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

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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.

Winning entries could not be determined in this language pair.

There were 13 entries submitted in this pair during the submission phase, 3 of which were selected by peers to advance to the finals round. Not enough votes were submitted by peers for a winning entry to be determined.

Competition in this pair is now closed.


Entries (13 total; 3 finalists) Expand all entries

Entry #24820 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
182 x45 x20
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.303.40 (5 ratings)3.20 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 2 "like" tags
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (2 total agrees)
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (2 total disagrees)
-1
+1
Od 3250 takve dugmadi, do 2004. godine je tek manje od 750 ostalo funkcionalno
Flows well
Milica Maravić
-1
+1
sledstveno tome ozlojeđeni po uviđanju obmane
Flows well
Milica Maravić
Entry #25139 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
153 x403 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.084.33 (6 ratings)3.83 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 4 "like" tags
  • 3 users agreed with "likes" (6 total agrees)
  • 4 users disagreed with "likes" (5 total disagrees)
-2
+1
1
merači vremena
Good term selection
Milica Maravić
-1
+3
1
ljudi voljniji da se pokore sistemu koji pridaje značaj njihovom doprinosu
Flows well
Milica Maravić
-2
+1
1
tračak dobronamerne obmane za suprotstavljanje proračunatoj prirodi sveta mašina
Flows well
Milica Maravić
Entry #25118 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
132 x41 x23 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.132.83 (6 ratings)3.43 (7 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 2 "like" tags
  • 4 users agreed with "likes" (5 total agrees)
  • 3 users disagreed with "likes" (4 total disagrees)
-2
+4
1
без икакве помпе
Good term selection
Milica Maravić
-2
+1
1
зелени чикица
Good term selection
Good choic​e!
Aleksandar Protić


Non-finalist entries

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

Entry #24794 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.792.40 (5 ratings)3.17 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25397 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.552.50 (6 ratings)2.60 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 2 "like" tags
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (2 total disagrees)
-1
spokojnim
Good term selection
Katarina Maravić
-1
više štete nego koristi
Flows well
Katarina Maravić
Entry #25255 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.432.14 (7 ratings)2.71 (7 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25042 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.342.17 (6 ratings)2.50 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 4 "like" tags
prizivajući bezbrojne prste na uzaludno pritiskanje
Flows well
Milica Maravić
kao o dobronamernoj obmani kojom se potire urođena hladnoća sveta mašina
Flows well
Milica Maravić
kao o dobronamernoj obmani kojom se potire urođena hladnoća sveta mašina.
Flows well
Lepa konst​rukcija
Njanja
posledična ozlojeđenost zbog prevare
Flows well
Milica Maravić
Entry #24880 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.252.17 (6 ratings)2.33 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #24965 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.152.00 (7 ratings)2.29 (7 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #24905 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.902.00 (5 ratings)1.80 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25178 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.901.80 (5 ratings)2.00 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #24926 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
mmladeno
mmladeno
United States
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.801.60 (5 ratings)2.00 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
-1
sa Mičigenskog Univerziteta u An Arboru.
Flows well
Čedomir Žitarević
Entry #25531 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.591.50 (6 ratings)1.67 (6 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags


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