Brain for Business Blog
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Cute video on free will — or not.

We measure the impact of individuals’ looks on their life satisfaction or happiness using
various sets of data from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Germany. The results show that:
1. Personal beauty raises happiness.
2. The majority of this positive effect comes about because personal beauty improves
economic outcomes – incomes, marriage prospects, and others – that increase happiness.
Thus much of the positive effect of beauty on happiness is indirect – through its effects on
aspects of economic life that increase happiness.
3. The total effects of beauty on happiness are about the same for men and women. But the
direct effect is larger among women – beauty affects their happiness independent of its
impact on their incomes, marriage prospects, and other outcomes.

an emerging consensus in the neuroscience community that drug and alcohol addiction is fundamentally a learning and memory disorder.

alcoholics aren’t addicted to the experience of pleasure or relief they get from drinking alcohol. They’re addicted to the constellation of environmental, behavioral and physiological cues that are reinforced when alcohol triggers the release of dopamine in the brain.

Alcohol, in this model, is the enabler. It hijacks the dopaminergic system, and it tells our brain that what we’re doing at that moment is rewarding (and thus worth repeating).

Among the things we learn is that drinking alcohol is rewarding. We also learn that going to the bar, chatting with friends, eating certain foods and listening to certain kinds of music are rewarding. The more often we do these things while drinking, and the more dopamine that gets released, the more “potentiated” the various synapses become and the more we crave the set of experiences and associations that orbit around the alcohol use.

Is the same true of impulsive/compulsive investing?  Likely.
There is No Nobel Prize for Economics: There is a Bank Prize for Economics Named after Alfred Nobel

We’re not sure why this fact has been ignored by the world and media – as well as major universities.  Why has this not been fact-checked?  Why has this misstatement been institutionalized?

We learned the following from Linked In contributors: “There is no Nobel Prize in Economics. The Prize that is typically referred to as the Economics Nobel is actually a prize given by the Swedish National Bank in honour of Alfred Nobel. This prize was not founded by Nobel himself. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel has been awarded 42 times to 67 Laureates between 1969 and 2010”

75% of Americans believe in angels and that 50% think they have their own guardian angels, 46% believe the character of Jesus is going to end the world in less than 50 years.

There is also much confusion about what it means to speak with scientific “objectivity.” There are two very different senses of the terms “objective” and “subjective.”

The first relates to how we know (i.e. epistemology), the second to what there is to know (i.e. ontology). When we say that we are reasoning or speaking “objectively,” we mean that we are free of obvious bias, open to counter-arguments, cognizant of the relevant facts, etc. There is no impediment to our doing this with regard to subjective (i.e. first-person) facts.

There is also much confusion about what it means to speak with scientific “objectivity.” There are two very different senses of the terms “objective” and “subjective.”

The first relates to how we know (i.e. epistemology), the second to what there is to know (i.e. ontology). When we say that we are reasoning or speaking “objectively,” we mean that we are free of obvious bias, open to counter-arguments, cognizant of the relevant facts, etc. There is no impediment to our doing this with regard to subjective (i.e. first-person) facts.

…it is the quality of connections in the brain, not the overall size, that really matters.