KABO Question Specific Discussion

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KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by kdroge » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:53 pm

This is for discussing specific questions from the set. I will try to respond to comments as soon as I can and change the set in response to feedback. If you want a copy of the set or for me to post certain questions, I can do that as well.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:07 pm

I thought it was rather misleading calling students an "occupation" in that tossup on students. It's good to get the Free Speech movement some love, but it seems like there was a better way to do that.

Another thing I thought problematic was that a number of questions just ended with "is contrasted with ___," which allowed for automatic points on a neg and buzzer races between teams waiting for the giveaway--surely tossups on the adjective "Liberal" don't need to say "it's not conservative" and (more egregiously) "Beta" shouldn't have said it's contrasted with alpha or whatever the heck it said.

There were some oddities--why is a tossup on Forseti saying he's Balder's son not in the giveaway?
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:11 pm

Cheynem wrote:"Beta" shouldn't have said it's contrasted with alpha or whatever the heck it said.
I don't really know anything about finance, but I do know that there's a lot of Greek letters that mean things (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeks_(finance)), so I don't think that was a binary choice there.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:15 pm

I had no idea what was going on in that question to begin with, but in our room it kicked off an eight-way buzzer race with everyone thinking "beta," so while it may not have been binary in theory, it came off that way in practice. Maybe our room was weird.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by kdroge » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:16 pm

Cheynem wrote:I thought it was rather misleading calling students an "occupation" in that tossup on students. It's good to get the Free Speech movement some love, but it seems like there was a better way to do that.
I agree that there were some problems with pronoun usage, which were mostly me focusing too much on the topic. In my view, if I was thinking "this could be students" on a tossup that referred to "one of these people" or something, I'd be very hesitant to buzz, but if I heard "this occupation" I'd be much more confident. So I said "this occupation" because I thought that would let people buzz more confidently. However, it seemed to have the opposite effect.
Cheynem wrote:Another thing I thought problematic was that a number of questions just ended with "is contrasted with ___," which allowed for automatic points on a neg and buzzer races between teams waiting for the giveaway--surely tossups on the adjective "Liberal" don't need to say "it's not conservative" and (more egregiously) "Beta" shouldn't have said it's contrasted with alpha or whatever the heck it said.
I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this. On the one hand, it increases conversion, but on the other hand it's kind of silly when both teams get to the giveaway and it leads to a race. Honestly, I thought that both of those questions would be answered before the giveaway in almost every room, but this didn't happen, so I think it would have been better to have just gotten rid of those clues and just said something like "name this stock parameter named after a Greek letter" or something like that.
Cheynem wrote:There were some oddities--why is a tossup on Forseti saying he's Balder's son not in the giveaway?
This would be an example of a misplaced clue. It seemed like an okay middle clue, but I'm pretty sure it should have been at the very earliest right before the FTP.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:37 pm

I mean, I'm not really sure what pronoun I would use to write a tossup on "students"--while I've been a professional student for years now, I don't consider myself that my occupation and I doubt the student protesters did either. Ike theorized writing on the Free Speech Movement itself may have been an idea--or perhaps writing on "Berkeley" or "California."

Is Robert Lansing known for something other than being Secretary of State after Bryan (aside from being related to Dulles)? That clue seemed oddly placed when I heard the question.

Not sure where the Coca-Cola question was going--what was that intended as an example of? Was that American history? That may have been a decent idea for recent American history, but the execution was kind of iffy ("new" Coke coming way too early). This was my biggest beef with the recent American history questions--both the OK City bombing question and the 9/11 question dropped well known things pretty early. There were some good ideas in the bonuses, like the one on "silent majority."

Perhaps more comprehensive Bourdieu-ites can weigh in here, but I have read large chunks of Distinction, by far Bourdieu's most famous work, as well a decent smattering of Pierre B. (including the work I buzzed on, "On Television"). Questions usually on Bourdieu just seem to me like title soup with little probing for what he's actually talking about. That tossup on him at VCU Open two years ago was awesome because it seemed to actually be about his theories. I don't want this just to be that "i like questions i answer," but rather I'm wondering if I'm crazy here or are there more optimal ways to write not just questions on Bourdieu but on other thinkers.

The social science had some pretty good, interesting answerlines--I liked the questions on security cameras and telenovelas quite a bit (although more on the latter below).

