Principles of Design #48 – Inattentional Blindness

May 03 2013 Published by Neil Gains under design

Inattentional blindness is the failure to mentally process a stimulus that is in clear view, leaving the observer without any awareness of the stimulus. It is a psychological lack of attention that typically happens when other tasks demanding attention are being performed. Read more »

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Principles of Design #47 – Cognitive Dissonance

Apr 15 2013 Published by Neil Gains under design

Cognitive dissonance is a feeling of discomfort on holding conflicting ideas, values, opinions, beliefs or emotions at the same time. This leads to a tendency to seek consistency by changing the importance or quality of one or more of the ideas, values, opinions, beliefs or emotions.The phrase ‘cognitive dissonance’ was first coined by Leon Festinger in 1956, inspired by his work studying a UFO cult, and which he later developed into a full theory in his book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. This is one of the most influential theories in social psychology, and one of the most extensively researched. Read more »

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Are You Tired of Making Decisions?

Aug 24 2011 Published by Neil Gains under brain science

The New York Times reports some interesting findings on the phenomenon of decision fatigue in a recent article which is well worth reading for those who are burdened by a continuous stream of data, meetings and decision making.  Not only is this bad for you and your brain, it means that you end up making really bad decisions which are not in your (or your business’s) best interests! Read more »

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Principles of Design #10 – Operant Conditioning

Jan 06 2011 Published by Neil Gains under design

Ooohhh, behave yourself!

Operant conditioning is a technique mostly used to modify behaviour by reinforcing behaviours which are desired, and ignoring (and sometimes punishing) behaviours which are to be discouraged. Read more »

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Principles of Design #7 – Freeze-Flight-Fight-Forfeit

Nov 23 2010 Published by Neil Gains under design

“The fact that people will be full of fear, greed or folly is predictable.  The sequence is not predictable.”  - Warren Buffett Read more »

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Principles of Design #4 – Not Invented Here

Sep 23 2010 Published by Neil Gains under design

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”  - Alan Kay Read more »

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Rules that make the Inception

Jul 26 2010 Published by admin under context

“It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame.”  - Marshall McLuhan

“Every human mind you’ve ever looked at … is a product not just of natural selection but of cultural redesign of enormous proportions.”  - Daniel Dennett

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The Importance of Feedback

Jul 16 2010 Published by admin under brain science

“Champions know that success is inevitable; that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback.  They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it.”  – Michael J. Gelb

The way in which our mind processes visual information is a miniature version of the way in which it processes all kinds of information, with multiple layers of processing and continuous feedback loops being used to construct an internal mental reality which most effectively helps us to maximize rewards from the external world.   That is, consciousness is merely a system for using feedback to help us create the future.

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Monkey motives

Jul 08 2010 Published by admin under evolution

“I’d rather be a climbing ape than a falling angel.”  - Terry Pratchett

On my way home on the bus yesterday I spotted ‘a small fella’ driving a big black Hummer. Why did he feel the need to buy this I wondered? Surely the pleasure of acquiring and driving it can only be short lived at best.  What makes someone spend almost US$150,000 on an unreliable, gas guzzling, hard to drive sport-utility vehicle?

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Cognitive Deficit?

Jun 30 2010 Published by admin under behavioural change

“Genius is nothing but continued attention.”  – Claude Adrien Helvetius

We all know that we should manage our time more efficiently, and most of us are very bad at switching off email and social networking connections to focus on work, but how much impact does constant disruption have on our efficiency?  More importantly, what is the longer-term impact of the deluge of data on our brains?

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