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Benevolent deception: "The placebo button effect" » English to Farsi (Persian)

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 10 entries submitted in this pair during the submission phase, 3 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 (10 total; 3 finalists) Expand all entries

Entry #25451 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Winner
Voting points1st2nd3rd
346 x44 x22 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.322.50 (8 ratings)2.13 (8 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 4 "like" tags
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (2 total agrees)
+1
دوره ای چند‌ساله
Flows well
Rahim Amiri
+1
رغبت بیشتر
Good term selection
Rahim Amiri
دل خوش کنکی
Good term selection
Seyedeh Negin Mahjoub
بر سیستم های مورد استفاده خود تسلط داشته باشند
Flows well
Seyedeh Negin Mahjoub
Entry #25454 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
305 x44 x22 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.073.13 (8 ratings)3.00 (7 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 2 "like" tags
  • 3 users disagreed with "likes" (3 total disagrees)
-3
فشار دادن بی‌ثمر
Flows well
Rahim Amiri
رضایتمندانه
Good term selection
Rahim Amiri
Entry #25348 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
223 x43 x24 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.362.71 (7 ratings)2.00 (8 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 3 "like" tags
  • 3 users agreed with "likes" (4 total agrees)
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
-1
+2
مقامات شهری
Good term selection
Rahim Amiri
دلیل به جا ماندن کلیدها، هزینه ی جمع آوری آنها بود
Flows well
SeyedSina MirArabshahi
+2
خیال کاربرانی را راحت کند
Flows well
Rahim Amiri


Non-finalist entries

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

Entry #25367 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
ALI SALAHI YEKTA
ALI SALAHI YEKTA
United States
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.252.25 (8 ratings)2.25 (8 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25004 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.222.00 (7 ratings)2.43 (7 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25390 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.192.13 (8 ratings)2.25 (8 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25475 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.002.29 (7 ratings)1.71 (7 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25159 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.671.63 (8 ratings)1.71 (7 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25567 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.621.67 (9 ratings)1.56 (9 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25316 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry1.391.44 (9 ratings)1.33 (9 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags


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