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Tag Archives: decision making

Voices from the Past – Article Link to writings on Poverty, I wonder how much has changed in 15 years….

I am placing the link information for these articles here with the thought that easier access to free e-books such as this will encourage reading and open discussion.  This is also an open invitation for you to write a precis on this book (or, on any other article or book or section of such, that you find necessary or interesting)….


e-Book:  Voices of the Poor:  Can Anyone Hear Us?  Voices From 47 Countries.

Author:  Deepa Narayan with Raj Patel, Kai Schaffi, Anne Rademacher, and Sarah Koch-Schulte.  pdf

Published in:  1999

This is a published study that was funded by the Poverty Group, PREM, World Bank.

My copy was downloaded in November, 2014.  I found it here

Click to access vol1.pdf

Find more of Deepa Narayan’s writing here  –  Publications Link

If the link does not work, please contact me and I will try to help you find a copy.



Here are a couple more articles that I have found to be of interest in a “connections” sort of way.  I hope that you might find them interesting too.


Article:  Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas.  pdf

Author:  Deborah A. Stone

Published in:  1989

Journal:  Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 104, No. 2 (Summer, 1989), pages 281-300.

My copy was downloaded in November, 2014.  I found it here


Article:  Do the Weak Stand a Chance?  Distribution of Resources in a Competitive Environment.  pdf

Authors:  Judith Avrahami and Yaakov Kareev.

Published in:  2009

Journal:  Cognitive Science, Vol. 33, Issue 5, pages 940-950.

My copy was downloaded in November, 2014.  I found it here

Find more of Judith Avrahami’s writing here  –  Publications List

Find more of Yaakov Kareev’s writing here  –  Publications List


If any of these links do not work, please contact me and I will try to help you find the article or book that you are looking for.


If you find any broken links on this blog, please leave a comment or send me a note so that it can be repaired.  Thank  you….

Short Term Memory and The Power of Limited Thinking

Article:  The Power of Limited Thinking

Author:  Bruce Bower

Source:  Science News, Vol. 152, No. 21 (Nov. 22, 1997), pages 334-335.

Published by: Society for Science & the Public.

Stable URL:

My copy was downloaded on October 9, 2014.



My Precis

In the real world, small samples of information that fit with and within information we already possess, seem to give us the best chance of making accurate decisions.



My Precis Expanded (a summary of the original article):

As a newborn infant, we immediately begin to affect regular habits in order to survive. Learning to recognize action and reaction, movement and sound, helps us to quickly and consistently learn. As we begin to recognize meaning in a statement we begin to combine statements where one makes the other true. How obvious a statement is will depend on education and background.

Our short-term memories hold only a very limited number of “pieces” of information at one time, usually no more than six or eight. So, when a variable changes (when something happens), it amplifies the constants (and our understanding) of the world. Positively correlated events and a limited short-term working memory work together to help us to learn, especially when we are children and learning a first (native) language. An ability to detect positive correlations may help us to detect irregularities, even if we sometimes detect false correlations or set off false alarms.

In studies, inaccurate assumptions or perceptions interfere with our ability to connect events that really do go together and even scientists can overestimate significant relationships when they are dealing with small representative groups. There is a gamblers fallacy that states that a run of something (good or bad) will correct itself and that the odds will eventually even up. However, any random sequence, with the same variables, has an equal chance of being repeated. The ability to recognize positive correlations rises as working memory capacity declines. One study selected groups on the basis of their working memory capacity and found that the high capacity group chose the fewest false correlations but also the fewest positive correlations.

When looking at real world situations, small samples seem to allow us the best chance to make an accurately correlated decision based on available information and findings in studies show that limited knowledge can aid us in reaching decisions in uncertain circumstances. That built-in ‘amplifier’ locating positive correlations that seems to help infants to put together speech sounds and learn language suggests that the adult mind is designed to locate positive correlations and filter out the background noise.



I found the original article through a journal search using JSTOR. This one was a bit tricky to find. My copy came from here:


JSTOR is in the process of ‘freeing up’ some of their journals so that we can borrow the older articles to read. I am hoping that this might soon be one of those journals….. If you have any trouble locating the article please contact me or, call your local college or university library for assistance.