Major moral decisions use general-purpose brain circuits to manage uncertainty

first_imgHarvard researchers have found that humans can make difficult moral decisions using the same brain circuits as those used in more mundane choices related to money and food.These circuits, also found in other animals, put together two critical pieces of information:  How good or bad are the things that might happen?  What are the odds that they will happen, depending on one’s choice?  The results suggest that complex moral decisions need not rely on a specific “moral sense.”Graduate student Amitai Shenhav and assistant professor of psychology Joshua D. Greene of present the findings this week in the journal Neuron.“It seems that our capacity for complex, life-and-death decisions depends on brain structures that originally evolved for making more basic, self-interested decisions about things like obtaining calories,” says Shenhav, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard.  “Many of the brain regions we find to be active in major moral decisions have been shown to perform similar functions when people and animals make commonplace decisions about ordinary goods such as money and food.”Some researchers have argued that moral judgments are produced by a “moral faculty” in the brain, but Shenhav and Greene’s work indicates that at least some moral decisions rely on general mechanisms also used by the brain in evaluating other kinds of choices.“Research in neuroeconomics has identified distinct brain structures responsible for tracking the probability of various outcomes, the magnitude of various outcomes, and for integrating these two kinds of information into a decision,” says Greene.  “Our work shows that the parts of the brain people use for this last task — combining assessments of outcome probability and magnitude into a final decision — closely coincide with the brain regions we use daily when deciding how to spend money or choose foods.”Using real-time brain imaging, Shenhav and Greene presented 34 subjects with hypothetical choices between saving one life with certainty or saving several lives, but with no guarantee that this latter effort will succeed.  The experiment systematically varied the number of lives at risk and the odds of success.The authors found that a brain region called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex tracked the “expected moral value” of the uncertain option, integrating information about the number of lives to be saved and the probability of saving them.  Other brain regions separately tracked outcome magnitude and outcome probability.The work advances our understanding of how people make decisions affecting the lives of others.  Many of the most consequential such decisions are made by policymakers:  In some cases, a single choice can impact thousands of lives.“For example, how did President Truman decide to deploy nuclear weapons against Japan in 1945, ending World War II, but at an enormous cost?” asks Greene.  “Our results suggest that such decisions employ the same basic mechanisms our brains use when we evaluate whether it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars for an extended warranty on a new car.”Truman’s historic decision shows parallels to ones made by ordinary people every day.  It involved trade-offs among outcomes of different magnitude:  How many lives would be lost?  How many saved?  Second, Truman’s decision was made under uncertainty.  He could, at best, assign probabilities to possible outcomes.Likewise, ordinary decision-makers must compare the relative sizes of costs and benefits, as when a car buyer balances the cost of a warranty against the cost of repairs.  The consumer doesn’t know at the outset whether she will have to pay for expensive repairs down the road.“Truman, like ordinary decision-makers, had to put information about probability and magnitude together to reach a decision,” Shenhav says.  “And like the car buyer, Truman likely relied on his ventromedial prefrontal cortex to evaluate his options.”Shenhav and Greene’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation.last_img read more

Movember means MUST-cache

first_imgShare with your Friends:More Article written by Janelle SaylorIncognito ammo canAs men around the world started to grow their facial hair in honor of Movember, we wondered about mustache-themed caches, trackables, coins, and geocachers that could be out there. And we found facial hair from a can is pretty popular. Most geocaches encourage people to use a mustache in the geocache to share a picture of themselves, stache’d up, on the geocache page. Here are some of our furriest finds:‘Stache Caches:GC415QR Movember – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada GC57VAQ Moustache Cache – Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, United States TB5XQY3 “the Mustache made me do it” traveled 3,392 miles before finally landing on the upper lip of its owner TB4XPHF – Ridiculously Large MustacheGeocoins:Oh these soup strainers are clever…TB665G3 Geocoin Club November 2013 – Movember Geocoin even comes with a handy spot for inserting a “photo-op” stick. GC3F6P2: Facial Hair – Redmond, Washington, United States And finally, no blog about geo-staches would be complete without an honorary mention of Mr. and Mrs. Mysterious, aka TheVillans who bill themselves as, “the most feared geocaching team on the planet!!!” This dastardly duo caches in disguise leaving a comic book and a calling card in their wake. Muhahahaha!!TheVillansHow do you Must-cache? Share your photos in the comments and tell us about your fall-foliage and folic-y fun. :-{) SharePrint RelatedTake a stachie with a mustCACHEOctober 31, 2016In “Community”Nottingham to Nottingham Travel Bug RaceSeptember 12, 2011In “Community”Shop Geocaching April 2012 NewsletterApril 2, 2012In “GeoTours” Trackables:What about “a’sttaching” one to a Travel Bug then acquiring a few fun photos along the way?TB214CA PCTM – Picture Crazy Travel Mustachelast_img read more

