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Daily Archives: December 19, 2021

The internet is tricking our brains

NBC News – “Every now and then, Adrian Ward likes to test himself against the internet’s most-used search engine. “There are times when I have the impulse to Google something, and I don’t,” said Ward, who studies psychology as an assistant professor of Every now and then, Adrian Ward likes to test himself against the internet’s most-used search engine. “There are times when I have the impulse to Google something, and I don’t,” said Ward, who studies psychology as an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Austin. “Because,” he said, “I want to see if I can drag that up from memory.” It’s a challenge that’s familiar to anyone with a smartphone in their pocket who can’t quite remember the year that a favorite album came out or the name of an actor in an old movie. Take out the phone? Or rack the brain? But that choice is more than a way to test our recollection of trivia. People who lean on a search engine such as Google may get the right answers but they can also end up with a wrong idea of how strong their own memory is, according to a study that Ward published in August. That’s because online search is so seamless and always available that people often don’t have the chance to experience their own failure to remember things, the study found. The findings are part of a wave of new research in recent years examining the intersection of the internet and human memory. The implications could be far-reaching, including for the spread of political misinformation, Ward said. He cited years of research into how people make decisions, showing that people who are overconfident in their knowledge become more entrenched in their views about politics and science and also can make questionable financial and medical decisions. “The larger effect is people thinking, ‘I am smart. I am responsible for this. I came up with this info,’” Ward said in an interview.

A cadre of cognitive scientists, psychologists and other researchers are trying to understand what it means to remember when memories have been shaped by technology sometimes in many different ways. It amounts to a rethinking of how memory is going to work with each new iteration of digital devices — blurring the line between mind and the internet into something that one day might be thought of as an “Intermind,”Ward said….”

Source: Adrian Ward. 2021. People Mistake the Internet’s Knowledge for Their Own. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming.

“Test and travel” strategies to make travel safer

The Lancet: Routine asymptomatic testing strategies for airline travel during the COVID-19 pandemic: a simulation study: “Findings: We estimated that in a cohort of 100 000 airline travellers, in a scenario with no testing or screening, there would be 8357 (95% uncertainty interval 6144–12831) infectious days with 649 (505–950) actively infectious passengers on the day of… Continue Reading

Voice of the Workforce: What Employees Say They Really Want

PRNewswire — isolved Connect — “As employers scramble to recruit and retain talent in a candidate-driven market, human resource leaders and hiring managers seek to uncover the “why” behind employees staying or leaving. While the number-one motivation for starting a new job is still salary, there is more to the story according to isolved’s latest… Continue Reading

Select Subcommittee Releases Further Evidence of Trump Officials’ Pursuit of ‘Herd Immunity’ Strategy, Interference in Public Health

Select Committee on the Coronavirus: More Effective More Efficient More Equitable. Overseeing an Improving &Ongoing Pandemic Response – “The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis was established by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 23, 2020. Modeled after the Truman Committee that saved lives and taxpayer dollars by preventing waste, fraud, and abuse during… Continue Reading

Get Back: Creativity Lessons from The Beatles “I haven’t had a chance to watch Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary yet, but I really enjoyed reading Tom Whitwell’s 10 lessons in productivity and brainstorming from The Beatles gleaned from the series. 1. The ‘yes… and’ rule – The first rule of improvisation (and brainstorming) is “yes… and”. When someone suggests an idea, plays… Continue Reading

Research note: Lies and presidential debates: How political misinformation spread across media streams during the 2020 election

HKS Misinformation Review: Election Interference – How Misinformation Spreads Targeted Disinformation By Jaren Haber, Lisa Singh, Ceren Budak, John Pasek, Meena Balan, Ryan Callahan, Rob Churchill, Brandon Herren, Kornraphop Kawintiranon. December 17, 2021. “When U.S. presidential candidates misrepresent the facts, their claims get discussed across media streams, creating a lasting public impression. We show this… Continue Reading

The Unpleasant Truth About Law Firm Culture – “A law firm’s culture is defined by what is rewarded, what is tolerated, what is overlooked, and what is punished. At many firms, the outcome is jarringly different from what leadership might want – By Jordan Furlong. An employee of your law firm approaches their supervisor and asks for a few days off… Continue Reading