Mind Tools: Applications and Solutions

About This Site

This site is a collection of mind tools—frameworks for solving problems and gaining understanding. It contains downloadable articles on creativity, banking, inventory control, investing, management, mathematical modeling, music, and perception. The author is Lee Humphries, an interdisciplinary research analyst and President of About the author.

For educational purposes, you may duplicate and distribute the articles without charge.  However, any commercial publication in printed or electronic form without the consent of is prohibited.




The Mathematics of Persistence
The compounding impact of repeated effort on future value.

How Ideas Take Shape: The Ecology of Creativity
—Invention is driven by the nonlinear, form-sensitive logic of the unconscious. There are patterns to this logic.

Noticing Things: A Field Guide to Attention
—The catalytic effect of attention on stream-of-consciousness content (especially with respect to invention).

Internal Research
An algorithm for the productive use of the imagination.

Artistic Process and Elegant Action
Blending emotion with the disciplined pursuit of quality, one arrives at technique, the capacity for elegant action.

Six Jumping Frogs & the Aesthetics of Problem Solving
What a grade school puzzle reveals about pattern, representation, memory, and understanding.

How to Name a Goat: Simplifying the "Monty Hall" Problem
Linguistic hypnosis and the perception of probability.

The Scientific Method of Elmer Gates
An overview of "psychotaxis."

Genius, Self-Taught
More about Elmer Gates (an article from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.)



Understanding Banks' Earnings: An Evaluation and Forecasting Technique
The year-to-year change in a bank's earnings per share (EPS) is driven by the fluctuating values of nine financial ratios.  These ratios can be integrated into a spreadsheet routine that will: (1) isolate their respective dollar-and-cents contributions to annual changes in EPS, (2) measure their relative power to improve EPS, and (3) calculate future EPS based on their projected values.

Video Games: Reason and Revenue in a Blockbuster Promotion
This mathematical model of a Blockbuster Video "early return" promotion demonstrates that the promotion is likely to reduce, not increase, revenue.



A Stock Price Paradox (v2.0)
—Crazy as it sounds, your profit may be greater if you reject a stock at its current price and buy it later at a higher price.

Deceptive Means: The Average Guy's Guide to EPS Growth Rates
—The proper measures of growth-rate norms are the geometric mean and the geometric standard deviation. This article explains why and shows you how to calculate them.

Penny-Pinching in the Stock Market
Suppose an investor can buy a stock at a discount. If cheaper is better, exactly how much better is it?

Should You Put Your Nest Egg in Your House?
There are systemic reasons why the housing market can't match the stock market's long-term rate of return.

When More Is Less: A Taxing Tale of Trading
For a series of short term investments to generate the same after-tax return as a single long term investment, the short term investments must appreciate at a higher annualized rate. This essay shows you how to determine that rate.



Intangible Assets and Organizational Health
Money is not the "first cause" in the chain of events propelling an organization toward its goal. Other assets are more fundamental.

A Place Where One Can Hear
For extraordinary things to happen, extraordinary mindsets are required.



Learning to Sight-Sing: The Mental Mechanics of Aural Imagery
—A sequence of mental states that will translate notated melodies into singable pitches.

Piano Technique and Kinesthetic Imagery
The nature of kinesthetic imagery; instructions for developing it.

What to Think About When You Conduct: Perception, Language, and Musical Communication
An approach to conducting based on information processing.

Atonality, Information, and the Politics of Perception
Atonality is related to the channel capacity of short-term memory.



The Geometric Coefficient of Variation
A formula and its logic.

The Emergence of Novel Information During Trance
A rational explanation of an extraordinary behavior.

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