Saeed

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Adam Alter
“Obviously the students preferred to assign themselves to the appealing task and their partners to the unappealing task, but they also recognized that it would be fairer to toss a coin to decide who would undertake each task. The laws of probability state that if the students were using the coins fairly, roughly half of them should have been assigned to the positive task, and the other half should have been assigned to the negative task. Though all of the students tossed the coin, the researchers found that 85 percent of the students assigned themselves to the positive task, suggesting that the coin was merely a prop that allowed them to defend the fairness of the desired outcome. Since they weren’t supervised, you can imagine how the students interpreted a negative outcome: if they lost the first toss, perhaps they decided that the outcome should rest on a best-of-three scenario. The researchers tried the task again, this time placing the students in front of a large mirror. Forced to stare at their reflections as they tossed the coin, the students were perfectly fair, assigning their phantom partner to the positive task exactly 50 percent of the time. Incredibly, the students claimed they reached their decision fairly in both situations, but only the students who sat in front of a mirror actually obeyed the outcome of the coin toss.”
Adam Alter, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave

Jorge Cham
“Yes, those ten-billion-dollar twenty-seven-kilometer-long machines are good for more than just finding bosons named after Peter Higgs.”
Jorge Cham, We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe

Adam Alter
“the same researchers turned to a database of death penalty cases tried in Philadelphia between 1979 and 1999. In a provocative paper titled “Looking Deathworthy,” they showed that when the victim was white, black men who looked stereotypically black were dramatically more likely to receive a death sentence than were black men who looked less stereotypically black. Whereas stereotypically black men tended to receive a death sentence in 58 percent of all cases, black men who did not look stereotypically black received a death sentence in only 24 percent of all cases. These results held even when the researchers carefully removed the effects of other variables that may have inflated the difference, like the defendants’ and victims’ socioeconomic status.”
Adam Alter, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave

Adam Alter
“Apart from money, very few symbols have the power to start wars and terminate friendships. Two exceptions to that rule are symbols of nationalism and icons of religion.”
Adam Alter, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave

Jorge Cham
“this is more in the category of late-night herb-inspired speculation than actual scientific prediction.”
Jorge Cham, We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe

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