Cognitive Biases

Facebook Twitter

RSA Animate: The Truth About Dishonesty. This column will change your life: why are ethicists so unethical? Ethical philosophy isn't the most scintillating of subjects, but it has its moments.

This column will change your life: why are ethicists so unethical?

Take, for example, the work of the US philosopher Eric Schwitzgebel, who's spent a large chunk of his career confirming the entertaining finding that ethicists aren't very ethical. Ethics books, it turns out, are more likely to be stolen from libraries than other philosophy books. Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception. Need to Solve a Personal Problem? Try a Third-Person Perspective - Association for Psychological Science.

Why is it that when other people ask for advice about a problem, we always seem to have sage words at the ready, but when we ourselves face a similar situation, we feel stumped about what to do?

Need to Solve a Personal Problem? Try a Third-Person Perspective - Association for Psychological Science

In a 2014 Psychological Science article, researchers Igor Grossmann (University of Waterloo) and APS Fellow Ethan Kross (University of Michigan) suggested that people’s tendency to reason more wisely about others’ social problems than they do about their own is a common habit — one they referred to as Solomon’s Paradox. In a series of studies, the researchers not only found evidence of Solomon’s Paradox, but also identified a way that this reasoning bias can be eliminated. Surprise journal: Notice the unexpected to fight confirmation bias for science and self-improvement. Photo by Ridofranz/Thinkstock If I could ensure that kids come away from science class with one thing only, it wouldn’t be a set of facts.

Surprise journal: Notice the unexpected to fight confirmation bias for science and self-improvement.

It would be an attitude—something that the late physicist Richard Feynman called “scientific integrity,” the willingness to bend over backward to examine reasons your pet theories about the world might be wrong. “That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school,” Feynman said in a 1974 commencement speech. “We never say explicitly what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation.” Teaching that spirit is easier said than done. The Value of “Cognitive Humility” 108 8Share Synopsis Strategies for “debiasing” our judgments.

The Value of “Cognitive Humility”

Explaining the Unexplainable - Issue 4: The Unlikely. During the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Voltaire called superstition a “mad daughter” and likened it to astrology.

Explaining the Unexplainable - Issue 4: The Unlikely

The leading thinkers of the time espoused reason and sought to explain the world through the scientific method. Today, we take a certain pride in approaching the world analytically. When faced with a confusing event, we search for its cause and effect. If we can determine why one action follows another, we can explain why it happened and when it might recur in the future. No coincidence? Statistics and the outrageously unlikely - physics-math - 18 March 2014. Book information The Improbability Principle: Why coincidences, miracles, and rare events happen every day by David J.

No coincidence? Statistics and the outrageously unlikely - physics-math - 18 March 2014

Hand Published by: Farrar, Straus, Giroux Price: $27 Focusing on the specific makes us less likely to see true probability (Image: Valentine Vermeil/Picturetank) In his superlative The Improbability Principle, David J. Hand makes sense of bizarre patterns in Bible codes, lightning strikes and even drug trials. THE WORLD QUESTION CENTER 2011— Page 1.

GEORGE LAKOFF Cognitive Scientist and Linguist; Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, UC Berkeley; Author, The Political Mind Conceptual Metaphor Conceptual Metaphor is at the center of a complex theory of how the brain gives rise to thought and language, and how cognition is embodied.


All concepts are physical brain circuits deriving their meaning via neural cascades that terminate in linkage to the body. That is how embodied cognition arises. Primary metaphors are brain mappings linking disparate brain regions, each tied to the body in a different way. Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgment of global risks. List of cognitive biases. Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways.

List of cognitive biases

Cognitive biases can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics. There are also controversies as to whether some of these biases count as truly irrational or whether they result in useful attitudes or behavior. Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math. Everybody knows that our political views can sometimes get in the way of thinking clearly.

Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math

But perhaps we don’t realize how bad the problem actually is. According to a new psychology paper, our political passions can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. 8 Common Thinking Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day and How to Prevent Them. 12.3K Flares 12.3K Flares × Get ready to have your mind blown.

8 Common Thinking Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day and How to Prevent Them

I was seriously shocked at some of these mistakes in thinking that I subconsciously make all the time. Seven tricks your brain is playing on you. (NaturalNews) We all want to believe we are tough to fool. The problem is, even if you are not so gullible, your brain still works a certain way, making associations that create vulnerability to being easily fooled, or fooling yourself. It takes work to release yourself from these natural assumptions that are presumed to originate from a mix of hard wiring and cultural conditioning. Getting beyond them is surely a worthwhile thing to do, however. Here are seven common assumptions that a lot of brains simply can't resist. Teller Reveals His Secrets. The Strange Powers of the Placebo Effect. How Our Delusions Keep Us Sane: The Psychology of Our Essential Self-Enhancement Bias. By Maria Popova How evolution made the average person believe she is better in every imaginable way than the average person.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope,” Helen Keller wrote in her 1903 treatise on optimism. But a positive outlook, it turns out, isn’t merely an intellectual disposition we don — it’s a deep-seated component of our evolutionary wiring and the product of powerful, necessary delusions our mind is working around-the-clock to maintain. At the root of that mental machinery lies what psychologists have termed the self-enhancement bias — our systematic tendency to forgo rational evaluation of our own merits and abilities in favor of unrealistic attitudes that keep our ego properly inflated as to avoid sinking into the depths of despair.

You Are Not So Smart.

Time Orientation

Emotional Economics. OVERVIEW. Applied Bayes' Theorem: Reading People. Or, how to recognize Bayes' theorem when you meet one making small talk at a cocktail party. Knowing the theory of rationality is good, but it is of little use unless we know how to apply it. Unfortunately, humans tend to be poor at applying raw theory, instead needing several examples before it becomes instinctive. I found some very useful examples in the book Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior - Anytime, Anyplace. While I didn't think that it communicated the skill of actually reading people very well, I did notice that it did have one chapter (titled "Discovering Patterns: Learning to See the Forest, Not Just the Trees") that could almost have been a collection of Less Wrong posts.

It also serves as an excellent example of applying Bayes' theorem in every-day life. Why Intelligent People Drink More Alcohol. Drinking alcohol is evolutionarily novel, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent people drink more alcohol than less intelligent people. The human consumption of alcohol probably originates from frugivory (consumption of fruits). Fermentation of sugars by yeast naturally present in overripe and decaying fruits produces ethanol, known to intoxicate birds and mammals. However, the amount of ethanol alcohol in such fruits ranges from trace to 5%, roughly comparable to light beer.

(And you can't really get drunk on light beer.) It is nothing compared to the amount of alcohol present in regular beer (4-6%), wine (12-15%), and distilled spirits (20-95%). Michael Lewis on the King of Human Error. We’re obviously all at the mercy of forces we only dimly perceive and events over which we have no control, but it’s still unsettling to discover that there are people out there—human beings of whose existence you are totally oblivious—who have effectively toyed with your life. I had that feeling soon after I published Moneyball. The book was ostensibly about a cash-strapped major-league baseball team, the Oakland A’s, whose general manager, Billy Beane, had realized that baseball players were sometimes misunderstood by baseball professionals, and found new and better ways to value them.

The book attracted the attention of a pair of Chicago scholars, an economist named Richard Thaler and a law professor named Cass Sunstein (now a senior official in the Obama White House). The Pyschology of Human Misjudgment by Charlie Munger. The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See (part 1 of 8) How Your Brain Decides Without You - Issue 19: Illusions.