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Cognitive bias and future thinking

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We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment - But it is increasingly clear that the mind is mainly drawn to the future, not driven by the past.

We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment -

Behavior, memory and perception can’t be understood without appreciating the central role of prospection. We learn not by storing static records but by continually retouching memories and imagining future possibilities. A case study in combating bias. Following several disappointing investments, the German electric utility RWE overhauled its decision-making processes.

A case study in combating bias

Learn how from the CFO who spearheaded the effort. The Quarterly: Tell us a bit about the circumstances that motivated RWE’s management to undertake a broad debiasing operation. Bernhard Günther: In the second half of the last decade, we spent more than €10 billion on big capital-expenditure programs and acquisitions in conventional power plants. In the business cases underlying these decisions, we were betting on the assumptions of ever-rising commodity prices, ever-rising power prices. We were not alone in our industry in hitting a kind of investment peak at that time. You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you. Comics Blog Books Shop Comics: Random Most Popular All Cats Grammar Food Animals Tech This is a comic about the backfire effect.

You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you

Inspiration This comic was inspired by this three-part series on the backfire effect from the You Are Not So Smart Podcast. Other fun reading. Cognitive bias cheat sheet – Better Humans. Great, how am I supposed to remember all of this?

Cognitive bias cheat sheet – Better Humans

You don’t have to. But you can start by remembering these four giant problems our brains have evolved to deal with over the last few million years (and maybe bookmark this page if you want to occasionally reference it for the exact bias you’re looking for): Information overload sucks, so we aggressively filter. Noise becomes signal.Lack of meaning is confusing, so we fill in the gaps. Signal becomes a story.Need to act fast lest we lose our chance, so we jump to conclusions. Why people are so bad at thinking about the future. Photo illustration by Slate.

Why people are so bad at thinking about the future.

What Scammers and Fraudsters Can Teach You About Selling. How Syfy is Leading The Charge With Imagining Diverse Futures. When does the future begin? A study in maximising motivation. The answer to the question ‘When does the future begin?’

When does the future begin? A study in maximising motivation

– which, by the way, is not right now – matters because humans are attuned to focus on the ‘right now’ situation. This is not a flaw. Failure to focus on the opportunities and obstacles in the moment can be dangerous. From an evolutionary perspective, humans around today all descended from ancestors who paid attention in the moment, and hence, didn’t become meals for any predator straying into their path while pondering future goals. Foresight as a measure of fluency, creativity, and "future thinking." Rex E.

Foresight as a measure of fluency, creativity, and "future thinking."

Jung, Ph.D. Are you more likely to come up with a creative idea if you produce many ideas? Capital - Positive thinking can make you too lazy to meet your goals. About fifteen years ago, when entrepreneur Michael Stausholm started a business with a friend, his partner painted a rosy picture of the future of the business and promised him a lot of success.

Capital - Positive thinking can make you too lazy to meet your goals

Stausholm believed him and felt uplifted, as if saying it would will it to be so. Thinking positive, after all, is a common step to success, right? Just being positive and happy go lucky is not going to work. Forecasting the Future: Can The Hive Mind Let Us Predict the Future? Why Can’t You Remember Your Future? Physicist Paul Davies on the Puzzlement of Why We Experience Time as Linear. How Our Minds Mislead Us: The Marvels and Flaws of Our Intuition. 20 Cognitive Biases That Affect Your Decisions. Why feeling like a fraud can be a good thing. Image copyright iStock.

Why feeling like a fraud can be a good thing

Luck Is a Bigger Contributor to Success Than People Give It Credit For. I’m a lucky man.

Luck Is a Bigger Contributor to Success Than People Give It Credit For

Perhaps the most extreme example of my considerable good fortune occurred one chilly Ithaca morning in November 2007, while I was playing tennis with my longtime friend and collaborator, the Cornell psychologist Tom Gilovich. He later told me that early in the second set, I complained of feeling nauseated. The next thing he knew, I was lying motionless on the court. Surfing Uncertainty: Do our dynamic brains predict the world?

Future - The enormous power of the unconscious brain. If you don’t think the act of stacking and shuffling a set of cups could boggle your mind, watch the video below. In it, neuroscientist David Eagleman introduces 10-year-old Austin Naber – a world record-holding, champion cup stacker. Naber moves the cups around at a blistering pace and when Eagleman has a go at keeping up with him, the difference in skill and speed becomes immediately apparent. “He smoked me,” Eagleman admits. “But the bigger point is that when I’m doing it, it’s my first time cup stacking. It’s all conscious for me, I’m burning a lot of energy trying to figure out the rules; how the cups balance.” Foxes make good economic forecasts but hedgehogs can be helpful.

What Negative Thinking Does to Your Brain. Like ATTN: on facebook for more content like this. If you’ve ever found yourself trapped in a seemingly endless loop of negative thinking, or wondered why you fixate on a stray rude comment but easily forget compliments, you may have a culprit to blame: evolution. According to Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist, founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and New York Times best-selling author, humans are evolutionarily wired with a negativity bias.


The Science of Mental Time Travel and Why Our Ability to Imagine the Future Is Essential to Our Humanity. Tom Vanderbilt Explains Why We Could Predict Self-Driving Cars, But Not Women in the Workplace. In early 1999, during the halftime of a University of Washington basketball game, a time capsule from 1927 was opened. Welcome to Forbes. You Are Not Strengths-Based, Even When You Think You Are. Overcoming obstacles to effective scenario planning. When scenario planning has worked well, it has proved enormously useful to a wide range of organizations as a tool for making decisions under uncertainty. First popularized by Shell in the early 1970s, the approach should be a natural complement to other ways of developing strategy—especially when executives are as concerned about geopolitical dynamics as many are today.

Why do we assume the future will be short? – John Schellenberg. 10 Big Mistakes People Make in Thinking About the Future. Photo Credit: Frank Peters. Cognitive biases in futurist thinking. Hedgehog and fox finger puppetsby Linda Brown (Etsy shop owner) “No serious futurist deals in predictions”.

Cognitive Biases.