how decisions deplete and breaks help

The New York Times published a nice overview of the work on decision making and ego depletion (often ego depletion is used as a synonym with resource depletion, which is somewhat confusing because of the use of the later in economy to described the situation when raw materials are exhausted in a region).

A new paper from Jonathan Levav (now at Standford – congrats!) is prominently featured in the above article. Levav et al analysed rulings in court cases and link them to the time when these rulings were made during the day. They showed that after breaks (lunches) the probability of getting probation dramatically increased, a results that blends nicely into the ego depletion idea which states that self-control is a limited resource that is depleted by decision (rulings) and can be restored by, e.g., rest.

Why anybody should learn/use R …

I had a discussion the other day on the re-appearing topic why one should learn R …
I took the list below from the R-Bloggers which argues why grad students should learn R:

  • R is free, and lets grad students escape the burdens of commercial license costs.
  • R has really good online documentation; and the community is unparalleled.  
  • The command-line interface is perfect for learning by doing. 
  • R is on the cutting edge, and expanding rapidly.
  • The R programming language is intuitive.  
  • R creates stunning visuals. 
  • R and LaTeX work together — seamlessly. 
  • R is used by practitioners in a plethora of academic disciplines. 
  • R makes you think.  
  • There’s always more than one way to accomplish something.

This is a great list – I would add that from the perspective of an university it makes sense to save a lot of money in not having to buy licenses. And reproducability is great with R because the code is always written in a text-file and not bound by software versions (as in other three or four letter (feel free to combine from: [A, P, S]) packages).