Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior

"Monday 26 March 2012
 this weekend was like a short holiday: so much sun, and warmth. it was days like in May or in June. sitting outside on the terrace. wearing lighter clothes. seeing bees, birds, butterflies. and being out there." 

that's what i wrote in my diary, same time, one year ago. there are the words: day like in May or in June. back then, everyone knew it was unusually warm. but what mainly remained was the memory: March = warm. and not only the hope, but rather the expectation that this March would be the same like last year. because that's what our brains do: they learn from new experiences. only that we aren't exactly made like databases. we refer to our recent impressions.

that's what i thought about yesterday, after listening to the first lectures of a new Coursera class that is about irrational behaviour tendencies of the human mind. the class has the great title: “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior”, by Dan Ariely

here's the brief course info: "In this course we will learn about some of the many ways in which people behave in less than rational ways, and how we might overcome these problems."

for more, visit the Course info page, or watch this clip from TedTalks:

Surviving Disruptive Technologies
PS: if you are interested in this topic, there is a second course that just started, it is about business, but goes into the same direction: it discusses the difficulties that companies face in a market in change, and looks at the possible (partly irrational) reasons for failure in such markets. the course is based on studies of companies that were once market leaders: Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders - and all stumbled over a combination of their own size / success / structure / and fixed ideas. here's more: Surviving Disruptive Technologies

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