Archive - Feb 23, 2008


the pavlovian fox

I just noticed a very interesting pavlovian threat-reward phenomenon happen in a video. While a single anecdotal instance is hardly general proof, but I am quite sure I can come up with many more instances of this. Here’s an analogy of what happened:

Scenario: Homer and Lisa Simpson are trapped in a room with an increasing percentage of helium gas in the air.

Lisa: Dad, my voice sounds funny!
Homer: What? Oh! WHAT THE HELL!! Helium! we’ll suffocate soon!

Mr Burns quickly opens the door and tosses in 50 donuts, and shuts it.

Homer: Oooooooooo, dooooonuuuuuuts.

Now watch this reward algorithm play out in real life:

I like how mainstream news channels are providing Psychology PhD students such large experimental platforms to study and publish papers on.