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Black Friday May Make You Poorer

Listen up.  Even if you're one of those people who get up before dawn to go stand in line, then shove your way through the crowd, on Black Friday, you're probably going to spend more than you intend, anyway, according to newswise.com.

The web site reports that new research suggests some types of discounts encourage shoppers to overspend.

That's why I usually stay home on Black Friday.  I don't need any more reasons to spend more!

Researchers explored promotional credit deals and how they can lead to fallacious thinking in consumers. “Let’s say you went to Ann Taylor Loft, you bought a sweater for $50 and received $10 of Loft credit to spend in the future," says University of Delaware’s Andong Cheng. "This purchase feels like it’s only $40 instead of $50. And then later, you spend the $10 on another shirt and feel like the shirt is free, because you’ve only been spending that merchandise credit instead of more money out of your pocket.”
In this scenario, even thou…

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

For all of you out there who got straight A's and scored high on your SAT (if you can remember back that far!), it doesn't necessarily mean that you can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face- matching.

Your visual intelligence is not the same as your IQ, according to newswise.com.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people’s visual ability and that these variations are not associated with individuals’ general intelligence, or IQ.

“People may think they can tell how good they are at identifying objects visually,” says Isabel Gauthier, David K. Wilson Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University, who headed the study. “But it turns out that they are not very good at evaluating their own skills relative to others.” In the past, research in visual object recognition has fo…

End Your Texts With a Period? Don't

Now think about this.  You know how we're all doing away with punctuation on our texts?  Well, a new study says that that very thing is what now stands in for the visual cues we used to get in face-to-face conversation.


‘Textisms’ convey meaning in absence of spoken conversation, says newswise.com.
Emoticons, irregular spellings and exclamation points in text messages aren’t sloppy or a sign that written language is going down the tubes — these “textisms” help convey meaning and intent in the absence of spoken conversation, according to newly published research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
“In contrast with face-to-face conversation, texters can’t rely on extra-linguistic cues such as tone of voice and pauses, or non-linguistic cues such as facial expressions and hand gestures,” says Binghamton University Professor of Psychology Celia Klin. “In a spoken conversation, the cues aren’t simply add-ons to our words; they convey critical information. A facial e…

Want Something? Focus on It and You'll Want It More

You've had a hard day at work and now it's couch potato time.  You turn on the TV and there's that commercial for that car you've been eyeing for some time.

You're really into the show but wait, here comes that commercial again.  And you know what?  The more you focus on it, the more you want it, at least, according to a new study, as reported by newswise.com.


The relationship between desire and attention was long thought to only work in one direction: When a person desires something, they focus their attention on it.  Now, new research reveals this relationship works the other way, too: increasing a person’s focus on a desirable object makes them want the object even more—a finding with important implications for marketers and clinicians seeking to influence behavior. “People will block out distraction and narrow their attention on something they want,” says Anne Kotynski, author of the study and a PhD student in psychological sciences at Case Western Reserve Universi…

Are You Cool? You're Probably Not, If You're Reading This!

Do you want to be cool? If you're reading this, you're probably not!

Newswise.com says coolness, by its nature, is ephemeral, elusive and ever-evolving.


In the marketplace, coolness excites consumers, steers purchase behaviors and dictates trends. Coolness is something wanted by most and valued by consumers and marketers alike, but understood by few. But a new study says that coolness is a merger of autonomy, authenticity, attitude, and a fourth trait, association, which is helpful but not essential, according to the web site. In the study, autonomy referred to lack of conformity, unconventionality, rebellion, individuality and independence. In other words, people or brands high in autonomy are those who do their own thing, which often goes against the expectations of others.
It's important to note that a “cool” product does not necessarily mean a “good” product, and having a cool product, or marketing a product as it will not work for every product category. In some specific c…

Make Dumb Decisions? Blame Your Neurons

Do you find it hard to make decisions?

I don't.  I make them quickly.  But sometimes, I regret them.

Now a new study says penny-wise, pound-foolish ones are explained by neurons' firing in our brains, according to newswise.com.

Spending decisions are influenced by adaptation in neural circuits.
Say what?
It's all trying to say that the study suggests that being penny wise and pound foolish is not so much a failure of judgment as it is a function of how our brains tally the value of objects that vary widely in worth.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that when monkeys are faced with a choice between two options, the firing of neurons activated in the brain adjusts to reflect the enormity of the decision. Such an approach would explain why the same person can see 20 cents as a lot one moment and $5,000 as a little the next, the researchers said. “Everybody recognizes this behavior, because everybody does it,” says senior author Camillo …

How Soccer Video Games Can Change (Save?) the World

This will make my son happy.

A new study says that a virtual soccer management game  yields real-life lessons in human behavior, according to newswise.com.

A study using a soccer management game to explore more than a half-million participants' monetary choices confirmed it's possible to use a virtual world to mimic real-world behavior on a grand scale, the web site reports. The results open the door to the predictive use of game worlds in policymaking, commercial and other real-life applications, newswise.com quotes co-author Edward Castronova, a professor in The Media School at Indiana University. The study confirmed the viability of conducting controlled research using "big data" on a scale many times larger than the typical social science experiment. "Our work shows that huge social experiments with game worlds and their thousands of players are not only feasible but also relevant for real-world society," Castronova reports. "We could use huge game …