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Benevolent deception: "The placebo button effect" » English to Sinhala (Sinhalese)

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Source text in English

Over the course of many years, without making any great fuss about it, the authorities in New York disabled most of the control buttons that once operated pedestrian-crossing lights in the city. Computerised timers, they had decided, almost always worked better. By 2004, fewer than 750 of 3,250 such buttons remained functional. The city government did not, however, take the disabled buttons away—beckoning countless fingers to futile pressing.

Initially, the buttons survived because of the cost of removing them. But it turned out that even inoperative buttons serve a purpose. Pedestrians who press a button are less likely to cross before the green man appears, says Tal Oron-Gilad of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel. Having studied behaviour at crossings, she notes that people more readily obey a system which purports to heed their input.

Inoperative buttons produce placebo effects of this sort because people like an impression of control over systems they are using, says Eytan Adar, an expert on human-computer interaction at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr Adar notes that his students commonly design software with a clickable “save” button that has no role other than to reassure those users who are unaware that their keystrokes are saved automatically anyway. Think of it, he says, as a touch of benevolent deception to counter the inherent coldness of the machine world.

That is one view. But, at road crossings at least, placebo buttons may also have a darker side. Ralf Risser, head of FACTUM, a Viennese institute that studies psychological factors in traffic systems, reckons that pedestrians’ awareness of their existence, and consequent resentment at the deception, now outweighs the benefits.

Winning entries could not be determined in this language pair.

There were 4 entries submitted in this pair during the submission phase. Not enough votes were submitted by peers for a winning entry to be determined.

Competition in this pair is now closed.


Entries (4 total) Expand all entries

Entry #25370 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Pasindu Kavinda
Pasindu Kavinda
Շրի Լանկա
Voting points1st2nd3rd
183 x43 x20
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 5 "like" tags
කිසිදු කලබලයක් ඇති කර නොගෙන
Flows well
Manel Dias
නිව් යෝර්ක්වල බලධාරීහූ නගරයේ පදිකයින් මාරු වන විදුලි පහන් ක්‍රියාත්මක කරන ලද පාලක බොත්තම් බොහොමයක් අබල කළෝය
Flows well
Manel Dias
නමුත් ක්‍රියා නොකරන බොත්තම් පවා අරමුණක් ඉටු කරන බව පෙනී ගියේය.
Flows well
Manel Dias
බොත්තම්වලට අඳුරු පැත්තකුත් තිබිය හැක
Good term selection
Manel Dias
වියේනාවේ
Good term selection
Manel Dias
Entry #24827 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
R P Chathumini
R P Chathumini
Շրի Լանկա
Voting points1st2nd3rd
92 x401 x1
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
කාල මාපක
Flows well
The best t​erm among ​4.
PSAGARA
Entry #25588 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Voting points1st2nd3rd
41 x400
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • No "like" tags
Entry #25147 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Voting points1st2nd3rd
2002 x1
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 1 user entered 1 "like" tag
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
+1
1
ඒ පිළිබඳ වැඩි කලබලයක් නොකරමිනි
Flows well
R P Chathumini


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