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  • NegBox 7:22 pm on May 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Scientific Fact: Ovulating Lap Dancers Make More Monies 

    Here’s a piece of scientific research that left me a bit puzzled… And kinda horny.


    To see whether estrus was really “lost” during human evolution (as researchers often claim), we examined ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by professional lap dancers working in gentlemen’s clubs. Eighteen dancers recorded their menstrual periods, work shifts, and tip earnings for 60 days on a study web site. A mixed-model analysis of 296 work shifts (representing about 5300 lap dances) showed an interaction between cycle phase and hormonal contraception use. Normally cycling participants earned about US$335 per 5-h shift during estrus, US$260 per shift during the luteal phase, and US$185 per shift during menstruation. By contrast, participants using contraceptive pills showed no estrous earnings peak. These results constitute the first direct economic evidence for the existence and importance of estrus in contemporary human females, in a real-world work setting. These results have clear implications for human evolution, sexuality, and economics.
    © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    PDF download here


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  • NegBox 6:48 pm on April 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Game Theory   

    Exploit Bounded Rationality 

    A true hidden gem of understanding why people buy your shit or fill out your leadgen offer. Will you spend four minutes to understand it, or bind your rationality before you even get to the end of the video and stay stupider than everyone else who does watch it?

    This is a four-minute clip from Games People Play: Game Theory in Life, Business and Beyond – an awesome game theory course.



    You may ask “What does bounded rationality have to do with buying my stuff or filling out my leadgen?” – Quite simply: Your prospects will apply bounded rationality with whatever you show them – they will limit the amount of mental effort they make when evaluating that landing page you just showed them. Load them with elements that are positively associated in their minds, then give them a call to action when they are tired of analyzing and you’ve got yourself a click, a sale or a lead.


    This part of the 10-hour video course was an amazing “a-ha!” moment for me, because before he even finished stating the example I had shortcutted the logic and figured out the right answer would be “Zero” – which is also a bad answer; it shows I didn’t understand bounded rationality and points to a several wrong assumptions I have likely made many times before.

    What was your guess on what the right number would be to win the $100?


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  • NegBox 10:31 pm on December 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Daniel Pink, ,   

    Mastery is a Mindset 

    This is an excellent piece of the book “Drive” By Dan Pink

    The big a-ha! moment:

    If you believe intelligence is a fixed quantity, then every educational and professional encounter becomes a measure of how much you have.

    If you believe intelligence is something you can increase, then the same encounters become opportunities for growth.

    In one view, intelligence is something you demonstrate; in the other, it’s something you develop.

    Why this matters:

    These two types of thinking trigger contrasting responses to adversity—one of helpless,” the other, “mastery-oriented.”

    The full explanation cited directly from the book:

    Mastery Is a Mindset

    As with so many things in life, the pursuit of mastery is all in our head. At least that’s what Carol Dweck has discovered.

    Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has been studying motivation and achievement in children and young adults for nearly forty years, amassing a body of rigorous empirical research that has made her a superstar in contemporary behavioral science. Dweck’s signature insight is that what people believe shapes what people achieve. Our beliefs about ourselves and the nature of our abilities—what she calls our “self-theories”—determine how we interpret our experiences and can set the boundaries on what we accomplish. Although her research looks mostly at notions of “intelligence,” her findings apply with equal force to most human capabilities. And they yield the first law of mastery: Mastery is a mindset.

    According to Dweck, people can hold two different views of their own intelligence. Those who have an “entity theory” believe that intelligence is just that—an entity. It exists within us, in a finite supply that we cannot increase. Those who subscribe to an “incremental theory” take a different view. They believe that while intelligence may vary slightly from person to person, it is ultimately something that, with effort, we can increase. To analogize to physical qualities, incremental theorists consider intelligence as something like strength. (Want to get stronger and more muscular? Start pumping iron.) Entity theorists view it as something more like height. (Want to get taller? You’re out of luck.)

