Wednesday, August 22, 2007

For Those About to Optimize

We Salute You.

Some people believe Mozart makes you smarter, but does AC/DC make you more rational? This study by Robert Oxoby of the University of Calgary exposed subjects to the music of AC/DC during an economic experiment called the "ultimatum game." The outcomes were found to be less efficient when the subjects listened to AC/DC under original frontman Bon Scott than under Brian Johnson, who replaced Scott in 1980. From the conclusion:
Our analysis has direct implications for policy and organizational design: when policymakers or employers are engaging in negotiations (or setting up environments in which other parties will negotiate) and are interested in playing the music of AC/DC, they should choose from the band's Brian Johnson era discography.
Yes, its a joke. But as the Chronicle of Higher Education reports, many people, including Steven "Freakonomics" Levitt, did not recognize it as such. Hmmmm...

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