Tuesday, 30 December 2014

10 things I learn in 2014


  1. We convert statistics into emotions: and so the best way to fast track getting your statistics remembered is to emotionalise them!
  2. Our brains are Bayesian decision making engines: by and large designed to work out what choices will make us most happy
  3. A question is a problem that you ask respondents to solve:  it is easy to lose sight of this simple thought. Often we design questionnaires that skirt around the problem we are trying to solve. We ask questions so euphemistically,  we ask questions that are a Chinese whisper away from what we are trying to find out. 
  4. We like to think in different ways:  Researchers like to quantify things, particularly types of people and how they think and consumer.  We have personalities that get classified and we are this type of person or that. The simple fact is that we are all sorts of different types of people depending on the time of day our mood and our circumstance. We all like to think in different ways, its boring the make the same types of decision especially when we go shopping.  the concept of "type" in research is limiting. The same person who liked to try out new types of shampoo  
  5. Scale effects: you scale something up and sometimes different maths starts to apply
  6. If there are infinite number of universes,  then in some universes it is certain that a god will exist (as some of us know it) ..and in others it is certain that a god as we know it will not exist:  A nice thought, that's assuming that there is such a thing as infinity, some physics question this too ... it might, but there is an infinitesimal small chance!
  7. Rating something is inherently a system 2 thinking process:   compared to a binary choice process which is more system 1. The example being you come out of a film your friend asked did you like it and in a fraction of a second you can say yes or no, but likewise if the friend asked you to rate the film this takes more mental processing and anything up to 5 seconds thinking to give it a score.
  8. 16 is a crowd:  Prediction as opposed to market research is not about the numbers of people you ask its about the quality of information available to the group of predictors and their effort and objectivity.  
  9. Unwise crowds:  crown wisdom is a nice idea but it only work in certain rather rare circumstances. Crowd predictions are mostly corrupted by system errors & network cognitive biases. 
  10. Computers using artificial intelligence can now read some of our emotions better than we can:  Artificial intelligence tools are getting so good at reading our emotions by combining various input data sources ranging from how we are typing, the language we are using and the music we are listening to that they can identify traits of depression often months before it is apparent to ourselves









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