    If you believe intelligence is a fixed quantity, then every educational and professional encounter becomes a measure of how much you have.

    If you believe intelligence is something you can increase, then the same encounters become opportunities for growth.

    In one view, intelligence is something you demonstrate; in the other, it’s something you develop.

    The two self-theories lead down two very different paths—one that heads toward mastery and one that doesn’t. For instance, consider goals. Dweck says they come in two varieties—performance goals and learning goals. Getting an A in French class is a performance goal. Being able to speak French is a learning goal. “Both goals are entirely normal and pretty much universal,” Dweck says, “and both can fuel achievement.” But only one leads to mastery. In several studies, Dweck found that giving children a performance goal (say, getting a high mark on a test) was effective for relatively straightforward problems but often inhibited children’s ability to apply the concepts to new situations. For example, in one study, Dweck and a colleague asked junior high students to learn a set of scientific principles, giving half of the students a performance goal and half a learning goal. After both groups demonstrated they had grasped the material, researchers asked the students to apply their knowledge to a new set of problems, related but not identical to what they’d just studied. Students with learning goals scored significantly higher on these novel challenges. They also worked longer and tried more solutions. As Dweck writes, “With a learning goal, students don’t have to feel that they’re already good at something in order to hang in and keep trying. After all, their goal is to learn, not to prove they’re smart.”

    Indeed, the two self-theories take very different views of effort. To incremental theorists, exertion is positive. Since incremental theorists believe that ability is malleable, they see working harder as a way to get better. By contrast, says Dweck, “the entity theory . . . is a system that requires a diet of easy successes.” In this schema, if you have to work hard, it means you’re not very good. People therefore choose easy targets that, when hit, affirm their existing abilities but do little to expand them. In a sense, entity theorists want to look like masters without expending the effort to attain mastery.

    Finally, the two types of thinking trigger contrasting responses to adversity—one that Dweck calls “helpless,” the other, “mastery-oriented.” In a study of American fifth- and sixth-graders, Dweck gave students eight conceptual problems they could solve, followed by four they could not (because the questions were too advanced for children that age). Students who subscribed to the idea that brain-power is fixed gave up quickly on the tough problems and blamed their (lack of ) intelligence for their difficulties. Students with a more expansive mindset kept working in spite of the difficulty and deployed far more inventive strategies to find a solution. What did these students blame for their inability to conquer the toughest problems? “The answer, which surprised us, was that they didn’t blame anything,” Dweck says. The young people recognized that setbacks were inevitable on the road to mastery and that they could even be guideposts for the journey.

    My Notes

    Most of the “Drive” book is ok so far.

    This idea, however, is different. This idea is huge. It has huge practical applications from the workplace to the family. I challenge you to go around your house or through your friends and dig up what their belief is regarding intelligence as a fixed attribute or a malleable skill.

    Better yet – I went to my kids and checked their understanding of intelligence to make sure it aligned with mine – this is one concept I was keeping a close eye on already as it is tied to self-esteem – now I know exactly how it works its magic and what it must be shaped like to be beneficial.

    • Justin Dupre 5:07 am on December 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is a very interesting post on intelligence. Some good insights here especially the “helpless,” the other, “mastery-oriented.” I must dig in to this and find out more about it.

      • Slave Rat 4:08 pm on December 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        The book gets better, and more practical, towards the end. This bit of the book struck a chord as it resonated with one of my experiences growing up. I’ll post it up as the next post here.

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  • NegBox 3:36 pm on September 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Biology, Books, Comedy, Evolution, Influence, Quantum Physics, Radical Honesty, , Transactional Analysis   

    Red Pill Books 

    IMPORTANT: I never, ever, EVER recommend the books I’ve assigned a 10 to. Chances are high you’re one of the 99% of people who can’t/won’t really enjoy those books. In the best of cases, you’ll hate me for suggesting it, in the worst case, you’ll wreck your life by taking the book as an absolute truth. So why are they on the list? Because on my blog I really don’t give a shit.

