tweets of the week – 11/16/14







hey! who you callin’ weird?!

this is old news but i still got a beef with it so pardon my rant (yeah, i HAVE been losing sleep over it if you must know!):

“This column will change your life: Weirdness just got weirder”

Weird people – citizens, probably including you, of nations that are Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic. Almost everything experimental psychologists believe about the human mind comes from studies of the Weird. But perhaps you’ve guessed the problem: from a global standpoint, Weird people may be really… what’s the word? Yes: odd.

“As Henrich et al show, many phenomena we’ve assumed are universal probably aren’t: we can only really say they’re universal among Weird people, who make up 96% of subjects in behavioural science, or Americans, who make up 68%, and often only among US college students, who provide US researchers with a supply of guinea pigs. And the Weird, they say, ‘are particularly unusual compared with the rest of the species’. In the ‘ultimatum game’, for example, people are given $100 and told to offer some of it to someone else; if the other person accepts, each keeps their portion, but if they reject the offer, nobody gets anything. On average, Americans offer just under half, which seems to say much about human notions of fairness, or the fear of making an insultingly low offer. But many cultures behave differently; the Machiguenga of Peru prefer to keep more cash or, if on the other side of the deal, to accept whatever is offered.”

i mean, yeah. i coulda told them that! i.e. that different peoples are … uh … different. duh.

and i agree – you can’t automatically extrapolate from behaviors found in one group of people to the whole, friggin’ world. good to be aware of that.

but why’d they have to go callin’ us W.E.I.R.D? what? they couldn’t think of a more less offensive acronym?

thanks a lot! Almighty. Social. Scientists. Who. Insult. People of. European. Stock.

(note: comments do not require an email. feel free to suggest your own acronym for these jerks! winner of the best-acronym-for-scientific-jerks competition will receive world-wide-web fame and glory right here on this blog! winner chosen at random by me. all decisions are final. send a sase for competition details.)