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

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 15 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 (15 total; 5 finalists) Expand all entries

Entry #24947 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Winner
Voting points1st2nd3rd
328 x400
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.304.00 (6 ratings)4.60 (5 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 4 "like" tags
  • 3 users agreed with "likes" (7 total agrees)
+2
не привертаючи зайвої уваги
Flows well
Hanna Cherkes
+2
охочіше користуються системами, робота яких передбачає їхню активну участь
Flows well
Hanna Cherkes
один бік медалі
Good term selection
Denys Dömin
+3
зводять нанівець будь-які можливі переваги.
Flows well
Hanna Cherkes
Entry #25094 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
902 x25 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.424.50 (4 ratings)4.33 (3 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 3 "like" tags
навіть для годиться
Flows well
Larysa Hrushetska
як протидію бездушному світу машин
Flows well
Larysa Hrushetska
загалом більше шкодить, аніж допомагає.
Flows well
Larysa Hrushetska
Entry #25331 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
81 x42 x20
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.254.00 (5 ratings)4.50 (2 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25466 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
71 x41 x21 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.344.00 (4 ratings)4.67 (3 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 2 users entered 2 "like" tags
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
Станом на початок
Flows well
Larysa Hrushetska
+1
єдине призначення якої — заспокоїти тих користувачів, які не знають, що всі їх натискання на клавіші автоматично збережуться в будь-якому разі
Flows well
Hanna Cherkes
Entry #25501 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
502 x21 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.253.50 (2 ratings)5.00 (1 rating)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags


Non-finalist entries

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

Entry #25336 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.004.00 (4 ratings)4.00 (2 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
+1
не здіймаючи навколо цього значного галасу
Flows well
Hanna Cherkes
Entry #25294 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry4.004.00 (3 ratings)4.00 (2 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 2 users agreed with "likes" (2 total agrees)
+2
нехай і даремно
Good term selection
Gulliette
Entry #25091 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.923.33 (3 ratings)4.50 (2 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25427 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.843.67 (3 ratings)4.00 (2 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25217 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.743.80 (5 ratings)3.67 (3 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #24985 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.673.33 (3 ratings)4.00 (2 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
+1
намагається враховувати їхню думку
Flows well
Hanna Cherkes
Entry #25447 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.673.33 (3 ratings)4.00 (2 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25553 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.042.75 (4 ratings)3.33 (3 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25061 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.002.50 (4 ratings)3.50 (2 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags