Wednesday, May 18, 2022

You Think Failure Is Hard? So Is Learning From It, despite society celebrating failure as a teachable moment

You Think Failure Is Hard? So Is Learning From It. Lauren Eskreis-Winkler, Ayelet Fishbach. Perspectives on Psychological Science, May 17, 2022.

Abstract: Society celebrates failure as a teachable moment. But do people actually learn from failure? Although lay wisdom suggests people should, a review of the research suggests that this is hard. We present a unifying framework that points to emotional and cognitive barriers that make learning from failure difficult. Emotions undermine learning because people find failure ego-threatening. People tend to look away from failure and not pay attention to it to protect their egos. Cognitively, people also struggle because the information in failure is less direct than the information in success and thus harder to extract. Beyond identifying barriers, this framework suggests inroads by which barriers might be addressed. Finally, we explore implications. We outline what, exactly, people miss out on when they overlook the information in failure. We find that the information in failure is often high-quality information that can be used to predict success.

Keywords: motivation, learning, failure, barriers

We are far more likely to remember previously presented news that were reported to be certain as mere speculations than to remember explicit speculations as facts

Brand, A.-K., Scholl, A., & Meyerhoff, H. S. (2022). In case of doubt for the speculation? When people falsely remember facts in the news as being uncertain. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 151(4), 852–871. May 2022.

Abstract: Modern media report news remarkably fast, often before the information is confirmed. This general tendency is even more pronounced in times of an increasing demand for information, such as during pressing natural phenomena or the pandemic spreading of diseases. Yet, even if early reports correctly identify their content as speculative (rather than factual), recipients may not adequately consider the preliminary nature of such information. Theories on language processing suggest that understanding a speculation requires its reconstruction as a factual assertion first—which can later be erroneously remembered. This would lead to a bias to remember and treat speculations as if they were factual, rather than falling for the reverse mistake. In six experiments, however, we demonstrate the opposite pattern. Participants read news headlines with explanations for distinct events either in form of a fact or a speculation (as still being investigated). Both kinds of framings increased participants’ belief in the correctness of the respective explanations to an equal extent (relative to receiving no explanation). Importantly, however, this effect was not mainly driven by a neglect of uncertainty cues (as present in speculations). In contrast, our memory experiments (recognition and cued recall) revealed a reverse distortion: a bias to falsely remember and treat a presented “fact” as if it were merely speculative. Based on these surprising results, we outline new theoretical accounts on the processing of (un)certainty cues which incorporate their broader context. Particularly, we propose that facts in the news might be remembered differently once they are presented among speculations.

What explains record U.S. house price growth since late 2019? We show that the shift to remote work explains over one half of the 23.8 percent national house price increase over this period.

Housing Demand and Remote Work. John A. Mondragon & Johannes Wieland. NBER Working Paper 30041. May 2022. DOI 10.3386/w30041

Abstract: What explains record U.S. house price growth since late 2019? We show that the shift to remote work explains over one half of the 23.8 percent national house price increase over this period. Using variation in remote work exposure across U.S. metropolitan areas we estimate that an additional percentage point of remote work causes a 0.93 percent increase in house prices after controlling for negative spillovers from migration. This cross-sectional estimate combined with the aggregate shift to remote work implies that remote work raised aggregate U.S. house prices by 15.1 percent. Using a model of remote work and location choice we argue that this estimate is a lower bound on the aggregate effect. Our results imply a fundamentals-based explanation for the recent increases in housing costs over speculation or financial factors, and that the evolution of remote work is likely to have large effects on the future path of house prices and inflation.