Explaining the Unexplainable - Issue 4: The Unlikely D uring the Enlightenment, the French philosopher Voltaire called superstition a “mad daughter” and likened it to astrology. 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.
GEORGE LAKOFF Cognitive Scientist and Linguist; Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, UC Berkeley; Author, The Political Mind THE WORLD QUESTION CENTER 2011— Page 1
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.
On a scale of one to 10, you probably think you're a seven. And you wouldn't be alone. While it's impossible for most people to be above average for a specific quality, people think they are better than most people in many arenas, from charitable behavior to work performance. The phenomenon, known as illusory superiority , is so stubbornly persistent that psychologists would be surprised if it didn't show up in their studies, said David Dunning , a psychologist at Cornell who has studied the effect for decades. It happens for many reasons: Others are too polite to say what they really think, incompetent people lack the skills to assess their abilities accurately, and such self-delusions can actually protect people's mental health , Dunning told LiveScience . Widespread phenomenon Why We're All Above Average
Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math Everybody knows that our political views can sometimes get in the way of thinking clearly. 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. More specifically, the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs. The study, by Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues, has an ingenious design. At the outset, 1,111 study participants were asked about their political views and also asked a series of questions designed to gauge their “numeracy,” that is, their mathematical reasoning ability.
547 Flares Filament.io 547 Flares × Get ready to have your mind blown. I was seriously shocked at some of these mistakes in thinking that I subconsciously make all the time. Obviously, none of them are huge, life-threatening mistakes, but they are really surprising and avoiding them could help us to make more rational, sensible decisions. Being aware of the mistakes we naturally have in our thinking can make a big difference in avoiding them. Unfortunately, most of these occur subconsciously, so it will also take time and effort to avoid them—if you even want to.
Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgment of global risks
(NaturalNews) We all want to believe we are tough to fool. Seven tricks your brain is playing on you
Teller Reveals His Secrets
Applied Bayes' Theorem: Reading People Or, how to recognize Bayes' theorem when you meet one making small talk at a cocktail party.
Smart People Do More Drugs--Because of Evolution - Entertainment Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa has this theory, which he calls the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis . Here's how it goes: intelligence evolved as a way to deal with "evolutionary novelties"--to help humans respond to things in their environment to which they were, as a species, unaccustomed.
A new study suggests the early riser has only more time for mediocrity. Follow us Researchers at the University of Madrid followed nearly 1,000 teenagers and found that night owls bested "morning larks" in qualities linked to general intelligence, such as inductive reasoning, conceptual and analytical thinking. "What hath night to do with sleep?" asked John Milton, the 17th century English poet who worked as a civil servant, among a class of people generally obliged to rise early in the morning. Indeed, while many early risers outperform night owls in school, researchers said the late risers surpass their counterparts later in the workforce. Night Owls Smarter: A New Study Suggests That Late-To-Bed-Late-To-Rise Leads To Greater Workplace Success : Healthy Living
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.
Michael Lewis on the King of Human Error W e’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.