Friday, January 22, 2010

scientific insight for the day

There was an interview on Fresh Air on public radio today as I came home after dropping the boys at school and doing the homework packets for DS2's class for next week. It was with Jonah Lehrer, who wrote a book called "How We Decide". I had heard part of the interview before when the book was out in hardback and now it's out in paperback.

Anyway, he talked about making a choice of cereal in the cereal aisle and how we can't hold more than 7 variables in our heads at a time and how we're primarily driven by emotions and people who have had an injury or whatever that takes away their emotions can't make decisions.

Anyway, at one point, he said that a study was done wherein some people were asked to memorize a two-digit number and others to memorize a seven-digit number. Then they were trotted down the hall and offered a snack (presumably before they were going to have to spout back the number). Twice as many two-digit people chose the healthy snack as compared with the seven-digit ones.

So.... is our inability to understand that eating at McDonald's every day will kill us due to too much Googling and too many decisions made already? Is eating due to depression because our brains are just too full of the sad thoughts and the emotions to make good choices?

I'm going to see if the library has this book...

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