Looking through my notes, there seemed to be a number of "figure it out-a-ble" tossups hat ended up being frustrating: dolls, which strongly tipped that it was a child's plaything used in studies (although the sudden rash of tossups on dolls may have something to do with this); Emily Dickinson (female poet that there's a lot of pondering about because of her reclusiveness); telenovelas (things that teach Spanish that run on season-esque cycles); Malinche (disliked woman in Spanish culture), etc.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by jekbradbury » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:47 pm

I'm a bit torn. I really like the idea of writing a tossup on security cameras or telenovelas, but the tossups with the most creative answer lines were also the tossups that were most nearly "figure-it-out-bowl" and didn't distinguish well between different levels of knowledge as much as different levels of buzzer-risk aversion.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by JamesIV » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:56 pm

Could you post the tossup on Venice, please?

Specifically, I'd like to see the wording of the clue on La Fenice. As I recall, it read something along the lines of "...this city's opera house is called 'the Phoenix' [italics mine]..." This definitely threw me for a loop, and I think it would have been better to have something like "this city's opera house has name that translates to 'the Phoenix.'"

I know we don't have hard-and-fast rules on translation, but I do think there's a difference between this and the name of an aria, and if usage is king, then it's practically never referred to as "The Phoenix," even in English-language media.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by kdroge » Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:01 pm

Cheynem wrote:Is Robert Lansing known for something other than being Secretary of State after Bryan (aside from being related to Dulles)? That clue seemed oddly placed when I heard the question.
The rest of the tossup was about his familial relation to dulles (with whom we went to versailles) and then description and name of Lansing-Ishi agreement. I learned about both of those things before I learned about his exact time as being Secretary of State, but it's possible that the clue ordering on the last three clues was off.
Cheynem wrote:Not sure where the Coca-Cola question was going--what was that intended as an example of? Was that American history? That may have been a decent idea for recent American history, but the execution was kind of iffy ("new" Coke coming way too early). This was my biggest beef with the recent American history questions--both the OK City bombing question and the 9/11 question dropped well known things pretty early. There were some good ideas in the bonuses, like the one on "silent majority."
I'm glad you liked the silent majority bonus. The Coke question was aca other (marketing), in which I tried to incorporate some historically relevant advertisements with stuff I learned in classes. The rest of the question was about recent Coke advertisements, so I'm not sure about the difficulty. I could see pushing back the "new" clue by a sentence or two. Keep in mind that you are a pretty good modern American history player, and the OK city question I intended to make reasonable. I agree that the photo and the john doe number two thing are both notable, but I'm not sure if they're unreasonable to give 15 for knowing. In the finals room, the 9/11 question went all the way to moussaoui, so I'm not sure exactly what you thought was too easy about that question.
Cheynem wrote:Perhaps more comprehensive Bourdieu-ites can weigh in here, but I have read large chunks of Distinction, by far Bourdieu's most famous work, as well a decent smattering of Pierre B. (including the work I buzzed on, "On Television"). Questions usually on Bourdieu just seem to me like title soup with little probing for what he's actually talking about. That tossup on him at VCU Open two years ago was awesome because it seemed to actually be about his theories. I don't want this just to be that "i like questions i answer," but rather I'm wondering if I'm crazy here or are there more optimal ways to write not just questions on Bourdieu but on other thinkers.
I tried to use concepts from Bourdieu's thought in that tossup; there was only one title drop besides TV and Distinction in the entire question. Maybe the stuff I selected is too fringe and not central to his thought, though? It's possible that the sources and articles that I used didn't draw from his main works as much as I would have liked them to do.
Cheynem wrote:Looking through my notes, there seemed to be a number of "figure it out-a-ble" tossups hat ended up being frustrating: dolls, which strongly tipped that it was a child's plaything used in studies (although the sudden rash of tossups on dolls may have something to do with this); Emily Dickinson (female poet that there's a lot of pondering about because of her reclusiveness); telenovelas (things that teach Spanish that run on season-esque cycles); Malinche (disliked woman in Spanish culture), etc.
I think this was a problem with the tournament that was greater than I thought that it would be. The telenovelas question I think highlights the problem especially. The Dickinson tossup used what I thought were important critical works, but it's possible that they're more irrelevant than I imagined. For reference, telenovelas was academic other, and security cameras was history.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:35 pm

