Researchers point out that as a field of research becomes big, much of the attention sinks into a middling pool of ideas. Unlikely ideas tend to get squeezed out. They explain, in this study: “Slowed Canonical Progress in Large Fields of Science,” Johan S.G. Chu and James A. Evans, Proceedings of the National Academy of […]
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 new Improbable book! (Too! Too!)
Behold (and get yourself) the new Improbable book! This Is Improbable Too, by Marc Abrahams, OneWorld Publications, 2014, ISBN 978-1780743615. (Published March 6 in the UK, August 12 in the US) “It’s almost dementedly inconsequential”—The Daily Mail LAUNCH EVENT, IN LONDON: Join us to celebrate the publication: an evening of Dramatic Improbable Readings, at Conway […]
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 […]
“My husband quickly became exasperated and took the book away”
‘This is the kind of book that makes you want to read out snippets to whoever is near. I did this so often that my husband quickly became exasperated and took the book away from me. However, within 10 minutes of him starting to read it, he was doing exactly the same thing’. —So says reader […]
Sneak preview of the new book
The Observer published a preview —several chunks—of my new book This Is Improbable. The book will be published on September 6. If you have a keen eye towards the future, you can order copies now.
Video teaser for the new book “This Is Improbable”
This little video teaser gives the flavor, and even a brassiere, from my new book, This Is Improbable. The book will be published on September 6, in the UK and the US. The publisher’s web site has extra info. BONUS: Someone, somewhere may be wondering “What is the new book’s ISBN?” For that person, wherever […]
Coming: The new Improbable Research book
We’re pleased to announce: The new book will be published this September, by OneWorld Publications in London. The book is called This Is Improbable. You can pre-order it now, if you want an improbable book.
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 […]