Research Papers Archive
This directory contains research papers and reports which I intend to read. I had trouble finding some of them online, so in case you need them, here they are for search engine finding-ness.
There’s a lot of social psychology, some behavior change (pro-environmental focus), some IT, and some random papers I thought sounded interesting.
Environment Psychology / Pro-environmental behavior change
- IPCC, 2007: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
A summary (18 pages) of the now famous IPCC report on climate change. The two key sentences: Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values determined from ice cores spanning many thousands of years. The global increases in carbon dioxide concentration are due primarily to fossil fuel use and land use change, while those of methane and nitrous oxide are primarily due to agriculture.
Burn & Winter (2008), A behavioral intervention tool for recreation managers
Article about a U.S. National Parks Service handbook (linked next), containing social-psychology based interventions to promote pro-environmental behavior amongst national park visitors.
- Burn & Winter (2007), Environmental Intervention Handbook for Resource Managers
The Handbook mentioned in the article listed above
- Spehr and Curnow (2007), Behaviour Change Framework for Our Water Our Future
Melbourne, Australia, government handbook. Behavior Change Framework for resource demand-management. Looks similar to Doug McKenzie-Mohr’s Community Based Social Marketing (http://www.cbsm.com/).
- Pike, Doppelt & Herr (2010), Climate Communications and Behavior Change: A Guide for Practitioners
Tools, recommendations and talking points for climate leaders to motivate people to alter their views and behaviors related to global warming.
- Various authors (2006), I will if you will: Towards sustainable consumption
Sustainable Consumption Roundtable, final report. Funded by UK government. How we can live within ecological limits, and what people, business, and specifically the UK government can do to get there.
- Ajzen, Bamberg, Schmidt (200?), Choice of Travel Mode in the Theory of Planned Behavior:
The Roles of Past Behavior, Habit, and Reasoned Action
Summary and issues surrounding Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior. Then a bus-pass study / intervention amongst college students.
- Saatchi & Saatchi (2009), Small Actions Big Impact Foundations of the Personal Sustainability Projects
Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi’s “response to the dual needs of engaging employees and creating innovative solutions to today’s pressing challenges”. Their Personal Sustainability Project “is based on a broad clinical and academic research foundation in behavior change, health and grassroots organizing.”
- Vinoski (2008), Convenience over Correctness
IEEE Computer Society. Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) should be retired. REST over HTTP, or message-queuing (XMPP, AMQP) are better alternatives.
- Aranda, Jorge (2005), Anchoring and Adjustment in Software Estimation
University of Toronto MSc Thesis. Cognitive biases in software estimation. Tell someone that a project has been estimated at 20 months, and their estimate comes in at 16-24 months. Using the same spec, control group said it would take 4 months. In software estimation, no-one has a clue.
- Blanchette (2008), The Little Manual of API Design
‘This manual gathers together the key insights into API design that were discovered through many years of software development on the Qt application development framework at Trolltech’
Neuroscience / Economics
- Berns, Chappelow et. al. (2005), Neurobiological Correlates of Social Conformity and Independence During Mental Rotation
Using fMRI scanners to see what happens in our brains when we conform to social pressure (such as in Solomon Asch line experiments).
- Camerer (2006), Neuroeconomics:
Using neuroscience to make economic predictions
Overview and Introduction to Neuroeconomics, which seeks to link microeconomic theory to details of brain operation
- Camerer, Loewenstein & Prelec (2005), Neuroeconomics: How Neuroscience
Can Inform Economics
Same author and year as previous article on Neuroeconomics. I’m not sure the difference.
- McClure et. al. (2004), Separate Neural Systems Value Immediate and Delayed Monetary Rewards
Experiment putting people in an fMRI scanner, and offering them monetary rewards that varied by delay to delivery (money today, in 2 weeks, in 1 month). Two separate systems are involved in such decisions.
- Goldstein et. al. (2008), Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence from a Large Sample of Blind Tastings
In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. For individuals with wine training, however, we find indications of a non-negative relationship between price and enjoyment. These findings suggest that non-expert wine consumers should not anticipate greater enjoyment of the intrinsic qualities of a wine simply because it is expensive or is appreciated by experts.
Psychology / Influence
- Steele & Aronson (1995), Stereotype Threat and the Intellectual Test Performance of African Americans
Stereotype Threat is being at risk of conforming to a negative stereotype about one’s group.
- Greenwald (1992), Unconscious Cognition Reclaimed
Is there such a thing as ‘the unconscious’, so dear to psycho-analytical theory? Probably not.
- Greenwald (1968), Cognitive Learning, Cognitive Response to Persuarsion, and Attitude Change
How does persuasion work on changing our opinions? Do we have to remember the persuasive argument?
