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Center for Advanced hindsight


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If there is one thing you think you know about hindsight, it’s that it is 20/20 – given the information that we have now, we can explain why things happened in the past. At the Center for Advanced Hindsight, our vision is 20/12. We are advanced both in aptitude and in our unique ability to foresee the future.
The Center for Advanced Hindsight was founded on November 3rd, 1996 in Chicago, Illinois during the annual Judgment and Decision Making conference (JDM). Its founders were inspired to initiate the Center by the simple, yet painful fact that all of their colleagues seemed to be affiliated with some wonderful-sounding institution and they felt left out. People around them were talking about CMR, SRI, DR, SDS, NSF, and over a nice Chicago pizza, they decided to start a center that would capture Science at its best. And thus was the birth of The Center for Advanced Hindsight (hereafter referred to as “CAH” or “the Center”).
From the moment of its inception, it was obvious that the Center had to be focused on the ability of its initiating members and its immense research potential. In retrospect, the choice was obvious: Hindsight. And so, the Center was complete — and the founders looked at their work and said, “It is good.”
A “Random” (in the colloquial sense) Sample of Projects:
The Center is perpetually engaged in (almost) more projects than it can keep track of. The Center continuously seeks to expand the horizons of inquiry in looking backward into the obvious.
Over the years, members have examined a wide range of research topics including prospect theory, cognitive dissonance, heuristic and biases, the “hot hand” effect, Samuelson’s paradox, the effects of emotions on judgment and decision-making, general behavioral economics and more, such as:
• Regret & Counterfactuals
• Anchoring (and other boating techniques)
• Time & Money; Time = Money
• Family Values. What is the value of family?
• Sleep deprivation and its impact on work (see family values)
• Why do people watch TV?
• The effects of beer and wine on creativity
Alas, when Professor Ariely vacated the premises of the MIT Medialab, he uprooted the CAH and replanted it in his new home at Duke University. Although the Southern atmosphere brought new influences and weather adjustments, the lab’s hindsight continued to bloom. What was once just an idea or a catchy name became a real-life science-obsessed laboratory.
Some representative and anomalous projects currently festering:
• Health Marketing – conflicts of interest in the medical arena, and the propensity (or not) to get second opinions among patients.
• Health issues such as overeating and obesity, sexual health, health care
• Cheating behavior & morality, forgiveness
• Counterfeits & identity, self–signaling
• Pain
• Dating behavior
• Placebos, natural vs. synthetic remedies and medication
• Taxes, especially with regard to America’s mega-deficit
• Opportunity Cost (If I buy these shoes, how many lattés must I live without?)
• Consumption Vocabulary
• Eye Contact and Trust
• General Judgment & Decision Making, Consumer Behavior
• Wealth Distribution (perceived, real and ideal)
• Self-control devices and incentive systems
• Diagnostic labels
• Development of practical applications (for iphones, etc.) and programs to save the world
• And, as always, focusing on the dissemination of Science to the greater public. At the Center for Advanced Hindsight, we firmly believe that our research is inherently useful — but more so when it can be practically applied and shared with the general population. When academic papers are exclusively circulated within their own incestuous elite, their impact is severely limited. Therefore, it is an important goal of the CAH to make research accessible and relevant to the masses.
Members of The Center:
The Center for Advanced Hindsight actively seeks to recruit new members with the right set of skills and an uncontained enthusiasm for science. There is no application process for the Center and qualified applicants are notified immediately after they have demonstrated the skills needed to become a member of the Center. At this point they are given the secret handshake and at last become a full-fledged member.
The members of the Center are available for consulting and parties.