Tag Archives: Deception

The ethics of flopping

A reader of The New York Times asked Chuck Klosterman (a/k/a “The Ethicist”) the following thought-provoking questions about the ethics of flopping in football: “If (nearly) every player does it, is it wrong to flop? … If flopping is part of the game, … Continue reading

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Faking it

We can’t help but cheer for Pepe (although his little headbutt looks fake too!) … Also, you will find a plausible theory explaining why players have an incentive to fake injuries in Michael Gard’s excellent essay Faking it: why football players feign injury. … Continue reading

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A modest (political) proposal?

Finally, an honest politician …

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How much cheating goes on (in football)?

Alan Burdick, a writer for The New Yorker (one of our favorite English-language weekly magazines), summarizes some recent research in this area conducted by Chris Stride, a psychologist at the University of Sheffield: First, [Stride] had to define cheating. In soccer, all sorts of … Continue reading

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Is Alice Goffman the new Margaret Mead?

Why are ethnographers so gullible and so easily fooled? For example, just as Margaret Mead was duped by several Samoan girls on the island of Ta’u when she wrote her classic book Coming of Age in Samoa, it appears that Alice Goffman … Continue reading

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An Academic Turing Test?

Check out the Turingesque website arXiv vs. snarXiv, which presents the titles of two science papers, side by side, but only one of the titles is “real”, i.e. is an actual title selected from a paper posted on a popular electronic … Continue reading

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Do people apologize too much?

The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in yesterday’s Dealbook column: The art of the apology has become a carefully choreographed dance: Say you are sorry, show vulnerability, tell everyone you are “taking responsibility” and then end with, “I hope … Continue reading

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Small Sample Size?

Are babies capable of engaging in deception? This study on “fake crying” in babies addresses a fascinating research question–the strategic use of deception by babies to get attention. From the abstract: Two infants were observed longitudinally. In total, 102 crying episodes … Continue reading

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Who reads academic papers?

It turns out that no one does, not even academics! According to this devious but brilliant little paper published in the journal Complex Systems by Mikhail Simkin and Vwani Roychowdhury, researchers at UCLA who found an ingenious way [*] of estimating what fraction of academics … Continue reading

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Ballet bribery

One of prior probability‘s favorite social science papers is The Standing Ovation Problem by John Miller and Scott Page. (Here is a good summary of Miller & Page’s model.)  So what happens when some members of an audience are paid … Continue reading

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