The Chopin Preludes tossup was wretched. Every single musical description is some vague, generic, and unbuzzable description; the only buzz-words are nicknames that are rarely used (a fact easily discoverable by Googling them; this leads me to suspect that Wikipedia had too large a role in this tossup); and the most famous prelude ("Raindrop") is not described or mentioned in any way. Look, I know that lots of people don't understand music theory, but surely it is very clear that "a large number of quarter notes appears" or "utilizes the left hand to carry the melody" cannot possibly be buzzable clues.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:41 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:The Chopin Preludes tossup was wretched. Every single musical description is some vague, generic, and unbuzzable description; the only buzz-words are nicknames that are rarely used (a fact easily discoverable by Googling them; this leads me to suspect that Wikipedia had too large a role in this tossup); and the most famous prelude ("Raindrop") is not described or mentioned in any way. Look, I know that lots of people don't understand music theory, but surely it is very clear that "a large number of quarter notes appears" or "utilizes the left hand to carry the melody" cannot possibly be buzzable clues.
In my room that tossup went "blah blah blah works preceding other works." And then I buzzed.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:49 pm

I might be misremembering the Bourdieu tossup, I buzzed on "On Television," but that seemed quite a ways through the question and I think I would have liked to see some Distinction clues (unless I just didn't process them) before that.

For the 9/11 tossup, I buzzed on the clue about "Jersey widows"--this was pretty huge for a time, due to the Ann Coulter controversy.

I mentioned this in another thread, but besides the impossible/very hard/very easy structure Ted mentioned, there was also the "three parts of about the same difficulty" structure (such as the Judge Holden bonus). Unless you just look up character names for fun, I'm not sure how you're going to get Blood Meridian and not the Judge, and anyway the bonus didn't distinguish between me, a person who once read two sentences on the book, and a person who has read the book cold. I also thought that the Cato/Heritage Foundation/Brookings bonus, while about some very important and underasked things, needed a much better easy/medium/hard structure. These are three of the main think tanks and in general the easiest clues were given for all three--I could easily see someone zeroing this or 30'ing it, but I'm not such how much knowledge is being distinguished aside from someone genuinely just screwing up the names or something.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Gautam » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:25 pm

Excelsior (smack) wrote:
Cheynem wrote:"Beta" shouldn't have said it's contrasted with alpha or whatever the heck it said.
I don't really know anything about finance, but I do know that there's a lot of Greek letters that mean things (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeks_(finance)), so I don't think that was a binary choice there.

Code: Select all

Brennan and Copeland noted a twenty percent increase in this quantity after a stock split in
announced, with an additional thirty percent increase occurring after the split is executed. Clarkson
and Thompson tracked the decrease of this quantity as information increases, drawing conclusions
about the ratios of multiple types of uncertainty. This quantity is usually taken by dividing the
covariance of two returns with the variance of a portfolio or a market. For the market as a whole, this
quantity is equal to (*) one. For any given stock, this quantity represents the ratio by which it changes
given a change in the return of the market as a whole, leading it to sometimes be compared to risk or
volatility. For 10 points, name this quantity from finance, often contrasted with a manager’s returns,
alpha.
ANSWER: beta
Only had a chance to go through the first couple of packets, but I saw this TU and... it wasn't well executed.

1. I had a gut feeling that the leadin clue couldn't possibly be right... upon quickly reviewing the available literature, it looks like the increase in beta is observed over short timescales, but over longer timescales there is no statistical difference between pre and post betas. (link)
2. The middle parts seem like a big hose for "volatility" or "risk," especially the line that talks about it decreasing as information increases... and it's not really clear what a moderator should do if someone buzzes in with those answers. Also, beta is a measure of volatility/risk - why just "sometimes be compared"?
3. The penultimate sentence is messy - is the first "it" referring to stock? or the beta itself? Also it could be more succinctly stated like:
"For a given security, this quantity represents how the returns on that security correlate with the returns on the market or a portfolio, [blah blah blah alternate description of risk/volatility]."
4. Why is there no mention of the CAPM? This would be like writing a tossup on the ideal gas constant without describing ideal gases anywhere...

FWIW, the giveaway for this TU is all right. Did a good job of describing alpha before mentioning it, and... well, the basic equation for CAPM only has alpha and beta as parameters.

