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Why do our brains miss out on improvement with subtraction?



Why does our brains miss out on improvement through negative?

How do you stabilize this Lego structure to support the weight of the masonry placed on the platform above? University of Virginia researchers found that most people in their study defaulted to adding blocks in each corner rather than removing existing blocks so that the platform rests on the lower layers.Credit: University of Virginia.

If this is so much less, why do we humans overdo it?


In a new paper available on the cover of natureThe University of Virginia researchers explain why people rarely look at situations, objects, or ideas that need improvement in any context and think of putting something out as a solution. We tend to add some elements whether it helps or not.

The team̵

7;s findings show the fundamental reason people struggle with overwhelming schedules, institutions bogged down by red tape expansions, and of particular interest to researchers is that humanity is using up Earth’s resources. End

“It happened in engineering design which was my main focus,” said Leidy Klotz, Copenhaver Associate Professor in the Department of Systems and Environmental Engineering. “But it also happens in writing, cooking and so on. Just think of your own work and you will see it. The first thing that comes to our mind is what can we add to make it better. We show that we do this. To our detriment, even if the only correct answer is negative, even with financial incentives, we still don’t mind removing it. ”

Klotz, whose research explores the overlap between engineering and behavioral sciences, collaborated with three colleagues from the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy on interdisciplinary research showing how naturally we are complementary. Faculty of Public Policy and Psychology, Batten Assistant Professor Gabrielle Adams and Associate Professor Benjamin Converse and Andrew Hales, Batten’s former PhD Fellow, collaborated with Klotz on a series of observational and experimental studies to study the phenomenon.

Considering two broad possibilities as to why people are starting to systematically add – they create ideas for both possibilities and leave disproportionately negative solutions, or they look. Completely skips negative ideas – researchers focus on the latter.

“Complementary ideas happen quickly and easily. But negative thoughts take more cognitive effort, ”Converse says.“ Because people tend to move quickly and work with the first idea that comes to mind, they accept additional solutions regardless. To delete it. “

Researchers think it may have a self-enhancing effect.

“The more often people rely on strategies, the more they can reach their knowledge and understanding,” Adams said. “Over time, the habit of looking for more ideas may become stronger and stronger. In the long run, we will miss out on many opportunities to improve the world by removing “

Klotz has a book that gives you a broader perspective on the topic. Minus: a little unused science.Came out a week after nature Paper. Although timing is a coincidence. But both the paper and the book are the product of an interdisciplinary and collaborative research environment at UVA, he said.

“It’s an incredibly interesting finding, and I think our research has had a big impact in different contexts. But especially in engineering to improve the way we design technology to benefit humanity, ”Klotz said.


A transformative 3D printing approach built on an understanding of developmental biology.


More information:
Gabrielle S. Adams et al, People systematically ignore negative change, nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-021-03380-y

Provided by the University of Virginia

Reference: Why does our brain miss out on improvement with deletion (2021, April 7)? Retrieved on April 7, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-04-brains-opportunities.html

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