You are Biased

01

Feb 2017

You are Biased

A living library of the cognitive biases and heuristics that structure our thinking and decision making. Most of us (like to) think of ourselves as being pretty reasonable, rational, in control and objective – able to understand and evaluate complex ideas and situations, and thereby act in the best way possible for ourselves and others. And we are, occasionally. A lot of the time, though, the way that we think, the things we perceive and the decisions we make are riddled with irrationality, errors and – you guessed it – bias. Our brains are incredible, incredibly powerful and complex organs that we’re...

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#12: The Simulation Heuristic

23

Jan 2017

#12: The Simulation Heuristic

Picture this: You sleep through your alarm and wake up 15 minutes late. You quickly pack your bags, throw on some clothes and head for the airport. Your driver takes a wrong turn and gets stuck in a traffic jam. You make it to the airport, hop out the Uber and race to the check-in desks. You find out you’ve missed your flight… Which would upset you more, missing it by 5 minutes or missing it by 30? If you’re like most people, the near miss of 5 minutes would distress you far more than missing your flight by 30. This...

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Nudge & Sludge (Guest Post by Gino Engle)

15

Dec 2016

Nudge & Sludge (Guest Post by Gino Engle)

By now we are all well-accustomed with the notion of ‘nudge’, as popularised by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. Nudges alter the choice architecture around decision-making to enable more helpful decisions to be made, more often. Simply put, nudges change behaviour by helping individuals make better decisions: from encouraging healthier eating by placing fruit at eye-level, to boosting retirement savings by making pensions schemes the default option. Almost a decade since the release of Nudge – and with government-led ‘nudge units’ springing up across the world – this notion has become somewhat of a new orthodoxy. As Cait Lamberton puts it,...

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Big Data’s Growing Pains

15

Dec 2016

Big Data’s Growing Pains

What is ‘Big Data’? The words ‘big data’ seem to be everywhere these days. Detailed, and valuable, personal information is generated from just about everything in our daily lives, and is utilized by our social media sites and marketers to target products, information and services that our behaviour suggests that we’ll ‘like’.[1] While many people refer to big data as purely digital inputs, like online and social network behaviour, in actual fact most companies include traditional data transactions and records, such as point-of-sale interactions, in their analytics and persona development too. The use of Big Data is credited as one...

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The Big Issue SA Smart Bib 3.0

15

Dec 2016

The Big Issue SA Smart Bib 3.0

Background The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation (NPO) that enables currently unemployed and economically marginalized adults to take control of their own lives, and to (re-)gain invaluable skills, confidence, and a sense of dignity and self-worth through micro-entrepreneurial and self-development programmes. They sell these otherwise unemployed entrepreneurs The Big Issue magazines at just above cost price – locally at R10 –  and encourage them to sell them across Cape Town for R20, enabling vendors to draw R10 profit for every magazine sold. While The Big Issue South Africa operates solely out of the greater Cape Town area,...

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The Journey to 2017

15

Dec 2016

The Journey to 2017

“Professor Max Planck, of Berlin, the famous originator of the Quantum Theory, once remarked to me that in early life he had thought of studying economics, but had found it too difficult!” – John Keynes. Human beings are extremely complicated. You don’t have to venture further than a moment of honest introspection to realize that. Yet, for so long, organisation managers have relied on simplistic economic models either directly, or through ideas rooted in these models’ assumptions. Over the last few years, however, we have been at the precipice of an exciting transition away from these basic assumptions. There are...

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