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Benevolent deception: "The placebo button effect" » English to German

Competition in this pair is now closed, and the winning entry has been announced.

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Source text in English

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.

The winning entry has been announced in this pair.

There were 14 entries submitted in this pair during the submission phase, 5 of which were selected by peers to advance to the finals round. The winning entry was determined based on finals round voting by peers.

Competition in this pair is now closed.


Entries (14 total; 5 finalists) Expand all entries

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Language variants:
Entry #24800 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Germany
Winner
Voting points1st2nd3rd
469 x45 x20
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.094.00 (6 ratings)4.17 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 3 "like" tags
  • 5 users agreed with "likes" (6 total agrees)
veranlasst
Good term selection
Jule Eitel
+4
festgestellt, dass Menschen sich eher an die Ampelsignale halten, wenn sie den Eindruck haben, dass sie mit ihrem Tastendruck Einfluss auf die Steuerung haben.
Flows well
Michaela Pschierer-Barnfather
+2
Das ist die eine Seite der Medaille
Good term selection
Michaela Pschierer-Barnfather
Entry #25285 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Jule Eitel
Jule Eitel
Germany
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
437 x46 x23 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.753.75 (4 ratings)3.75 (4 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 3 users entered 4 "like" tags
  • 2 users agreed with "likes" (4 total agrees)
+2
Aufhebens
Good term selection
patrizia_
Taktgeber
Good term selection
Katharina Glenewinkel
750 der 3.250 Taster
Flows well
Kurze, kna​ckige Über​setzung de​r Vorlage
Andrea Kusel
+2
verleitete
Good term selection
patrizia_
Entry #25148 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Germany
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
346 x43 x24 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.593.67 (6 ratings)3.50 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25025 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Germany
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
163 x41 x22 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.803.80 (5 ratings)3.80 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #24787 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Austrian
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
122 x41 x22 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.603.60 (5 ratings)3.60 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 3 users entered 3 "like" tags
  • 3 users agreed with "likes" (3 total agrees)
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
Timer
Good term selection
I like Tim​er a lot b​etter than​ "Zeitscha​ltuhr".
Anna Augustin
+1
1
Man kann das als einen warmherzigen Akt der Täuschung verstehen, sagt er, um der inhärenten Kälte einer automatisierten Welt entgegenzuwirken
Flows well
Good solut​ion for ab​stract con​tent
Jule Eitel


Non-finalist entries

The following entries were not selected by peers to advance to finals-round voting.

Entry #25076 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Austrian
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.503.33 (6 ratings)3.67 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 2 "like" tags
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
Ursprünglich blieben sie deshalb verschont, weil die Demontage aller deaktivierten Kästen zu kostenintensiv gewesen wäre
Flows well
Jule Eitel
+1
ein Gefühl der Sicherheit zu vermitteln
Flows well
Iris Schmerda
Entry #25391 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Germany
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.383.25 (8 ratings)3.50 (8 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 3 users entered 4 "like" tags
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
animierte so unzählige Finger zu vergeblichem Drücken
Flows well
Jule Eitel
konstatiert sie
Good term selection
Jule Eitel
+1
ihrer Mitwirkung Beachtung zu schenken
Good term selection
Astrid Stroe
wohlwollende Täuschung
Other
I feel it ​reproduces​ the expre​ssion best​.
Gail Atkinson-Mair
Entry #25205 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Germany
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.133.00 (4 ratings)3.25 (4 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
wenn dieses vorgibt, auf ihre Eingaben zu reagieren
Flows well
Iris Schmerda
Entry #24995 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Germany
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.103.40 (5 ratings)2.80 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25322 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.002.83 (6 ratings)3.17 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
Unmut
Flows well
Iris Schmerda
Entry #25343 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Germany
CarstenW
CarstenW
Brazil
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.002.67 (6 ratings)3.33 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 3 users entered 3 "like" tags
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
+1
lud
Good term selection
patrizia_
Sicherheit zu geben
Flows well
Iris Schmerda
die aus der Täuschung resultierende Verärgerung
Flows well
Jule Eitel
Entry #25192 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Germany
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.172.00 (6 ratings)2.33 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #24758 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.971.60 (5 ratings)2.33 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
-1
Hauch von wohlwollender Täuschung
Flows well
Iris Schmerda
Entry #25456 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.721.56 (9 ratings)1.88 (8 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags


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