How does the mind create understanding and meaning? This is a question that has produced loads of research and theories among linguistics and philosophers. According to new research from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, we compose the meanings of separate words into a new whole. Co-editor of the research report, Andrea Martin, Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute and Principal Investigator at the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging, explains:
“Meaning composition is the lynchpin of cognition, necessary for explaining the creativity of human thought and communication. It is a capacity that sets us apart from other species and computational devices.”
Another new study from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) shows how learning algorithms help to understand how the human brain learns. In order to adapt to complexity and uncertainty when learning and making decisions. The research shows that people increased planning-based reinforcement learning with increasing task complexity. But when both uncertainty and task complexity was recaptured high from the start. They used a more resource-efficient free learning strategy.
Digital Design to handle complexity
As human decisions and learning increasingly are made by the screens. And at the same time as digital visualisation, artificial intelligence and computational abilities forms a perfect environment to modelling and designing for decreasing complexity. Digital design forms a foundational pillar for successful performance and ROI. Where the key terms are “user experience design” and “learning design”. Shlomo Benartzi, Professor of Behavioral Decision Making at UCLA Anderson School of Management, writes in Harvard Business Review:
“… the design of the digital world can profoundly, and often unnoticeably, influence the quality of our decisions.”
A review of recent research shows that organisations, in general, undervalue the impact of digital design. Where the consequences lead to a lower return of investment as the design is not adapted human behaviour, which leads to lower understanding and worse decisions. Even minor fixes can, according to Professor Benartzi, have a great impact on performance.
Refining UX design
A research project, with Voya Financial, a leading retirement service provider, with a focus on how variation in the digital design of online enrollment could impact initial contribution decisions of employees. It showed that a minor redesign of the interface had considerable impact. This included changing the colour scheme from orange to a traffic light design with green (personalize), yellow (confirm), and red (decline). Secondly, by displaying the plan’s default rate directly on the enrollment screen, and finally simplifying the language.