Hacking the brain

Some great psychology and design tips from the super-smart @RichardShepherd

Hacking the brain

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Why Americans Are the Weirdest People in the World

Henrich had thought he would be adding a small branch to an established tree of knowledge. It turned out he was sawing at the very trunk.

At the heart of most of that research was the implicit assumption that the results revealed evolved psychological traits common to all humans, never mind that the test subjects were nearly always from the industrialized West. Henrich realized that if the Machiguenga results stood up, and if similar differences could be measured across other populations, this assumption of universality would have to be challenged.

Fascinating read.
Why Americans Are the Weirdest People in the World

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Is This How Memory Works? : A nice guide from Neuroskeptic

Far easier to get your head around than a text book…

Is This How Memory Works? : A nice guide from Neuroskeptic

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Designing for Behavioral Change in Health

Designing applications to encourage a certain kind of behavior (especially with regards to health) is a rapidly emerging subfield of interaction design. Best practices are constantly evolving. With such a wide range of proven applications – from fitness monitoring wristbands to doctor-patient communication tools – the field is a great source of both inspiration as well as design strategies.

Great stuff. Some application of theory.
Designing for Behavioral Change in Health

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When To Go With Your Gut

Or reasoned vs emotional decision making. I’d argue the there is little difference. On the whole your a problem solved by gut feel vs your reasoned response will often result in the same decision. It’ll just be a hell of a lot quicker to make that decision.

When To Go With Your Gut

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Cognitive Biases: Why We Make Irrational Decisions

A great overview of some of the top cognitive biases we can use to design for behaviour.

A cognitive bias is pattern of behaviour or judgment can happen given a certain set of conditions.

They can be used for good and for bad; so be nice!

Cognitive Biases: Why We Make Irrational Decisions

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The psychology of pricing

example menu with the currency symbol removed

I talked about this a lot at my UX Bristol workshop last year.

Neuroscience marketing reports a recent study on restaurant menus. Looking at how presenting the price influenced sales.

The researchers tried the following:

  1. Numerical with Dollar Sign: $12.00
  2. Numerical without Dollar Sign or Decimals: 12
  3. Written: twelve dollars

Option two, no currency symbol or money reference performed best with patrons spending more.

The question is, Is it ethical to do this? Not giving any indication of the fact money is being spent may seem like a trick. Or is it simply that people don’t want to be worried by how much they spend?

We need to be sure if we use this approach in design we are doing it for the right reasons.

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‘Evidence based design’ informed by the work of psychologists in architecture

ARCHITECTS HAVE BEEN talking for years about “biophilic” design, “evidence based” design, design informed by the work of psychologists. What can digital designers learn from them?

My Dad is an architect and talking this through with him it’s clear architects do this stuff through gut feel rathe than theory, rather like digital designers.

‘Evidence based design’ informed by the work of psychologists in architecture

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We have only begun to tap into design’s real potential to serve as a tool for policymaking, governance, and social agendas. when used correctly, it can integrate innovation into people’s lives

Some great thoughts on the power of design. Especially if you combine with “Big Psychology’ as we discuss in the book.

From: SEED Magazine On Governing Design.

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The Expert’s Ear: Expertise And Aesthetic Judgments

“The first time I listened to Pinkerton, Weezer’s second studio album, I hated it. And so did almost everyone else. Rolling Stone readers ranked it as the third worst album in 1996. Writing for Entertainment Weekly Jeff Gordinier compared it to “a collection of get-down party anthems for agoraphobics.” Reacting to a wave of negative reviews the lead singer of Weezer, Rivers Cuomo, confessed that Pinkerton is a “hideous record.” A few years later something changed. In 2002, Rolling Stone readers – the same readers that said Pinkerton was the third worst album in 1996 – voted it the 16th greatest album of all time. In 2004 Rolling Stone re-reviewed the album and gave it five stars. A 2010 “Deluxe Edition” reissue of Pinkerton claimed a perfect score of 100 on MetaCritic.com. Pitchfork likewise gave it a perfect 10.0. Today, Pinkerton is one of my favorites. What, exactly, changed?”

Group thought? Interesting look at how experts and novices view art (and design).

The Expert’s Ear: Expertise And Aesthetic Judgments

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