We only wanted one thing from Jonah Lehrer: a story. He told it so well that we forgave him almost everything.
Trials and Errors. Jonah Lehrer's latest piece in Wired is a sort of sequel to his earlier article in the New Yorker on the decline effect (previously). Where that article focused on the institutional factors interfering with the accumulation of truth, this one focuses on the philosophical issues of causation and correlation in modern science. [Via]
"Somehow, we all end up in the same place, chasing the same trends while drinking the same drink while staring at the same app on the same phone." Jonah Lehrer (previously 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) looks at the drive for distinctiveness via a recently published study [PDF] by Jonah Berger and Baba Shiv. "The point is that our most essential desires are weirdly intertwined, which is why it’s interesting that making people think about distinctiveness has such a big impact on how badly they crave food."
Has something gone wrong with the scientific method? That's the big question Jonah Lehrer (pr-e-vi-ous-ly) raises in his new New Yorker piece on the Decline Effect. (Sub required; check the summary here, or pdf here.) Dave Bry at The Awl uses Lehrer's revelations to start and extended riff on how much science one really needs; Lehrer himself goes into more detail about why he wrote the article in a lengthy blog post at Wired, and as for me --- well, I think I'm just going to spend a few days being a little less certain that we can prove very much about how a few extra X chromosomes affect corporate bottom lines, whether you can tell dick about the nature of liberalism or conservatism by where and how people glance at things, or even what the hell is going on with that damn burger.
Jonah Lehrer in The New Yorker profiles Walter Mischel, whose recent research indicates a child's ability to delay gratification can predict the child's academic success. Mischel was previously mentioned in a thread on behavorial economics. He is best known for the marshmallow experiment in the 1960s. (via)