9/3 (Tue.) Human Behavior:What's behind it? (Host: Kat)

Kat C
文章: 352
註冊時間: 週三 9月 08, 2010 10:31 am

9/3 (Tue.) Human Behavior:What's behind it? (Host: Kat)

文章 Kat C »


Dear friends,

It has been another 4 months and 5 countries since my last Yoyo hosting. Very happy to be back!

In each country I just visited I've done discussions on this very topic, and it's great to be able to do one at Yoyo too: What makes us behave the way we do? Can we change our behavior (for the better) if we know more about the driving forces behind it?

Some of my own exploration on this subject is from reading the book, "Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst", by Professor Robert M. Sapolsky. Drawn from his Stanford course on human behavior, this book has been named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and is a New York Times bestseller too, a rarity for a science book. Its Chinese version is out, and also available in the City Libraries: "行為 : 暴力、競爭、利他, 人類行為背後的生物學 / 羅伯·薩波斯基(Robert M. Sapolsky)著 ; 吳芠譯)"


Many thought-provoking findings and debates can be found in the book, but for our discussion we'll just use his TED Talk, which covers many of his biggest ideas. Two crucial points:

1) "Every bit of behavior has multiple levels of causality... it's complicated. So you'd better be real careful, real cautious, before you conclude you know what causes a behavior, especially if it's a behavior you're judging harshly."

2) "Genes don't determine anything, because genes work differently in different environments... The single most important point about all of this is one having to do with change. Every bit of biology I've mentioned here can change in different circumstances."


Quotes from "Behave":

These quotes / findings may be conducive to our discussion (and they're fun too!):

✦ "...when people are hungry, they become less generous in economic games. A real-world example of this is startling—in a study of more than 1,100 judicial rulings, prisoners were granted parole at about a 60 percent rate when judges had recently eaten, and at essentially a 0 percent rate just before judges ate (note also the overall decline over the course of a tiring day)."

✦ "<In a Yale study> Volunteers evaluated the résumés of supposed job applicants; crucially, the résumé was attached to a clipboard of one of two weights. When subjects held the heavier clipboard, they tended to judge candidates as more “serious” (while clipboard weight had no effect on other perceived traits). When you next apply for a job, hope that your résumé will be attached to a heavy clipboard."

✦ "In Nobel Prize–winning research, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky famously showed word framing altering decision making. Subjects decide whether to administer a hypothetical drug. If they’re told, “The drug has a 95 percent survival rate,” people, including doctors, are more likely to approve it than when told, “The drug has a 5 percent death rate."

✦ "Consider a famous study of Asian American women who took a math test. Everyone knows that women are worse at math than men (we’ll see in chapter 9 how that’s not really so) and Asian Americans are better at it than other Americans. Subjects primed beforehand to think about their racial identity <as Asian> performed better than did those primed to think about their gender <as women>."

✦ "<In a 'Trolley Problem' study, Dutch students> had to decide whether it was okay to kill one person in order to save five. In the scenario the potential sacrificial lamb’s name was either stereotypically Dutch (Dirk or Peter), German (Markus or Helmut), or Middle Eastern (Ahmed or Youssef); the five people in danger were unnamed. Remarkably, oxytocin made subjects less likely to sacrifice good ol’ Dirk or Peter, rather than Helmut or Ahmed."

We'll try various discussion formats and games to make the talk even more interesting. Join us! :wink:

6:50 ~ 7:00pm Greetings & free talk / ordering drinks / getting newcomer’s information
7:00 ~ 7:20pm Opening remarks / newcomer’s self-introduction / grouping
(Session I)
7:20 ~ 8:20pm Activities (60 mins)
8:20 ~ 8:30pm Regrouping / instruction / break
(Session II)
8:30~ 9:20pm Activities (50 mins)
9:20~ 9:30pm Concluding remarks / announcements (10 mins)
聚會時間:請準時 7:00 pm 到 ~ 約 9:30 pm 左右結束
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
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1. 請事先準備2~3分鐘的英語自我介紹。
2. 請事先閱讀文章以及主持人所提的討論問題,並事先寫下自己所欲發表意見的英文。
3. 全程以英語進行,參加者應具備中等英語會話能力,對任一討論問題,能夠以5到10句英文表達個人見解。
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YOYO member
文章: 189
註冊時間: 週三 8月 31, 2005 7:34 pm

Re: 9/3 (Tue.) Human Behavior:What's behind it? (Host: Kat)

文章 Christine »

Participants (13) : Kat (host), Miller, Ken, David Jr., Liwen, Shirley, Christine, Wen-han, Jason, Julian, Tim, Arthur, Jeff