Psychology

How To Win Any Argument (Part 1) and (Part 2)

Here's how I roll: my wife loves three-dollar bagels from
Go here for Part 1

Here's how I roll: my wife loves three-dollar bagels from the Sunday farmers' market. And so she says, "let's get a loaf of bread, some flowers, and a flat of strawberries!"

When we roll home with only bagels, I feel I've won. No more. I've armed myself with the tools of illogic, thus guaranteeing I win every marital argument from this point forward.

You can too.

Use the following brain-deflating fallacies to ensure dominance in debate club and/or with unsuspecting significant other.
Here's how I roll: my wife loves three-dollar bagels from the Sunday farmers' market. And so she says, "let's get a loaf of bread, some flowers, and a flat of strawberries!"

When we roll home with only bagels, I feel I've won. No more. I've armed myself with the tools of illogic, thus guaranteeing I win every marital argument from this point forward. You can too.

Use the following brain-deflating fallacies to ensure dominance in debate club and/or with unsuspecting significant other.

• Appeal to Ignorance: if it isn't proven, it's false—"Did you SEE me bogart the last of the jamocha almond fudge? No? Well, there you go."
It has been known for quite some time that exercise promotes neurogenesis, but now a study by Leuner, Glasper, and Gould, published by PLoS ONE this month, claims that the most intimate form of exercise - sexual activity - can produce the same effects.  And better yet- having multiple, repeated sexual experiences results in a greater positive effect than a single experience alone. Added bonus: it reduces anxiety as well.  I love that kind of data!
Humans are very, very bad at being random. In roshambo, aka rock, paper, scissors, this leads to probabilities and patterns which you can exploit to give your RPS opponent(s) severe and repeated thumpings. There are two ways to go about this: knowing the psychology and creating new psychology.
Your brain is used to trying to win rock, paper, scissors. And so if you happen to see rock coming down, it's much easier to adjust your throw mid-flight to shoot paper than it is to adjust your throw to scissors (both, by the way, are cheating).
Superstition may work if you think it works.   If only voodoo were so easy, we'd love to have an army of zombies at our command.

But people, and certainly athletes, maintain any number of superstitious rituals, so Lysann Damisch, Barbara Stoberock and Thomas Mussweiler of the University of Cologne designed a set of experiments to see if activating  people's superstitious beliefs would improve their performance on a task.  Their research says that having some kind of lucky token can actually improve performance – but by increasing self-confidence and not any magical mojo.
I just noticed a study from a few months back that correlated male shopping habits to ... evolution.   Yes, the necessary survival skills that women used for foraging and men used to hunt evolved into the inability of men to match socks and the reason women can't find the escalator in the shopping mall if you give them directions.

So if you are disinclined to believe, as friend-of-Obama Larry Summers does, that women cannot do math, you militant anti-science types will really dislike knowing that women are intrinsically obligated to spend the day picking through racks of clothes with friends and talking about that "Sex in the City" movie.
Think you're rational? Think again. Here's but one example, gentle reader, of your brain unbound by reason.

Blue Devil basketball tickets are a hot commodity: there are far more fans than seats. And so some students enter a ticket lottery.

After one of these lotteries, Duke researchers posing as ticket scalpers found that students who lost the raffle were willing to pay $170 for a seat, while students who won tickets would only sell their seats for an average of $2,400.