Improbable products (with mistakes) increase product preferences (research study)

“[…] we find that consumers actually prefer products that were made by mistake to otherwise identical products that were made intentionally.” – explain the researchers behind a new study to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The research team performed a series of experiments which described to participants various mistake-prone scenarios, e.g. one […]

Watch and hear as “Improbable” spreads to every country

On the Wordmap web site you can listen as the word “improbable” is mechanistically translated into many languages, and then see which countries commonly use each of those translated words. The translations are performed by Google Translate. The country associations are performed using data from Wikipedia. It’s not just “improbable”. Wordmap will translate and map pretty much any word […]

The improbable — the (thus!) surprising — in physics

Ashutosh Jogalekar, writing in the Curious Wavefunction blog, writes about some of the most surprising discoveries in physics since 1900. Reading that reminds us to remind you that “improbable” means “what you don’t expect”. Thus, here is some of the most improbable research in the modern history of physics: Surprises in physics: From black bodies […]

Kids distinguish improbable from impossible?

A new study suggests that (perhaps unlike certain adults?) most children easily distinguish between the improbable and the impossible. The study is: “Young children discriminate improbable from impossible events in fiction,” Deena Skolnick Weisberg [pictured here, sort of] and David M. Sobel, Cognitive Development (in press). The authors explain: “Can young children discriminate impossible events, which cannot […]