Psychologists Found Prevalence-induced Concept Change Exists In Human Judgment

September 2nd, 2018

Published on Science, David E. Levari and his colleges at Harvard found that in many social problems, reduction in their prevalence lead people to see more of them.

The authors started with explaining a very interesting and trending term. Here is the paraphrase,  in material science, the term/phenomena “creep” means when a solid deforms under load. Nowadays, the term “creep” expanded into many other applications to describe the unintended expansion of a boundary, such as software developers worry about feature creep(the unintended expansion of a product’s function), product managers worry about scope creep (the unintended expansion of a team’s mandate over time), military commanders worry about mission creep (the unintended campaign’s objectives over time).

To me, it’s not only a good and propounding reading of a psychology research paper,  but also a good English learning. For example, from this paper, I learned that the word “aggression” used to only mean “unprovoked attack or invasion”, it expands to include been used in making insufficient eye contact or asking people where are from.

As the authors say, the finding is sobering. Although many decades of technology advancement dramatically improved in solving many social problems, such as, poverty, illiteracy, violence,.., yet current survey shows the majority of people believe the world is getting worse.

I have a side question, is there any reverse human phenomena, that is, delusional thinking of everything will be better, bigger, faster, richer, the dance music will be always on and on, .. I suspect it exists too. So next question is, so what? Our brain tends to function that way, always extrapolate a bit over its allowed, what do we do with that?

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May 2nd, 2018

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