NBA to track Hustle Stats at summer league

Data on Use of Force by Police Across U.S. Proves Almost Useless

The Justice Department survey had the potential to reveal whether officers were more likely to use force in diverse or homogeneous cities; in depressed areas or wealthy suburbs; and in cities or rural towns. Did the racial makeup of the police department matter? Did crime rates?

But when the data was issued last month, without a public announcement, the figures turned out to be almost useless. Nearly all departments said they kept track of their shootings, but in accounting for all uses of force, the figures varied widely.

Matt Apuzzo and Sarah Cohen, New York Times, August 11, 2015

The Right Dose of Exercise for the Aging Brain

A small amount of exercise may improve our ability to think as we age, but more may not be better, according to a new study of exercise and cognition.

“There was a very clear dose-response relationship” between walking and fitness, Dr. Burns said.

That relationship was murkier when the scientists looked at thinking, however.

In general, the researchers found, most of the exercisers showed improvements in their thinking skills, especially in their ability to control their attention and to create visual maps of spaces in their heads, two aspects of cognition that are known to decline with age.

But these gains were about the same whether people had exercised for 75 minutes a week or 225 minutes.

Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, August 12, 2015

How ‘Crying Wolf’ in Bad Weather Warnings Erodes Public Compliance

bad_weather

The public is more likely to trust and comply with bad weather warnings—such as for winter snowstorms and icy roads—if authorities give their warnings as a probability estimate, according to risk researchers.

The researchers were seeking to understand why the public is likely to respond to authorities’ guidance amid “false alarms.” As severe storm and other disaster warnings become more frequent under climate change (which scientists predict will increase the number and severity of hurricanes, tornadoes and floods), new research in this field could help reduce weather-related injury and death.

Insurance Journal, January 28, 2015

Good News: A Clear-Cut Rain Forest Can Have a Second Life: Given a chance to regenerate, a razed forest in the Amazon can host almost as much life as a virgin one

Conservationists who work to save rain forests typically focus on pristine stands—the dwindling number of patches where the buzz of chainsaws has yet to echo. But even clear-cut land may warrant protection. Mounting evidence shows that, under the right circumstances, heavily logged tracts can regrow to host nearly as much biodiversity as unspoiled Amazonian wilderness.

Jesse Greenspan, Scientific American, March 28, 2016

Why We Think We’re Better Investors Than We Are

Money managers, at least, are paid to make investment bets. But why do amateurs believe they can outperform the professionals — or even identify those pros who will outperform? (Performance of individual mutual funds cannot be predicted with any greater degree of accuracy than individual stocks or bonds.) Many biases and cognitive errors contribute to this costly behavior, but a few deserve mention.

Overconfidence

Optimism Bias

Hindsight Bias

Attribution Bias

Confirmation Bias

 

Gary Belsky, New York Times, March 25, 2016