Treating psychology as hard science you can do basic science on is a mistake. Human behavior is way too contextual and individualized to act like a context-free experiment on "something fundamental" applies to specific contexts.
The most important thing about behavioral science that I've learned as a consultant applying it to the design of software:

The academic research doesn't map 1-1 with applied situations. Using that research as a lens increases the probability of your predictions coming true.
If you want to change the output of a system, you've got to change its input/output function. Participant behavior is transformed by the system into an output

An infinite number of factors could influence a person's behavior. My job is to figure out what important in context.
I can trust research where the boundary conditions of the claims are clear.

I want to see the ideas applied to multiple situations and populations so I can understand who the researchers claims and evidence apply to and when.
I would really love to see more research that says, “We want to understand this context and/or population. What are the factors affecting people’s behavior, and how do they weight up against each other?”
What behaviors do we see in this system? Why are we seeing those behaviors instead of others?

Normally, research is about how a specific intervention affects a specific behavior in a population.

More useful to me are tools to understand a context so I can develop interventions
The most useful research helps me:

1. diagnose the reasons why a person’s behavior is or isn’t occurring in a system
2. predict what will happen when I change some input, function, or loop in that system
Studying combinatory effects and conditions is hard though. The experimental method with one intervention at a time doesn't work for this quite as well as qualitative or ethnographic methods imo. The challenge then is how you interpret your interpretations
To be clear, my interpretation is different than @BrentWRoberts of the QT. He believes that complexity does not make it impossible to study and form theory. I largely agree with that. I just think people’s reactions to situations are less consistent than elements mixing.
Please don’t interpret this thread as me trying to put words in his mouth.

I struggle to trust studies of behavior when they research a specific population in a controlled context, and then generalize their claims too broadly to uncontrolled populations and contexts.

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More from @RobertHaisfield

1 May
I’m learning how to use Clojure, and in particular the Specter library, to manipulate my old Roam notes export. Still early in my exploration, but something feels badass about literally using a programming language to write notes and the REPL as my client.
Specter is going to let me navigate, query, and transform my notes (I might need to restructure them first). Along the way, I hope to write a domain-specific language for Rob’s thinking. Theoretically, the code could be run anywhere I can use Clojure, so it’s portable.
An interesting realization while playing around with IntelliJ Cursive (Clojure IDE): you can find the definition of a function and all of its instances, which is analogous to the contents of the page and backlinks

The idea of using an IDE and the REPL as my “app” feels powerful
Read 7 tweets
1 May
From the @FISSIONcodes book club yesterday with @bmann, @flancian mentioned a "co-op" business model for open source software projects... I'm thinking you pay a membership to be able to participate in discussions, download the code, and reuse it according to terms in a license.
This feels like a natural extension of the thrust of @nayafia's Working in Public, where she discussed Elinor Ostrom's research stating that commons are most successfully managed when there are clear membership boundaries and shared investment in how its run.
One of my biggest questions with open source is how the people who work on it can be compensated... I agree with a lot of the ethical questions around proprietary software in spirit, but also believe it's unfair/exploitative to expect people to work for free when they build value
Read 6 tweets
27 Apr
I wish I had minored in comp or data sci. I’m learning some of this stuff now but it would have been nice to start this in a formal setting when learning stuff was my only job
Now I’m learning how to program but really I’m more interested in the comp sci behind it lol I’m not trying to get a job as a programmer or anything
I don’t really know, I’m figuring it out. I will say that I’m really enjoying learning from a textbook since I am more interested in that academic take. I want to be able to write the answers others Google, and I need an underlying mental model of how things work to get there
Read 6 tweets
21 Apr
FigJam is a little underwhelming in its current form but I can see the potential. Being able to bring in components built in Figma will make it great for facilitating workshops and handling team meetings with workflows customized to the team. Copy-paste from Figma is also huge.
If FigJam were totally compliant with my personal taste, then it would probably have a more direct escape hatch to normal Figma functionality, using the FigJam defaults as a safe way for beginners to participate.

But I haven't tried it yet with people. And it's beta.
I would love to see more affordances for workshop facilitation. In particular, the ability to set a timer and let participants do stuff without seeing each other's work. That would allow for a divergence and convergence pattern to avoid groupthink.
Read 4 tweets
21 Apr
This is a beautiful tile layout.

You ever notice how a lot of websites are just long scrolls, with giant headers and a tiny amount of text?

I wanna see more websites like the screenshot. It's way easier to grasp the big picture that way.
It's hard to put words to it, but I guess my problem with long scroll websites is that it makes me have to remember all of the other messages above and below it. It's like an increased cognitive load from me having to put it together in my head vs having it all in front of me
I also don’t doubt that this is one of those things where my personal taste might conflict with metrics. It probably got this way for a reason.
Read 4 tweets
19 Apr
Fantastic note writing session today. @obsdmd is pretty good at mental stack management once you set up keyboard shortcuts to navigate between panes and split them horizontally and vertically. This theme is Atom. #SnipANote Image
Not me! I created this starting from one page, splitting and creating new pages as I went. If anything, it allows me to spread thoughts out to jump between them more easily than if I had to deal with one large scroll. I create and destroy a lot of windows

Some people like to keep their focus on one note at a time. That doesn't really work for me - I jump between thoughts a lot, and I don't want to ignore those because I don't believe anything I think is inevitable.
Read 8 tweets

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