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

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 9 entries submitted in this pair during the submission phase. The winning entry was determined based on finals round voting by peers.

Competition in this pair is now closed.


Entries (9 total) Expand all entries

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Entry #25411 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Winner
Voting points1st2nd3rd
399 x41 x21 x1
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
z Uniwersytetu Ben-Guriona w Izraelu
Flows well
Andrzej Mierzejewski
Entry #25021 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Standard-Poland
Voting points1st2nd3rd
245 x41 x22 x1
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 2 "like" tags
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
w Beer Szewie
Flows well
Andrzej Mierzejewski
-1
1
Przeprowadzone przez nią badania zachowań ludzkich na przejściach dla pieszych wykazały, że ludzie chętniej podporządkowują się systemowi, na który przynajmniej pozornie mają wpływ.
Flows well
Good choic​e of words​ as well.
Anna Rudiak
Entry #25096 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Standard-Poland
Voting points1st2nd3rd
112 x41 x21 x1
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
+1
nie robiąc przy tym zbędnego zamieszania
Flows well
Sławomira Kaczmarek
Entry #25522 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Voting points1st2nd3rd
92 x401 x1
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 2 users agreed with "likes" (2 total agrees)
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
-1
+2
1
nakłaniając niezliczone palce do daremnego naciskania.
Good term selection
Anna Rudiak
Entry #25394 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Voting points1st2nd3rd
81 x42 x20
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
Bez nadawania sprawie większego rozgłosu
Flows well
Sławomira Kaczmarek
Entry #25459 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Voting points1st2nd3rd
502 x21 x1
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
+1
przyciski ocalały
Good term selection
Sławomira Kaczmarek
Entry #24877 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Voting points1st2nd3rd
41 x400
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 3 "like" tags
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
Władze Nowego Jorku, nie robiąc wokół tego większego rozgłosu, wyłączyły na przestrzeni wielu lat większość przycisków, które niegdyś sterowały światłami na przejściach dla pieszych w tym mieście.
Good term selection
Olasz
Zdecydowały
Other
only in th​is entry p​olish form​ of that p​articular ​"they" goe​s correctl​y with "au​thorities"​ from the ​earlier se​ntence.
Olasz
-1
1
wabiąc niezliczone palce do nieskutecznego naciskania.
Good term selection
Anna Rudiak
Entry #25300 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Standard-Poland
Voting points1st2nd3rd
201 x20
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #24773 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Voting points1st2nd3rd
1001 x1
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags


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