Epistemology, Cognition, and the Future of Technology

  1. Cialdini's Pre-suasion

    Cialdini is the world's leading researcher and psychologist on persuasion and persuasive techniques.  He is famous for a really cool strategy– for a couple years, he took as many 'sales technique' classes as he could, and distilled them into some principles of persuasive practice.  It's well worth reading through his…

  2. Dan Gilbert's Missteps on Happiness

    Dan Gilbert is one of the world's most famous psychologists.  I'm a big fan of his work and his teaching, and though I believe he's a great communicator and intelligent synthesizer, some of the studies he has quoted in his older work is haven't held up over time.  Below are…

  3. The Facebook Emotion Contagion Study

    I recently published an essay to help contextualize the data from the famous 2014 Facebook Emotion Contagion study– a study in which Facebook researchers removed between 10 and 90% of either positive or negative emotional content on user news feeds to see if it affected their emotions. The study sparked…

  4. Pop-Science Psychology Books are Untrustworthy

    I recently wrote a post outlining how the popular book Glow Kids undermined its credibility with a fraudulent data.  I also examined an overstatement by New York Times best-selling author Robert Cialdini in his most recent book.   Pop-psychology needs to be approached with a high degree of skepticism. Poor statistical…

  5. Do Clouds Make You Buy Soft Furniture?

    Richard Cialdini is one of the most important figures in the study of persuasion and influence.  He's written several influential books; including his latest, 'Pre-suasion: a Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade'. I wasn't incredibly familiar with Cialdini's work, but I stumbled across this video of his interview from Inc's…

  6. 'Glow Kids' Cites Bad Research

    I recently finished the pop-science book 'Glow Kids', which is a reasonably compelling look at the damage screen culture is having on children.  Unfortunately, the author was fooled by some fraudulent research.   The Cover of 'Glow Kids'Glow Kids and Screens ThemselvesI think about quite a bit is the separation of…