EDIT: words.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:14 pm

What was going on with that David Copperfield Illustrations tossup? Was that an attempt to shoehorn a way-too-difficult H. K. Browne tossup into something that people could get at the end?
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by kdroge » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:36 pm

Mike Bentley wrote:What was going on with that David Copperfield Illustrations tossup? Was that an attempt to shoehorn a way-too-difficult H. K. Browne tossup into something that people could get at the end?
This was something that I spent a lot of time on in a class, and I think that Browne / illustrations are an important yet often unasked about subcategory of art. I figured that this answer line was probably the most gettable way to ask about this short of answer line David Copperfield and using half lit clues.

The beta tossup definitely should have talked about CAPM for a sentence or two near the end; I'm not sure I consider the lead-in to be as much of a problem because even if it's only true in the short term it doesn't mean that it's necessarily not something relevant.
Cheynem wrote:For the 9/11 tossup, I buzzed on the clue about "Jersey widows"--this was pretty huge for a time, due to the Ann Coulter controversy.
I do think that the clue is notable; I'd like to get someone else's opinion before I deem it definitely too easy, though.
Cheynem wrote:I mentioned this in another thread, but besides the impossible/very hard/very easy structure Ted mentioned, there was also the "three parts of about the same difficulty" structure (such as the Judge Holden bonus). Unless you just look up character names for fun, I'm not sure how you're going to get Blood Meridian and not the Judge, and anyway the bonus didn't distinguish between me, a person who once read two sentences on the book, and a person who has read the book cold. I also thought that the Cato/Heritage Foundation/Brookings bonus, while about some very important and underasked things, needed a much better easy/medium/hard structure. These are three of the main think tanks and in general the easiest clues were given for all three--I could easily see someone zeroing this or 30'ing it, but I'm not such how much knowledge is being distinguished aside from someone genuinely just screwing up the names or something.
I think that the Judge Holden bonus suffered from that problem a lot. I definitely thought Judge Holden would be one of the harder hard parts at the tourney, about which I was very mistaken, and both that part and Blood Meridian were of about equal difficulty and easier than a lot of bonuses in the set. I do think McCarthy was easier than the other two parts. With the think tanks bonus, sometimes it's hard to judge material that doesn't have a lot of qb history; again, I think Cato was easier than the other two simply because of the reference to the Roman dude, but I could see that this bonus might have been considerably easier than some of the others in the set if you have any level of knowledge about the subject.

Probably tomorrow I'll get around to making changes to the set based on people's feedback, and I'll make a post to track changes to the set as I make them.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by kdroge » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:42 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:The Chopin Preludes tossup was wretched. Every single musical description is some vague, generic, and unbuzzable description; the only buzz-words are nicknames that are rarely used (a fact easily discoverable by Googling them; this leads me to suspect that Wikipedia had too large a role in this tossup); and the most famous prelude ("Raindrop") is not described or mentioned in any way. Look, I know that lots of people don't understand music theory, but surely it is very clear that "a large number of quarter notes appears" or "utilizes the left hand to carry the melody" cannot possibly be buzzable clues.
Actually, I wrote the vast majority of this tossup from an intro book to Chopin that I have. I do understand that my descriptions were suboptimal, and in general I find writing FA can be difficult for that very reason- even looking at the sheet music for a piece, it can be hard to formulate a meaningful description of the piece from that. Also, not including the raindrop prelude was a huge oversight- apparently that's really famous, even though I don't know what it is, and packet searching would have helped me to rectify that problem.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by magin » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:25 pm

Kurtis,

Did you ask any people who know about music to review your questions? It's a really good idea in general, especially in categories writers aren't super confident about. It sounds like you did some good research and picked a fine answer, but trying to describe pieces of music with unique, helpful clues is really difficult for almost every writer (myself included), and it's easy to find clues you think are good and buzzable but actually aren't.

I thought that this tournament had many good ideas for questions which, however, weren't executed well. I liked the social science tossup on the United States, but more often the tossups on answers like water and dolls were really guessable from the beginning and resulted in massive games of chicken. Did you playtest KABO with anyone? If not, I think that it would be a good idea in the future.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by kdroge » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:19 pm

magin wrote:Did you ask any people who know about music to review your questions? It's a really good idea in general, especially in categories writers aren't super confident about. It sounds like you did some good research and picked a fine answer, but trying to describe pieces of music with unique, helpful clues is really difficult for almost every writer (myself included), and it's easy to find clues you think are good and buzzable but actually aren't.

