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Listen |The Economics of Brainwashing

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Why isn’t every addiction created equal in the court of public opinion? Compulsive smartphone use doesn’t have the same consequences as smoking crack, but ‘Candy Crush’ still makes use of the same addictive feedback loop. Whether you’re gambling or eating Cheetos, you’re trading your time and money in exchange for regular hits of dopamine. You’ll also learn why games like Candy Crush work on exactly the same principles as casino slot machines.

Cracked editors Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) discuss the science and culture of addiction in the 21st century. They’ll look at all the ways giant corporations are exploiting our brains to control our behavior — and ask if there’s any way this addiction train can be stopped.

This is the best podcast I have heard to date. Like all Cracked podcasts the discussion is not dumbed down or so obviously scripted, there is plenty of actual discussion. At 1hr 20 mins its a standard length for these guys, just intellectual discussion about the major driving force of many Western societies which does not encourage individuals to develop their strengths or interests and what we should do to change it. Listen and subscribe to their channel because there’s plenty of interesting material.

Stream or download below.

Read | We Aren’t the World

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Joe Henrich and his colleagues are shaking the foundations of psychology and economics—and hoping to change the way social scientists think about human behavior and culture.

The research this article discusses has significant implications or rather, should have. The article explains why people from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic countries are the most unusual in the world and why researchers have been doing the equivalent of studying penguins while believing that they were learning insights applicable to all birds.

Humans share the same cognitive machinery, the same evolved rational and psychological hardwiring. These are fundamental assumptions upon which the entire fields of psychology and economics are based.

It has taken until very recently to realise these assumptions are wrong.

Consider this, a 2008 survey of the top six psychology journals found that more than 96% of subjects used in psychological studies from 2003 to 2007 were exclusively Westerners – 70% from the USA. This means that 96% of human test subjects came from countries that represent only 12% of the world’s population. I’m sure you’re able to figure out that making generalisations on human behaviour based on this is problematic.




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