- Kraut (1973), Effect of Social Labeling on Giving to Charity
Telling someone (labeling them) who has donated to charity that they are charitable makes them more likely to give subsequently. Labeling someone who didn’t give uncharitable makes them more likely to continue not giving.
- McCarthy (1990), The Thin Ideal, Depression, and Eating Disorders in Women
The current Western standard of female beauty, spread mostly in fashion media, is thinner than most women. Women diet to achieve this ideal. If they fail (the common case, diets don’t work long term), they feel a lack of control over something important to them, which puts them at risk of depression. If they succeed, they must starve themselves continuously, which is also a risk factor for depression.
- Schienker, Dlugolecki & Doherty (1994), The Impact of Self-Presentations on Self-Appraisals and Behavior: The Power of Public Commitment
Pledges. Publicly stating a psychological attribute about oneself (“I am sociable”) makes us behave in accordance with the statement; it starts to make it true.
- Kay, Jiminez & Jost (2002) Sour Grapes, Sweet Lemons, and the Anticipatory Rationalization of the Status Quo
Under some conditions people adjust how much they want an event to happen depending on it’s perceived likelihood. So if polls put a candidate ahead, some will change their views to now want that candidate to win.
- Cohen et al (2007), Bridging the Partisan Divide: Self-Affirmation Reduces Ideological Closed-Mindedness and Inflexibility in Negotiation
Affirmations, self-identify, negotiation
- Kahan & Braman (2005), Cultural Cognition and Public Policy
‘Our concern in this Essay is to explain the epistemic origins of political conflict. Citizens who agree that the proper object of law is to secure society’s material well-being are still likely to disagree—intensely—about what policies will achieve that end as an empirical matter’.
- Rideout, Vandewater & Wartella (2003), Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants Toddlers and Preschoolers
Kaiser Family Foundation report. ‘This study is one of the only large-scale national studies on the role of media in the lives of infants, toddlers and preschoolers in America’. Answers the questions: How much TV do pre-schoolers watch? What about video games? etc.
- Christakis, Zimmerman et al (2004), Early Television Exposure and Subsequent Attentional Problems in Children
Study of over 2500 children, ages 1 and 3, followed till age 7. Conclusion: Early television exposure is associated with attentional problems at age 7.
Bargh & Morsella (2009), Unconscious Behavioral Guidance Systems
I was unable to extract a meaningful description without reading the whole thing.
- Watts (2007), Is Justin Timberlake a Product of Cumulative Advantage?
New-York Times article about Salganik, Dodds, Watts ‘Music Lab’ study (linked next). People buy what’s in the charts, so a very small initial difference (including luck) can cumulate. Success in some fields might be simply that initial advantage multiplied up.
- Salganik, Dodds & Watts (2006), Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market
Paper mentioned in the article above.
- Lerner, Jonah (2008), The Eureka Hunt: Why do good ideas come to us when they do?
New Yorker magazine article on how and why we get ‘flashes of insight’
- Zickar, Barger, Guidroz, Yankelevich (2007), White paper on Norms
‘We present three common metrics by which organizations judge how well they are doing on constructs of interest and explain why or why not these metrics are appropriate. The three metrics we discuss are mean scores, percent favorable responses, and percentiles (benchmarks)’
- Zinger (2008), The Keys of Employee Engagement
A free e-book on employee engagement. ‘Do you need some employee engagement ideas or concepts? This free e-book has about 300 of them! Welcome to the ABC book on Employee Engagement. I think you will be delighted to use this resource in your employee engagement efforts.’
- West (1999), The Origin of Universal Scaling Laws in Biology
Life, and, in particular, its amazing diversity spanning more than 21 orders of magnitude in size, is the most complex physical system in the universe. In spite of this, biological systems obey a host of remarkably simple and systematic empirical scaling laws which relate how organismal features change with size over many orders of magnitude. [...] all of these can be expressed as power law relationships with exponents that are simple multiples of 1 (e.g. 1/4, 3/4, 3/8). They appear to be valid for almost all forms of life, whether it be mammalian, avian, reptilian, unicellular or plant-like. Clearly the universal character of these “laws” is telling us something important about the way life is organized and the constraints under which it has evolved.
- Morton, Zettelmayer & Silva-Risso (2001), Consumer Information and Price Discrimination:
Does the Internet Affect the Pricing of New Cars
to Women and Minorities?
In the USA, when buying directly, African-American or Hispanic residents pay more for their car than do other consumers. However, we can explain 65% of this price premium with differences in income, education, and search costs; we find no evidence of statistical race discrimination. Using the Internet, they pay nearly the same price as whites. The Internet is disproportionately beneficial to those who have personal characteristics that put them at a disadvantage in negotiating.
- Gollwitzer (1999), Implementation Intentions: Strong Effects from Simple Plans
Goal setting: Thinking through obstacles to our goal, and planning what we will do in that case, helps us achieve our goals.