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Mark_Neznansky comments on How to Beat Procrastination - Less Wrong

156 Post author: lukeprog 05 February 2011 06:49PM

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Comment author: Mark_Neznansky 25 April 2011 05:37:07AM 0 points [-]

Do you know about any research that relates this to the "anti-" case of this? That is, how expectancy, "value", delay and impulsiveness affects evaluation of risk and potential future punishment and how it affects one's behavior under that evaluation?
I wonder how this can be applied to action one might perform that is shunned by society, such as crime. Perhaps it's basically the same case (we incorporate the risk and adverse effects to the value and expectancy), but it seems that there are two stages in such cases which make it more complex - there's the cost of doing the action, there's the expected reward (which has its own value, expectancy, etc...) of the action, and then there's the expected punishment exerted by society (which has its own expectancy - the probability of getting caught - value/loss of value, etc.). How does the temporal relations between the reward and the punishment affect the decision? The crime might have immediate benefit which means that it comes before the punishment (if get caught), or the crime might induce permanent change to the world which might be enjoyed after the punishment (if the culprit will be able to enjoy said change) so the reward comes after the punishment. Any thoughts/research about it? I used the example of crime, but this applies to any kind of action taken "against society" or anything that calls for expected counter-action from the surroundings. Dissidents, rebels and such can be inspected similarly.

Comment author: Procrastinus 21 June 2011 02:26:28AM 3 points [-]

Pretty much the reciprocal of the equation works for punishers. You do get different weights for objectively the same phemenon, as "Losses loom larger than gains." Ten dollars lost is more aversive, relatively, than the pleasure of ten dollars gained. The groundbreaking and hugely influential book "A General Theory of Crime" pretty much emphasizes just the impulsive aspect to criminal decisions. However, to reduce the effects of crime, as the old adage goes, "Swift and sure." That is low delay and high expectancy. We live in a society that only gets the value part, that determing crime can only be done with harsher prisons sentences. As a society, we ain't that bright.