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August 24, 2014


cybernetic ghost of christmas past fron the future

"Sometimes, we undervalue what is known and familiar to us, and overvalue what we don't have."

Like the attitude of the politician-media nexus towards religion for instance: Christianity is boring and stupid and deserving of contempt, stuffy and backwards and old-fashioned! but Islam is exotic and foreign and deserving of the utmost respect because it's their cultchaaa don't ya know.

Kevin Denny

The endowment effect does not say we OVERvalue stuff because we own it. It says that we value it more when we have it then if we don't. That's different. So our selling price is greater than our buying price. Maybe when you don't have something you don't realise how good it is.


I'm not a social scientist (I took my degree in Engineering), so pardon my ignorance.

It seems to me that these psychological mechanisms exist in the individual (and indeed co-exist - their relative strengths varying with context).

How do (or can) you explain how these individual effects then translate into the actions of bigger groups, like house buyers or football fans?

Is it a bit like economics, where some changes to some individuals only have to happen at the margin to have macro-effects?


Could it be that Arsenal fans are unhappy with him because he's not that good? Until the goal he'd done bugger all. He's supposed to hold the ball up to bring others into play isn't he? Well he didn't do that much. Any Premier League striker worth their salt would have got that goal.The cross was begging to be headed home - he's strong and tall and the defence switched off. It could be worse - at least he's not Bendtner.


@ Steven - that's a good question. It's sometimes (often) the case that such cognitive biases do cancel out, either within the individual or across all of them.
I suspect there are circumstances in which one mechanism in aggregate is likely to outweigh the other, as in my example of aspirations. But whether it's possible to povide a full inventory of these circumstances is unclear. And it's even less clear whether we can identify them in advance and so predict behaviour.
@ Doug - no player has scored more headers in the PL since the start of last season than OG, so he's doing something right. Maybe Arsenal could get a better striker than him - but Spurs thought that last seaason when they signed Soldado.

Dave Timoney

Arsenal have a long history of undervalued centre forwards (Lishman, Radford, Smith), which in turn reflects the fans preference for those who play off the "9" (Eastham, Nicholas, Wright) or who start wide (Bastin, Henry). Gooners have been moaning about the position since Ted Drake hung up his boots.

Compare and contrast to yesterday's opponents, Everton, a club whose fans fixate on the centre forward (Dean, Latchford, Ferguson and now Lukaku). Just as the fitness and form of the "big fella" is central to the Toffees' narrative, so nagging doubts about the focal point of the attack are a tradition in North London.

In other words, criticism of Giroud is as much a cultural construct as the product of cognitive bias.

Socialism In One Bedroom

The first comment is a rather lateral attempt to attack Islam, I imagine this individual will turn any conversation into an attack on Islam. How creative! Now lets kill them all!!!!

If I had been watching Henry and Fabregas for the past decade and then saw them being replaced with Giroud and Arteta I would think the manager had lost the plot also. Now if Arsenal had actually won stuff then you may have a point but combine lack of success with clearly inferior players and things start to make sense.

The big question is how could Man Utd win the league by 11 points and then be so shit the next couple of seasons!

Igor Belanov

Henry left Arsenal a few years before Giroud arrived, and apart from them both being forward players they have a totally different style of play. Henry's 'replacement' would be more likely to be Arshavin, Giroud is more similar to Baptista. The argument, I presume, is that Arsenal do not have the money to keep and/or replace players like Henry and Van Persie.
As far as Arteta is concerned, he is an accomplished player, but was signed as a squad player within a large group of midfielders, not as a direct replacement for Fabregas. You would be better off comparing Arteta to players like Song or Hleb.

Socialism In One Bedroom

"but was signed as a squad player within a large group of midfielders, not as a direct replacement for Fabregas"

I fundamentally disagree with this, I know Arsenal had Wiltshire coming through but Arteta was signed because Fabregas left, now Wenger may have planned to replace Fabregas by creating a new midfield but in my mind, as a fan, I would have said we sold Fabregas and brought in Arteta. That to my mind is lowering the ambition of the club. Replacing top quality with inferior quality. I certainly reject that Arteta can be called a replacement for Song or Hleb, given the chronology of events. And really, it is total bollocks to suggest this (especially Hleb).

Re Henry, well they had a player of Henry's class up front, scoring the goals, now they rely on Giroud, among others. It doesn't matter that he is a different type. The fact that he is a different type tells you something, because the top teams don't really go for that type. So again Arsenal had players of top quality in that position in very recent memory and now they have someone who is a few levels below.

If I were an Arsenal fan I would be asking what is the strategy here, other than attempting to come fourth every year?

So Arsenal, from being a title winning contender, are now happy to get fourth place. If that isn't a lowering of ambition I don't know what is!

Igor Belanov

As I said before, since the arrival of Abramovitch, the Man City sheikhs and even John Henry, Arsenal haven't been in a position to compete financially with the top 3 or 4 clubs. Arteta was a last minute transfer deadline signing, made because Wenger was afraid that he hadn't enough midfielders. When Arsenal were title-winners in years like 1998, 2002 and 2004 their midfield was graced with 'stars' like Edu, Gilles Grimandi and Ray Parlour, all of whom had less talent than Arteta.
I'm not a fan of Arsenal, but you seem to be the one who wants them to go bust.

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