O ur minds set up many traps for us. Unless we’re aware of them, these traps can seriously hinder our ability to think rationally, leading us to bad reasoning and making stupid decisions. Features of our minds that are meant to help us may, eventually, get us into trouble. Here are the first 5 of the most harmful of these traps and how to avoid each one of them. 1. The Anchoring Trap: Over-Relying on First Thoughts
Many cognitive biases have been demonstrated by research in psychology and behavioral economics . These are systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment. Although the reality of these biases is confirmed by replicable research, there are often controversies about how to classify these biases or how to explain them. [ 1 ] Some are effects of information-processing rules, called heuristics , that the brain uses to produce decisions or judgments. These are called cognitive biases . [ 2 ] [ 3 ] Biases in judgment or decision-making can also result from motivation , such as when beliefs are distorted by wishful thinking . Some biases have a variety of cognitive ("cold") or motivational ("hot") explanations.
The human mind is a wonderful thing. Cognition, the act or process of thinking, enables us to process vast amounts of information quickly. For example, every time your eyes are open, you brain is constantly being bombarded with stimuli.
Ten of the most influential social psychology studies. "I have been primarily interested in how and why ordinary people do unusual things, things that seem alien to their natures. Why do good people sometimes act evil? Why do smart people sometimes do dumb or irrational things?" --Philip Zimbardo Like eminent social psychologist Professor Philip Zimbardo (author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil ), I'm also obsessed with why we do dumb or irrational things.
Psychology is the study of the human mind and mental processes in relation to human behaviors - human nature. Due to its subject matter, psychology is not considered a 'hard' science, even though psychologists do experiment and publish their findings in respected journals. Some of the experiments psychologists have conducted over the years reveal things about the way we humans think and behave that we might not want to embrace, but which can at least help keep us humble.