When a Typo Improves an E-Mail

We received a pretty standard e-mail recently that included the following sentence:

“We will be using experimental economic sand psychology to explore the motivations behind …”

Wow, I thought — that sounds interesting: experimental economic sand psychology. I wonder how that works. Is each subject given a pile of sand and asked to create a sand castle that represents his or her view of capitalism? Or maybe each subject bids on a variety of piles of sand in an auction/game theory setting?

And then I read it again. Oh. It was supposed to read “experimental economics and psychology,” not “economic sand psychology.”

Never mind. Into the trash bin.


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  1. Chris says:

    My first thought was that they are referring to the “Sandpile model” of earthquakes and economic instability.

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  2. Seminymous Coward says:

    I suspect that a full-scale experimental economic sand psychology project would likely result in the introduction of awesome glass coins. As such, I wholeheartedly support it. I suggest you dig the email out of your deleted items to reply suggesting a change to suit the typo.

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  3. Mike B says:

    If this blog was more like xkcd, by this time next week there would be a paper published on experimental economic sand psychology.

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  4. Pablo Ben says:

    I thought they where trying something on sandbox style where you can test things without interfering the real system.

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  5. Rachael says:

    I took “economic sand psychology” in the sense of “head in the sand”.

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