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Marshmallow Test 2014

I have been thinking about the marshmallow test and whether there was an equivalent that could be done in 2014 and I think there is. The protocol is simple, take an adult, lock them in a room with their smartphone and access to their Facebook account and see if they can resist taking a photograph…

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Media portrayals of cancer as a battle to be fought, and its focus on ‘brave fighters’ beating the odds, can lead to feelings of guilt and failure in people with a terminal diagnosis, according to research. ‘War’ metaphors are commonly used to describe people’s experiences of cancer – by the media, by charities raising awareness…

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Mistake Of The Day

The chart below is currently doing the rounds. It is from JP Morgans Guide to Retirement and it is being repeated without critical comment over various sites. It offers the standard line of the need to be fully invested in markets all the time because if you are not fully invested then you miss the best…

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Could You Pass The Marshmallow Test?

Throughout the late 1960’s and early 1970’s Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel conducted what became known as the marshmallow tests. This test looked at the phenomena of delayed gratification in children. as part of the testing protocol children were offered either a small reward immediately or a larger reward if they waited 15 minutes.   Interestingly…

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We Are All Confident Idiots

In 1999, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, my then graduate student Justin Kruger and I published a paper that documented how, in many areas of life, incompetent people do not recognize—scratch that, cannot recognize—just how incompetent they are, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Logic itself almost demands…

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The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling

One of the great failings of fundamental analysis is its reliance upon the narrative as its means of communication. Brokers will often ask analysts – whats the story? Meaning how can I sell this to the client. We are hardwired for narrative rather than data and this causes us enormnous problems in everything from dealing…

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What Happens To Our Brains When We Exercise

Exercise has been touted to be a cure for nearly everything in life, from depression, to memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and more. At the same time, similar to the topic of sleep, I found myself having very little specific and scientific knowledge about what exercise really does to our bodies and our brains. “Yes, yes, I know all…

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