kind of drug use among this particular (well-off) group. So, when this problem began to present itself, the communities involved had to woefully admit that they were overconfident and way too optimistic about this problem occurring, because the problem was not really even on their map to begin with. So I do think that as a general rule, people are overconfident about a number of things, but not all things, and this probably depends on where their anchors are set at to begin with.

Also, I know that the Jamestown example is pretty horrific, but it is not uncommon (thankfully, often not to that extent). I love psychology, and so have been interested in this subject in the past. I know that these types of things do not occur overnight, and that, unfortunately, it is not so simple to just say that people are "weak" who succumb to this type of situation. That is the main point that I got from this chapter. When I look back to chapter 1, which gives an explanation of the different types of nudges that they are discussing in this book, it is easy to see how people can be moved into situations where they could do these types of things. The problems occur when many nudges are employed deliberately and increasingly over a long period of time. For example:

1. Setting social anchors that allow people to move toward the "cult". For instance, using anchors to make people feel that they are not happy, or capable (like the dating/happy example)
2. Availability. This can be used by taking a recent tragedy and fostering the already existing culture of fear related to the probability of it occurring again (passing the Patriot Act on the heels of 9/11)
3. Representativeness. Giving people a pattern for a disturbing trend of events that fits the "cult" leaders needs. For example (tell me if I'm wrong Prof Patterson) during the rise of the Nazi's in Germany, the Jews were the "pattern" given for the horrible economic conditions at the time, which made anti-semitism seem reasonable.
4. Optimism. Focus on how the group is the "chosen" group, thereby moving them toward a position of overconfidence and optimism in their status as cult members.
5. Gains and losses. Focus on the losses that any person who wants to leave will suffer, such as inability to partake in some after-life, stigmatization, and so on.
6. Status-Quo. After a period of time, and many of the previous nudges, this atmosphere becomes the status quo for the people in the "cult" which makes it incredibly socially difficult for them to break away from.

I know we are not discussing psychology here, but this chapter, and other things I have read make it pretty plain that "cult" thinking is not so hard as it may seem. I try not to vilify people who are, in the most part, victims in these situations. The point is that, through knowledge of how these processes work, they are easier to avoid. A less drastic example of "cult" thinking through deliberate nudging is low-income conservatives. These people often vote against their economic interest again and again. Why? Because they are nudged that way through social issues such as abortion, homosexuality to name a few.

by Julia NewmanJulia Newman, 21 Nov 2010 18:57
carleylynncarleylynn 19 Nov 2010 22:14
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Nudge Part I

After reading the first paragraph in chapter three, "Following the Herd," I was disgusted. How can anyone have such an influence in another persons life that they kill not just themselves but their children? This is sickening; the only way you allow anyone in your life like this is if you let them and even then if they suggest such actions you would think your instincts would take over and you would tell the CULT leader to F off.

I cannot stand flicking through the television and every channel seems to be a reality show and most of them are stupid and pointless- I have a more exciting life. Lets pick a fight with the girl who dresses like me, who cares if she is wearing the same nail polish color. Some people cannot even afford nail polish.

Under the subtitle doing what others do, I do notice in class that it is not likely that someone will not raise their hand when others do not or even if someone, at first, answered wrong. I think I'm kind of the same way to an extent but one thing I do not do is sit in the back of the class where most prefer, I always sit up front.

by carleylynncarleylynn, 19 Nov 2010 22:14
carleylynncarleylynn 12 Nov 2010 22:30
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Nudge Part I

Under self control strategies, the example of the Christmas bonus example, I believe people would sign up for these in the hopes not just to save money but also like it suggest to not use credit cards. Yes the initial point is to do all this: save and use cash. But for most people this still will not work. People would still use credit cards to get more because they know it is available. Second, yes people did save but say something happens money wise (car broke down) you are back at square one. This happens more often then not.
I do mental accounting all the time. My bills are spread out all throughout the month. No matter what I pay something on my bills but depending on my pay for the week is the final determinate of how much I pay on a bill. Say I make three hundred dollars the first week of the month so I decide I'll put only the minimum on this because last month I made four hundred dollars the first week of work so I paid double. This will give me a chance to pay more money on a different bill. This is something I do almost every Monday of each week.

by carleylynncarleylynn, 12 Nov 2010 22:30

Well for instance if all my life I have been taught the Christian religion and nothing else, I would be less willing to accept other religions as I become older. I would not trade my religion for another religion; this is why a lot of people are ignorant of religions, they do not know any better. People believe their religion is the one true religion (over confidence) also they would not give it up for another religion (gains, losses). This would fit the bill for football home teams, and the political philosophers theories of justice. Get a room full of philosophers, have them argue their points for hours but still in the end their individual theories are the best.

Re: part 1 by carleylynncarleylynn, 12 Nov 2010 22:20
ProfPattersonProfPatterson 08 Nov 2010 15:04
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Nudge Part I

I have to wonder how it went when you got to the store. The going idea is that knowing that these irrational effects are working in the background and being able to recognize them for what they are (both critical parts of what behavioral economists call "de-biasing") will at least slow down those kinds of purchasing habits.

Of course you don't have to tell us how it went. This isn't a psychology class after all! Your post just gave me a way to introduce the idea of de-biasing, which is one well worth our consideration in this discussion.

Here are some links to follow about debiasing:


by ProfPattersonProfPatterson, 08 Nov 2010 15:04

Good first post, Carely. Way to get us started!

On valuing things you already own, I'd suggest looking into the "Endowment Effect":

An interesting question to consider is how prevalent this effect might be not just in economic terms but in terms of ideas too. In other words, is my estimation of a football team, a religion, or a government inflated in the same way as is the perception of the value of my goods? Is there a similar risk of irrationality here, wherein I become blind to the theoretical and evidential shortcomings of my own positions as a result?

How might this apply to the work we're doing on different theories of justice, do you think?

Re: part 1 by ProfPattersonProfPatterson, 08 Nov 2010 14:56
carleylynncarleylynn 04 Nov 2010 17:25
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Nudge Part I

I plan on going shopping to buy a couple of outfits, occurding to what I have plan; what I do is a different story though. I have no self control.

by carleylynncarleylynn, 04 Nov 2010 17:25
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