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But, if you really think about it, feelings of boredom are pretty strange. After all, there's a whole wide world full of stuff to do. How could humans ever lack for something to keep us occupied? It turns out that boredom isn't really about keeping busy. Boredom stems from an objective lack of neurological excitement, which brings about a subjective psychological state of dissatisfaction, frustration or disinterest, according to researchers who study this yawn-inducing subject. And some people are more prone to boredom than others. People who have conditions that affect their ability to pay attention like ADHD might be more susceptible to boredom, according to a study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science in Age might also play a role in determining someone's susceptibility to boredom.

Researchers have found that people nearing the end of their young adulthood, around age 22, may be less likely than teenagers to get bored. Ever think about dying?

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If you answered "no" to that question, then you're not like most folks, for whom thoughts of death and dying are "very common and very natural," according to Pelin Kesebir, an assistant scientist and psychologist at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While obsessing over one's own mortality isn't necessarily normal, us humans do tend to think of our own demise or that of loved ones from time to time.

People might think about death a lot because of our sophisticated brains, Kesebir told Live Science in September This morbid pondering causes anxiety for some, while for others it can be a source of "immense clarity and wisdom," she added. While many Americans nowadays are opting out of organized religion, billions of people around the world practice the world's major religions, which include Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.


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But where did religion come from in the first place? While each faith has its own origin story, the story behind how religious thought first cropped up in humans can also be explained by science. One of the most popular religious origin theories has to do with what researchers call the "god faculty. Early humans lived in a world in which they had to make quick decisions to avoid peril — the ones who sat around wondering whether that sound they heard behind them was a lion or just the wind in the grass were quickly dispatched.

Early peoples that survived to procreate had developed what evolutionary scientists call a hypersensitive agency-detecting device, or HADD, according to Kelly James Clark, a senior research fellow at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. But HADD didn't just help people avoid encounters with hungry lions, it also may have planted the seeds of religious thought, by reinforcing the idea that outside forces have agency, or the ability to act of their own accord, Clark told Live Science in Smoking cigarettes, drinking heavily, using drugs — all of these things are bad for us, and yet, setting these self-destructive behaviors aside can be a real chore.

Why is it so hard for humans to ditch their bad habits?

Scientists list several reasons for why we don't always know what we know is good for us. Aside from a genetic predisposition for certain addictive habits, some people might engage in risky behavior, like using drugs or alcohol, because they're not really thinking through the consequences of these actions, according to Cindy Jardine, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, in Canada.

If this team has a particularly disfunctional management chain, it could have gone more like this:. Why did they screw around? Beware the rabbit hole here. Because I have self-worth issues. Because I feel like a phony sometimes. Because I let people abuse my time, which they often do by scheduling too many fucking meetings.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to consider joining my newsletter. I read everything I get and respond when I can. Note: I will never share your email or spam you with nonsense. When we Find the Why, we take back control of our behavior. We become proactive instead of reactive. We can find patterns that make problems easier to solve.

After taking time to Find the Why, however, we found a few common culprits: There was a lack of clarity about goals, so teams were being forced to make educated guesses about what was expected of them. Many core pieces of information were completely undocumented, meaning teams had to wait for the one or two people who understood it to have time to help them. Sometimes noticing is all it takes. Sometimes paying attention is all it takes to eliminate problems. How Do You Find the Why? When you notice a problem, pause and assess the situation. Try to see the whole picture. Think about why it happened.

There were last-minute changes to the deliverables. Why were there changes to the deliverables?

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Management was undecided about what to prioritize. Why was management undecided? There was a lack of clarity about what should be built. Why was there a lack of clarity? I feel like I wasted the whole day. I spent the whole day in meetings.

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People keep inviting me to meetings. Only the things inside the circle are worth your effort. Galileo was perhaps the first to state that the laws of nature are mathematical, and contributed to the field of astronomy through an innovative combination of experimentation and mathematics. In the 18 th century, German philosopher Immanuel Kant sought to resolve the dispute between empiricism and rationalism in his book Critique of Pure Reason , by arguing that experience is purely subjective and processing them using pure reason without first delving into the subjective nature of experiences will lead to theoretical illusions.

At about the same time, French philosopher Auguste Comte — , founder of the discipline of sociology, attempted to blend rationalism and empiricism in a new doctrine called positivism. He suggested that theory and observations have circular dependence on each other. While theories may be created via reasoning, they are only authentic if they can be verified through observations.

In the early 20 th century, strong accounts of positivism were rejected by interpretive sociologists antipositivists belonging to the German idealism school of thought. Positivism was typically equated with quantitative research methods such as experiments and surveys and without any explicit philosophical commitments, while antipositivism employed qualitative methods such as unstructured interviews and participant observation. Even practitioners of positivism, such as American sociologist Paul Lazarsfield who pioneered large-scale survey research and statistical techniques for analyzing survey data, acknowledged potential problems of observer bias and structural limitations in positivist inquiry.

In the mid-to-late 20 th century, both positivist and antipositivist schools of thought were subjected to criticisms and modifications. British philosopher Sir Karl Popper suggested that human knowledge is based not on unchallengeable, rock solid foundations, but rather on a set of tentative conjectures that can never be proven conclusively, but only disproven.

Likewise, antipositivists have also been criticized for trying only to understand society but not critiquing and changing society for the better. The roots of this thought lie in Das Capital , written by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, which critiqued capitalistic societies as being social inequitable and inefficient, and recommended resolving this inequity through class conflict and proletarian revolutions. Marxism inspired social revolutions in countries such as Germany, Italy, Russia, and China, but generally failed to accomplish the social equality that it aspired.

Critical research also called critical theory propounded by Max Horkheimer and Jurgen Habermas in the 20 th century, retains similar ideas of critiquing and resolving social inequality, and adds that people can and should consciously act to change their social and economic circumstances, although their ability to do so is constrained by various forms of social, cultural and political domination. Critical research attempts to uncover and critique the restrictive and alienating conditions of the status quo by analyzing the oppositions, conflicts and contradictions in contemporary society, and seeks to eliminate the causes of alienation and domination i.


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  • These can be calculated by deriving closed formulas , or by drawing samples from each distribution. Intuitively, this means we can now be more confident that the success rate of A is higher than that of B.

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    The way I chose to address this issue is presented below, after briefly discussing existing calculators and their limitations. The beauty of frequentist tools for significance testing is that they always give you a simple answer. Plugging the same numbers into the calculators by PeakConversion and Lyst would inform you that the probability of A being best is approximately 0. The ability to set priors based on what we know about our experimental setting is an important feature of Bayesian statistics that can help reduce the number of false positives.

    This is important because we may not bother implementing certain changes if the effect is negligible, even if the probability of one variant being better than the other is very close to 1.

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    As the calculator is served from my GitHub Pages domain , it was easiest to put all the code in that repository. Once I had an environment and codebase that I was happy with, it was time to make functional changes:. While the first two changes were straightforward to implement, the other points were somewhat more challenging. Life would be easier if everyone thought of observed values as being drawn from distributions, but in my experience this is not always the case.

    Making the priors more intuitive was a bit tricky. Having played with the calculator a bit, I think this makes it easier to set good informative priors.