Impulses Model to Improve Behavioral Science and Economics Research


There is a recent article in Science, Harvard behavioral scientist faces research fraud allegations, stating that, “Data sleuths say they have found evidence of possible research fraud in several papers by Francesca Gino, a behavioral scientist at Harvard Business School. The publications under scrutiny include a 2012 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper on dishonesty that has already been retracted for apparent data fabrication by a different researcher. Anonymous researchers first found signs of fabricated data in the influential PNAS paper in 2021. The authors of the work had independently conducted different studies on the same question: whether signing an honesty declaration at the top of a form rather than the bottom made people behave more honestly.”

What are the relationships of data and where do they lead us?

The problem of behavioral science is also a problem of psychology. There could be a study that says brushing one’s teeth and the ensuing fresh breath helps mental health. The data and findings—using the scientific method—could be accurate but the basis may be unclear. What is the certainty that anything improves mental health when the way the mind works is unknown? If something helps mental health, why does it not work all the time? Why does it not work for everyone?

This applies to behavioral economics, with studies on heuristics, bias, irrationality, and so forth. It is possible to spot bias or preference, but is bias always genuine? What biases are personal and which ones are of the group? Why does bias change? Why is rationality, not uniform? Can rationality and irrationality be compared to thought order and disorder?

The situation in behavioral economics with ‘signing on top’ showed the dependence of the science of behavior on what is external, which should not solely be the case. In education for example, where grades determine who knows, it is fairly enough for key players to rely on those. In behavioral science, however, where what is external is incomplete without considerations of the internal, observations could be decoys from what is real, including for the majority, at times.

The human mind works like that

The human mind is the provenance of all behaviors. The improvement of behavioral science and economics research has to proceed from how the human mind works, to base all external observations with mental proportionality to close accuracy. Conceptually, the human mind is the collection of all the electrical and chemical impulses of nerve cells, with their features and interactions. It is the features and interactions that decide all the outputs of the mind that include reactions, actions or behaviors, memory, feelings, emotions, sensations, perceptions, consciousness, intelligence, modulation, thoughts, and so forth.

There is no mind process where impulses are not involved. One the mind, there is no label where one is for this and the other for that, it is just impulses, their features, and interactions, exceeding the types of neurons or brain circuit. How do impulses bring bias about? How do they bring about heuristics and irrationality? This is where a path to improve behavioral science and economics research is.

All research in behavioral science accompanied by how impulses bring them about would not just make findings about observations, but link them to mechanisms of sets of impulses. Features of sets of electrical and chemical impulses involved in every process include sequences, early splits or go-before, pre-/prioritization, bounce points, thin and thick shapes, drifts or stairs, principal spots, and others.

What is termed as prediction as a mind process is simply splits of electrical impulses in a set, where some go on to acquire chemical impulses like before, such that if accurate, fine, if not, the incoming ones go to the right chemical impulses, correcting the prediction error.

What does that mean?

Splits are also responsible for holding something in mind or knowing what might come next, explaining the mechanism of working memory, speaking, signing, typing, and others. Sequences are the paths—where sets of electrical impulses take—to strike sets of chemical impulses. This defines procedures or how things should be, for grammar and so forth. It is also a component of rationality.

Bias is a set of chemical impulses or properties acquired by electrical impulses, in splits or in full. Bias, as a property, sometimes moves partially or fully into the principal spot defining how extreme the individual might be. The principal spot is where a set of chemical impulses or properties can move, to have the most domination. Happiness is a property that is often richer in the principal spot. It can be acquired but does not often correspond to what is externally displayed.

Happiness could be sought, in an action, to displace or replace whatever is heavy from the principal spot. Expressions in some moments may correspond to happiness, however, it may not be that the complete mechanism for the state, of the mind, was obtained. Observations in behavioral science research should be explained with the sets of impulses of mind to improve accuracy.

Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been done by Christopher Isak with Midjourney for TechAcute.

This guest article has been submitted by David Stephen. While we appreciate guest contributions, it's important to note that the views expressed by the author are not necessarily reflective of those held by TechAcute.

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This article has been submitted to us by an external contributor to TechAcute. We appreciate all external contributions but the opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of TechAcute.
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