Insidehoops.com, July 9, 2015
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.
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.
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.
Playing Tetris for just three minutes can reduce cravings for drugs, food, cigarettes, alcohol and sex, scientists have found. The researchers believe their findings could be used to help people manage their cravings – including those dependent on drugs.
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.
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.