I thought that this tournament had many good ideas for questions which, however, weren't executed well. I liked the social science tossup on the United States, but more often the tossups on answers like water and dolls were really guessable from the beginning and resulted in massive games of chicken. Did you playtest KABO with anyone? If not, I think that it would be a good idea in the future.
I agree that this would have been a good idea. One of the reasons I had Will look through the set was to try and help improve certain questions (which we did go through and edit some things), but clearly that was not enough, and no additional playtesting was done. I could make the excuse of the time constraint, but that wasn't even really true because everything besides the social science and part of the lit was done at least two weeks before the tournament, so I should have worked in some playtesting nights (especially for FA) in the weeks before the tournament. This is definitely something that I will do in future. I'm glad that you liked some of the ideas, though.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:33 pm

For whatever it's worth, I thought that the tossup on "beta" was a good answer with very transparent early clues for anyone with the slightest idea what "beta" is. I took the plunge somewhere in the second sentence and was rewarded with 15 because the clues basically say "this is something that goes up when uncertainty surrounds a stock" in various ways. A better way to write that question might have talked about the CAPM equation, for one thing, as Gautam points out.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by mhayes » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:59 pm

I agree that the "Raindrop" prelude should have been mentioned in the Chopin tossup. The rest of the music seemed okay though.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:09 pm

Could someone post the "motivation" tossup? I just want to see it again.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:20 pm

If anyone is still paying attention to this thread, I was wondering: I seem to remember a tossup on someone from French history named "Ferry" come up. Could someone post that tossup or give the answerline?
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:01 pm

Ethnic history of the Vilnius region wrote:If anyone is still paying attention to this thread, I was wondering: I seem to remember a tossup on someone from French history named "Ferry" come up. Could someone post that tossup or give the answerline?
I believe it was this dude.
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:07 pm

Packet 2 wrote:18. This man accused an opponent of engaging in “political metaphysics” in a speech in which he aroused controversy be proclaiming that “Superior races have rights over inferior races.” He split with Emile Ollivier after having an affair with Ollivier’s wife Blandine. He gained the nickname “la-Famine” during his time as Prefect of the Seine, and his final administration fell when the (*) Lang Son Telegram, detailing a military defeat in Indochina, precipitated the Tonkin Affair. He first came to prominence after publishing a series of attacks on Baron Haussmann in Le Temps. An advocate of French colonialism, his best known achievement amended the Falloux Laws by curbing the prevalence of Catholicism. For 10 points, name this French statesman, the namesake of laws that provided free and secular education.
ANSWER: Jules Ferry
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Re: KABO Question Specific Discussion

Post by kdroge » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:00 pm

Here's the Venice tossup:

17. This city’s churches of Frari and San Zanipolo exemplify its namesake type of gothic architecture, which was characterized by simple, brick exterior designs. One opera house in this city was recently rebuilt based on photographs of a old design after it burned down and is named The Phoenix. Verrocchio’s statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni resides here. Many of Jacopo Sansovino’s finest works were done in this city, including statues of Mars and Neptune that flank the Giants’ Staircase in a building connected to the Piombi prison by the (*) Bridge of Sighs. The Pala D’Oro altarpiece is found along with many Byzantine style mosaics in this city’s St. Mark’s Cathedral. For 10 points, name this city, the subject of a Ruskin book, home to the Doge’s Palace and many canals.
ANSWER: Venice

And here's the motivation tossup:

9. This term refers to factors such as obtaining responsibility or recognition that can cause people to be satisfied with their job in the dual-factor theory of Frederick Herzberg, in which it is contrasted with hygiene. One theory of this concept combines expectancy theory with hyperbolic discounting, leading to a four variable equation that can be used to predict procrastination; that (*) temporal theory of this concept focuses on its relation to time. Abraham Maslow developed a meta type of this concept that can be applied to people who have achieved self-actualization, a term that he had coined in a paper that put forth “A Theory of Human” this. It is often divided into intrinsic and extrinsic types. For 10 points, name this concept from psychology, the drive to complete a desired goal.
ANSWER: motivation

I've made several changes to the set based on feedback in this thread, most extensively on the tossups to students, beta, and Chopin's Preludes, but on many other things that were brought up as well. If anyone has any more feedback to give, it would be nice to get that in before I send out the set to the folks in Canada tomorrow.
Kurtis Droge
East Lansing 08, Michigan 12, Louisville 17

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