Podcast #11: The Knight of the Living Dead

The Association of Dead People figures heavily in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

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This week, Marc Abrahams tells about:


  • Missing Pieces Research Review. (“Social Perceptions of Individuals Missing Upper Front Teeth,” Mary S. Willis, Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, and Ryan N. Schacht, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 106, no. 2, April 2008, pp. 423–35.  / “The Effect of Broken Exhibits on the Experiences of Visitors at a Science Museum,” Elizabeth Kunz Kollmann, Visitor Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, October 2007, pp. 178–91.  / “The Missing Bones of Thersites: A Note on Iliad 2.212-19,” R. Clinton Simms, American Journal of Philology, vol. 126, no. 1, Spring 2005, pp. 33–40. / “The Mystery of the Missing Toes: Extreme Levels of Natural Mutilation in Island Lizard Populations,” Bart Vervust, Stefan Van Dongen, Irena Grbac, and Raoul Van Damme. Functional Ecology, vol. 23, no. 5, October 2009, pp. 996–1003.  / “Automated Solutions to Incomplete Jigsaw Puzzles,” Robert Tybon and Don Kerr, Artificial Intelligence Review, vol. 32, nos. 1–4, 2009, pp. 77–99. Featuring dramatic readings by Richard Baguley.)
  • Soft Is Hard. (“Mere Exposure to Bad Art,” Aaron Meskin, Mark Phelan, Margaret Moore, and Matthew Kieran, British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 53, no. 2, 2013, pp. 139–64.  /  “Do Financial Experts Make Better Investment Decisions?” Andriy Bodnaruka and Andrei Simonov, Journal of Financial Intermediation, epub October 5, 2014. /  “The Value of a Smile: Game Theory with a Human Face,” J.P. Scharlemann, C.C. Eckel, A. Kacelnik, and R.K. Wilson, Journal of Economic Psychology, vol. 22, no. 5, 2001, pp. 617–40.  /  “Identifying a Reliable Boredom Induction,” Amanda Markey, Alycia Chin, Eric M. Vanepps, and George Loewenstein, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 119, no. 1, 2014, pp. 237–53. /  “The Fallacy of Personal Validation: A Classroom Demonstration of Gullibility,” Bertram R. Forer, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, vol. 44, no. 1, January 1949, pp. 118–23. Featuring dramatic readings by Jean Berko Gleason.)

The mysterious John Schedler perhaps did the sound engineering this week.

The podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, both on the new CBS Play.it web site, and on iTunes.