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Benevolent deception: "The placebo button effect" » English to Dutch » Entry #24770

 
 

Source text in English

Translation #24770

Over the course of many years, without making any great fuss about it, the authorities in New York disabled most of the control buttons that once operated pedestrian-crossing lights in the city. Computerised timers, they had decided, almost always worked better. By 2004, fewer than 750 of 3,250 such buttons remained functional. The city government did not, however, take the disabled buttons away—beckoning countless fingers to futile pressing.

Initially, the buttons survived because of the cost of removing them. But it turned out that even inoperative buttons serve a purpose. Pedestrians who press a button are less likely to cross before the green man appears, says Tal Oron-Gilad of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel. Having studied behaviour at crossings, she notes that people more readily obey a system which purports to heed their input.

Inoperative buttons produce placebo effects of this sort because people like an impression of control over systems they are using, says Eytan Adar, an expert on human-computer interaction at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr Adar notes that his students commonly design software with a clickable “save” button that has no role other than to reassure those users who are unaware that their keystrokes are saved automatically anyway. Think of it, he says, as a touch of benevolent deception to counter the inherent coldness of the machine world.

That is one view. But, at road crossings at least, placebo buttons may also have a darker side. Ralf Risser, head of FACTUM, a Viennese institute that studies psychological factors in traffic systems, reckons that pedestrians’ awareness of their existence, and consequent resentment at the deception, now outweighs the benefits.


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Discussion about Benevolent deception: "The placebo button effect" in English to Dutch - Entry #24770

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:18
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Human response to a changing industry Apr 18

Ik lees vandaag, 18 april 2019, in een publicatie van de heren Dotterer en Tabor dat ze hier expres machinevertalingen tussen de reguliere vertalingen posten. Om ons gedrag te meten. Fijne website, dit!

Jean Dimitriadis
 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Please don't post a file that is available to members only on the forum.

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:18
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Deepl translation Apr 19

I read today, 18 April 2019, in a publication by Messrs Dotterer and Tabor, that they are posting machine translations between the regular translations here on purpose. To measure our behaviour. Great website, this!

Katalin Szilárd
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 21:18
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Is this the only place where it was used? Apr 20

Gerard de Noord wrote:

I read today, 18 April 2019, in a publication by Messrs Dotterer and Tabor, that they are posting machine translations between the regular translations here on purpose. To measure our behaviour. Great website, this!


Now I'm wondering whether Kudoz was free from MT questions and answers....
Sometimes I had the feeling that the asker did not speak Hungarian at all still on her/his profile said she/he was.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:18
Chinese to English
To understand your intent... Apr 20

Am I right in thinking that you're being sarcastic, Gerard? That in fact you think this is deceptive behaviour and dislike it?

I understand what you mean, but I have to admit, I think this sounds like an interesting blind experiment. I would be keen to see the results. It sounds as though the site sent you out a disclaimer about what's happening, is that right? So you do have the opportunity to remove your consent and not participate.


 
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