Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Scientist Breaking News - Overconfidence is a disadvantage in war, finds study: "Players who made higher-than-average predictions of their performance – those who had higher confidence - were more likely to carry out unprovoked attacks. These warmongers ranked themselves on average at number 60 out of the 200 players, while those who avoided war averaged out at the 75 position.

A further analysis showed that people with higher self-rankings ended up worse off at the end of the game. “Those who expected to do best tended to do worst,” the researchers say. “This suggests that positive illusions were not only misguided but actually may have been detrimental to performance in this scenario.”

Men tended to be more overconfident than women. But the study found nothing to back up the popular idea that high testosterone causes confidence and aggression. Saliva tests showed that, within each gender group, testosterone level did not correlate with how participants expected to perform in the game."

This is an interesting experimental data that confirms psychological predisposition for loss of "control", i.e. transition between having a control point and haos. It could be related to reduced efficiency of the control (decision making) system that gets accustom to relatively easy solutions, and loses its edge.

tags: control point chaos decision evolution transition

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