    Scroll down past the list to understand the criteria.

    Red Pill of Blue Pill

    Red Pill-ness Title Author
    10 Games People Play Eric Berne
    10 Radical Honesty Brad Blanton
    10 Sperm Wars Robin Baker
    10 The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins
    9 Comedy Writing Secrets Marc Shatz
    8 Moral Minds Marc Hauser
    7 Mystery Method Erik von Markovik
    7 The Fabric of Reality David Deutsche
    6 All Marketers are Liars Seth Godin
    6 Influence Robert Cialdini
    6 The Road Less Traveled M. Scott Peck

    Every once in a great while I come across a book that shows me a better way of understanding the world. “Better” here has a special meaning. It means the book presents a way of viewing reality that matches what I observe much better than what I had in my mind until then. When this happens a lot of my thinking changes – its like changing tracks in a train – You’re now heading in a different direction and everything you see changes after that.

    This list is the “top” of some 600 other books I’ve read while searching for the Red Pill. I actively seek out books that help me understand everything “better”.

    I’ve titled the list Red Pill Books because they are just that – If you read them and understand them, there is no going back.

    I’ve also ranked them on a 1-10 scale for “Red-Pill-ness” – My Red-Pillness is a combination of factors – A judgment call on my part. Books closer to a 10 are jarring wake-ups – Much like Neo’s wake up from The Matrix. By contrast, books closer to Zero help you sleep better at night.

    PS: No, I’m not retarded and believe we live in a simulator – The references to the matrix are simply helpful to get the meaning across.

    • Mike Chiasson 2:01 am on September 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is how my graduate degree in communications is. Once you understand concepts like social construction and gain a better understanding of why we do the things we do, the world is completely new. You often find it difficult to pick sides and watch others get upset as you hold a knack for life that they can’t quite grasp.

    • Slave Rat 2:49 pm on September 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Indeed. I’ve also found some books that are a “10” on the OTHER scale…. The “blue-pill” scale – “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz is a complete 10 in the blue-pill scale. It won’t lift the veil, on the contrary, it will give you quite the fantasy coating (yeah, Miguel is a Toltec spirit and I’m the tooth fairy) but are written so well they can help people immensely. I actually took a class on his books with the guy (and his son) – pretty cool guy. There were a few “kumbaya” everyone-hugging moments where I realized how lonely most of the people around me were… Still his concepts are golden – They are real-world psychotherapy, wrapped around a cohesive story.
      My key has also been to stay humble – my truth is personal, and not absolute.
      I guess it all depends where you want to go… And paraphrasing the Cheshire cat: “If you don’t know where you want to go, then all roads will take you there.”

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  • NegBox 3:50 am on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bias, Loss Aversion, TED,   

    Exploiting and Avoiding the Fear of Loss 

    This video from a TED Talk by Laurie Santos is genius – it talks about one of the linchpins of high-pressure sales: Loss Aversion.


    In a nutshell – “People’s intuitions about how much risk to take varies depending on where they started with.”

    I really found it interesting to learn that loss aversion is relative to the starting point of the game. The game being the point at which you have to start deciding.

    Yes, we all know people want to minimize loss, and we do know people want to minimize loss in disproportion (much more) to how much they want to achieve gains. What this presentation added was two things:

    1. The knowledge that this drive cannot be easily overcome
    2. The knowledge that the most effective strategy would be to give you something you have to spend – with the choices for spending being either safely lose a certain amount or in a risky no-loss/multiple-loss fashion.

    This is exactly what happens to, among tons of cases Laurie mentions, homeowners whose homes have depreciated below the purchase value: They are most likely to take the no-loss gamble and hold on to the shack instead of the known loss and cut their losses short.

    Can you use this knowledge in your daily marketing? Well, how much more explicit can this get?

    Interesting thought: Do you make these same mistakes when running your Internet Marketing campaigns? Do you take unwarranted risks in attempts to prevent a loss?

