Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ideas to Ponder: Why We Seek Social Proof?

It is first of the many posts that I am going to write in "Idea to Ponder series" (you can visit all of them here). 

Why we Seek Social Proof? 

Wiki defines social proof as: "Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in ambiguous social situations when people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior."

But the deep down desire in all of us is to be safe. We feel safe to be the part of a larger group which have behaved same or will behave same as us! Not getting? Let me explain with few very powerful examples that we all experience in our day to day life every single second! And how smart companies like, Google,...and almost every single online company in this world has been utilizing our this trait of seeking social proof.

See the amazon page (below) that you see while you search price information for something (in this case say the movie:Inception): //click on the picture to see it in a separate window//

Monday, September 27, 2010

Joy of Giving Week: An Idea Worth Spreading

The Joy of Giving Week is a "festival of giving" that aims to bring together Indians all across the country and abroad through different acts of giving- money, time, skills or resources.The goal is to convert it into a fully publicly owned festival, just like Diwali, Holi or Thanksgiving, none of which are owned by anyone. The Week was launched in 2009 and will be held every year starting on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday, containing October 2 within.

The Week is temporarily hosted at GiveIndia till it reaches critical mass, but several organisations and people including Goonj, Riverside School, JAM, ISB, Toofles, the various Media Houses of India, celebrities and individuals have come together to make it possible. The Joy of Giving Week is 100% volunteer driven & co-ordinated. City level volunteers anchor different "verticals"- corporates, schools, colleges, media, celebrities, NGOs and others, engaging with them and helping them plan, execute and participate in "giving events".

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Spirit Of The Times: Ideas at Google

That's what the word "zeitgeist" means... the spirit of the times. What is happening now and how does it all come together?

Every year, Google puts together a year-end zeitgeist to show the words, searches, etc... that have shaped our year. What many don't know is that Google also holds a private and very exclusive event called, Google Zeitgeist, that brings together a couple hundred business executives with some of the leading minds in media, entertainment, business, technology and science to listen, share and learn together over a two-and-a-half day period about the ideas of the year.
Much like the TED conference, the organizers of Google Zeitgeist have begun to publish many of the talks online. In fact, check out Zeitgeist - Great Minds Of Our Times for tons and tons of brand new video content. 
Watch this:

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Understand Your Confirmations Biases: An Idea for Better Decision Making

|"It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives." --Francis Bacon

Post written by Anshul Gupta. Follow him on twitter

Wiki defines confirmation biases as: "Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true." And as a result, people gather evidence and recall information from memory selectively, and interpret it in a biased way. This limits our ability to a make good decisions.

Confirmation bias is a kind of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one's beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one's beliefs. For example, if you believe that during a full moon there is an increase in admissions to the emergency room where you work, you will take notice of admissions during a full moon, but be inattentive to the moon when admissions occur during other

Friday, September 24, 2010

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

Post written by Anshul Gupta. Follow him on twitter

To err is human. Yet most of us go through life assuming (and sometimes insisting) that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher. If being wrong is so natural, why are we all so bad at imagining that our beliefs could be mistaken, and why do we react to our errors with surprise, denial, defensiveness, and shame? 

In Being Wrong, journalist Kathryn Schulz explores why we find it so gratifying to be right and so maddening to be mistaken, and how this attitude toward error corrodes relationships—whether between family members, colleagues, neighbors, or nations. Along the way, she takes us on a fascinating tour of human fallibility, from wrongful convictions to no-fault divorce; medical mistakes to misadventures at sea; failed prophecies to false memories; “I told you so!” to “Mistakes were made.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to open a new book!

Post written by Anshul Gupta. Follow him on twitter

Through this post you would learn the difficult art of opening a book! :)
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