Apps Continue to Overtake Mobile Web (Study)

first_imgsarah perez The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts Although, in total, apps are overtaking the Web in terms of usage, there are certain categories where the mobile Web is still used heavily. News, search and commerce categories receive more usage from mobile Web browsers, with 86%, 85% and 66% of mobile Web browser users using them monthly, respectively, says Zokem.In comparison, only 22% of Web browser users use Web-based email and only 18% use Web-based games. Instead, native apps for email are used by 76% of smartphone users and native apps for gaming are used by 45%.In general, multimedia and other entertainment is most popular within native applications, with the one exception being adult entertainment. This category sees 15% of Web browser users accessing such sites per month. That finding is likely related to the restrictions on adult apps per Apple’s iTunes guidelines, which does not permit adult content.Why are Apps Winning?Zokem’s CEO Hannu Verkasalo shares some thoughts about why apps are dominating this space over on GSM’s Mobile Apps Briefing website. “According to Zokem’s research, one of the most fundamental aspects is perceived usability and overall user experience,” he says, in describing the success of apps.“Mobile web browsers are no doubt evolving, with the most recent smartphones supporting HTML 5, Flash and other powerful web technologies – which is a good thing. However, there are still elements – like the small screen, rendering power of smartphones, limitations of web-site based application logic, offline use etc. –  which make web browser based applications in most cases unsuitable, or user interfaces sub-optimal for mobile screens. It is easier technically to guarantee how an app looks, how it works, and how it delivers value to the user compared to web apps,” he concluded.Verkasalo said other factors that have contributed to apps’ success over Web include the ease of monetization within app stores and the growth of the mobile app ecosystem. At last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the GSM Association (GSMA) partnered with mobile analytics firm Zokem to publish highlights from Zokem’s recent smartphone research study. Its report found that mobile applications are overtaking mobile Web browser usage in terms of monthly use. In addition, apps are now second only to messaging in usage activity, beating both voice and Web for the #2 spot.Zokem’s January 2011 study looked at over 2,200 smartphone users in both the U.S. and the U.K. Although apps are growing in popularity, they haven’t yet become the top usage category on smartphones – messaging is still #1. Messaging, which includes text, multimedia, email, and instant messaging, accounts for 671 minutes of usage per month (active on-screen time).Meanwhile, apps (maps, gaming, entertainment, productivity, social networking, etc.) are a very close second at 667 minutes of usage per month.Voice (531 minutes) and Web browsing (422 minutes) are much further behind. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#apps#mobile#news#Trends last_img read more

The Big Impact of Incremental Advantages

first_imgYour training and development provides you an incremental advantage over competitors who fail to invest the time and money.The time you spend nurturing your dream clients with ideas and insights provides you with an incremental advantage in being known–and being known as a value creator.The work you do to prepare you for your first sales interaction, like planning your sales call, gives you an incremental advantage over those salespeople who decided to wing it.The effort you make to collaborate with your dream client on what the right solution needs to look like provides you an incremental advantage when it comes time for your final presentation.Following your sales process provides you the incremental advantage of creating value for your prospective client at every stage, making it easier for you to obtain a commitment to move forward together.Spending time with the stakeholders who are ultimately going to decide to choose you–and implement your solution–and helping them build consensus around change gives you an incremental advantage at overcoming the status quo.Leading with value and justifying the necessary investment early in the sales process provides an incremental advantage when it comes to defending the price necessary to produce those outcomes later.None of these little advantages may seem like a big thing in the moment. But later, all of these incremental advantages provide a massive impact when it comes to creating and winning opportunities. As it turns out, the little things you do add up to a big advantage.How do you gain a series of incremental advantages? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more