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.
    Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear


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  • NegBox 2:58 pm on August 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Multichannel, Old Spice,   

    Creativity and Asking the Right Questions 

    The billion-dollar creativity spark happens in the first 30 seconds of this video – Specifically from 0:12 to 0:28. This is Wieden+Kennedy’s agency recap of the Old Spice campaign.

    Really brilliant from many angles – They reverse-engineered the behaviors that were not working for them and targeted their weak areas. Think about this for Affiliate marketing – Who decides what, why and how before proceeding with a transaction?

    Shout-out to ShockMarketer where I saw the ad and then AdverBlog where I saw the recap.


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  • NegBox 2:41 pm on July 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Blink, Globe, National Enquirer   

    Thin-Slicing Your Customers 

    They say to hunt something you have to become it. I (you) need to understand your customer’s motivations, and particularly the stories they’ve been telling themselves.

    Here’s what I picked up at the store…

    Amazing read, both of them. I didn’t know poor ‘O’ had been a teenage prostitute that had a secret child with a customer who paid her $5… Or that Obama had been born in Africa, and here all this time I was thinking he had had a tanning bed accident.

    I’m looking at EVERYTHING in these two magazines. They’re targeted at a demographic I need to hit, and they’ve been at it for a long time – Clearly they’ve got something good here. I’m looking at the ads inside – What do they sell? How do they sell it? What are the stories that these folks tell themselves (example: gifting a diamond means I love you, getting a Harley means I’m wild)? … What are the headlines like? How does the cover present things so people “click” and buy the rag? What are the colors they are using? What words do they use?

    Did I mention about the ads..? You owe it to yourself to look at the ads on magazines like these – the big ads, the ones that have been professionally written and tested. These magazines are also full of quizzes and IQ tests… That’s exactly the kind of connections I’m trying to uncover.

    If Malcom Gladwell’s cited research in Blink is right (and it seems it is), this is pretty much all I need – more would probably hurt my efforts.


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  • NegBox 6:07 am on June 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: CMO, Map,   

    Social Media Marketing Map 

    A useful Social Media map, courtesy of of CMO.com (CMO = “Chief Marketing Officer”). If you’re interested in getting traffic to your site, you go down the “Traffic to your site” column, find the green boxes, read the text in the box and look at the row you’re on to see what site its referring to. It also tells you what each site is good at, and what it sucks at, before you do something stupid like trying to get some SEO juice from Facebook, like I did a couple of weeks back.

    Click on the picture to enlarge, save it doing whatever works for you.

    Social Media Map 2010

    Map of Social Media by Marketing Task


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  • NegBox 4:03 pm on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Clubbing, DJ, Drinking, Hedonism, Manilow, Music, Science   

    Split-Testing Nightclub Music Mixes & The Science of Hedonism 

    Some folks are simply fucking brilliant, like Yale Fox.

    The guy wrote Inside the DJ Booth: How A Disc Jockey’s Strategic Track Selection Can Enhance Experience, Foster Loyalty, and Boost Profits

    Talk about testing – this time the patterns of how people move and buy drinks in a club depending on the songs played – to balance fun and revenue. Brilliant.

    His blog is a journey of discovery – Did you know Barry Manilow had been WEAPONIZED? You give Aussies a spoon and they give you a tunnel, give them Manilow and they give you Armageddon.

    Interesting article on the Optimal Price for Drinks in Different Demographics. What also blew my mind was the existence of a Journal of Addiction that has been in publication since 1884.

    I certainly didn’t know that drinking bull pee could be beneficial for anything – but it seems Red Bull helps with the symptoms of Vodka intoxication… Well, some.. It makes you feel less drunk – but does it make the ugly chick in the corner look ugly again? Didn’t think so.

    Ah.. the science of Hedonism – bring it on!

    nside the DJ Booth: How A Disc Jockey’s Strategic Track Selection Can Enhance Experience, Foster Loyalty, and Boost Profits


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