The Madman Theory – tested for the first time [new study]

The Wikipedia entry for the Madman Theory informs : “The madman theory is a political theory commonly associated with U.S. President Richard Nixon’s foreign policy. He and his administration tried to make the leaders of hostile Communist Bloc nations think Nixon was irrational and volatile. According to the theory, those leaders would then avoid provoking […]

2016 in Hair (Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists™)

Here at close of 2016 The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS), and it’s sibling clubs, have collected the year’s new members into its 2016 Members Gallery. Individual members are first announced as they are inducted throughout the year, in the Improbable Blog’s Hair Club section (with one exception this year**), and then collected […]

Candy elasticity as a sticky, gooey innovation in economics

Economics, candy, and politics have found a new way to mix. This study makes that, at least, clear: “Candy Elasticity: Halloween Experiments on Public Political Statements,” Julian Jamison and Dean Karlan [pictured here], Economic Inquiry, epub June 15, 2015. (Thanks to Sendhil Mullainathan for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the Consumer Financial Protection […]

Marketing an Idea: Under Standing Ovulation

This newly published study, done by marketing experts at two universities, demonstrates how you can, if you like, make simple, clear sense of complicated, not-well-understood biological/medical/psychological/political phenomena: “The Fluctuating Female Vote — Politics, Religion, and the Ovulatory Cycle,” Kristina M. Durante [pictured here], Ashley Rae, Vladas Griskevicius [also pictured here], Psychological Science, epub April 23, 2013. The […]

Spotlight on Unusual Research Institutes (part 2 of 2)

Considerably less productive than The Central Institute for Questions and Answers in terms of the number of published research papers, but no less intriguing, is the The Malt Whisky Research Centre, Islay, Scotland. As far as can be determined, The Malt Whisky Research Centre has only produced one scholarly paper – for the journal European […]

Teabagging in the Name of Science

Political teabagging and sexual teabagging have attracted lots of controversy recently, but a lesser-known variety — research teabagging — has much to recommend it. In case you have not encountered the word “teabagging”, here’s some linguistic background. Political teabagging takes its name from a twisted, angry dip into American/British history: the “Boston Tea Party” anti-tax […]