A new theory of monopsony, or how to bargain with trapped miners

In an effort to dominate the miners, the team of psychologists led by Mr Iturra has instituted a series of prizes and punishments. When the miners behave well, they are given TV and mood music. Other treats – like images of the outside world are being held in reserve, as either a carrot or a stick should the miners become unduly feisty.

In a show of strength, the miners have at times refused to listen to the psychologists, insisting that they are well. ''When that happens, we have to say, 'OK, you don't want to speak with psychologists? Perfect. That day you get no TV, there is no music – because we administer these things,''' said Dr Diaz. ''And if they want magazines? Well, then they have to speak to us. This is a daily arm wrestle.''

Here is more.  Here is one upshot:

''NASA told us we have to receive the arrows, so that they don't start shooting the arrows at each other,'' said Dr Diaz.

''So we are putting our chests forward – now they can target the doctors and psychologists.''

In other words, don't be too nice to the miners.  For the pointer I thank The Browser.

Comments

Interesting link on a unthinkable situation. Have they gotten these guys some decks of cards? [rhetorical question, i hope]

Wondering whether the miners freely gave informed consent to submit to intervention by the psychologists, or to have their behavior publicly reported by the psychologists to whom they are forced to speak (or else).

Whatever the title given to people outside of one's panorama of events, that one talks to for specifically helping one on a path to wherever it goes, they're a net good and will always be in demand. Thomas Szouze (sp.?) offers good criticism to where they go when given scientific credence in the court system -- yet despite that, through all ages and all times, there's always healthy demand for those to tutor, assist, interpret, other individuals turns and twists in the everyday life that we all confront.

>I'm amazed at the arrogance of modern culture

You mean modern Government.

Guys are trapped in a mine for months? Quick, force them to talk to a psychologist while we dork around with rescue plans! Threaten to withhold things from them if necessary!!

The surprising thing to me is that someone is looking to an American entity of any sort for advice on anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8OLqrOZiIU

Yeah, can't they just say we're here if you need us?

There's definitely both an extreme sense of paternalism and an overblown sense of their own value to the situation. These kinds of people probably are the same ones who require bake sales in New York to post calorie counts.

"Are 2/3 of the comments here by scientologists or something?"

No.

It really does seem like they could treat them more like grown-ups. The psychologists' plan sounds almost like it amounts to giving them a common enemy, to deflect tensions from each other? Before such tensions arise? I'd be mighty pissed off at being treated like that.

The first thing the miners should do when they get out is find the psychologists torturing them and (fill in here).

I have the uneasy feeling that some of the psychologists see the situation and think, "Cool, a Skinner box. What stimulus shall I present to the subjects..."

The best part is where they say that the miners are displaying typical behaviors of people confined in stressful situations for more than 6 weeks.

I'm glad the psychologists are helping them progress normally.

Basic litigious society reflex. The company figures it is already on the hook for damages, and leadership wants to minimize settlement costs by ensuring that the miners don't maim each other in fits of rage. Sure, treating a bunch of tough-skinned miners like adults would be the reasonable thing to do, but in a race to the bottom, better do some due diligence or brace for the repercu$$ion$.

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