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Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception
Related:  Cognitive Biases*

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). “Why do professional baseball executives, many of whom have spent their lives in the game, make so many colossal mistakes?” Lewis is actually speaking here of a central finding in cognitive psychology.

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset: Which One Are You? | Michael Graham Richard Here is an excerpt from an article about Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University: Through more than three decades of systematic research, [Carol Dweck] has been figuring out answers to why some people achieve their potential while equally talented others don’t—why some become Muhammad Ali and others Mike Tyson. The key, she found, isn’t ability; it’s whether you look at ability as something inherent that needs to be demonstrated or as something that can be developed. To anyone who is into personal growth and self-improvement, this seems obvious. But clearly, it is not obvious to everybody: look at this diagram by Nigel Holmes representing the two types of mindsets and I’ll sure you’ll recognize the attitudes of many people you know. Fixed Mindset Let’s have a look, starting with the Fixed Mindset side: People who hold these beliefs think that “they are the way they are”, but that doesn’t mean that they have less of a desire for a positive self-image than anyone else.

Skepticality - The Official Podcast of The Skeptics Society & Skeptic Magazine 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. Human consumption of alcohol, however, was unintentional, accidental, and haphazard until about 10,000 years ago. Human experience with concentrations of ethanol higher than 5% that is attained by decaying fruits is therefore very recent. Consistent with the prediction of the Hypothesis , more intelligent children, both in the United Kingdom and the United States, grow up to consume alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children.

"As a Man Is, So He Sees" | Mind Matters "I see Every thing I paint In This World, but Every body does not see alike," wrote William Blake. "The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the Eyes of others only a Green thing that stands in the way." That's a fact of life, Blake believed. He was right, and news last week on both the race and gender fronts brought reminders of why, and why it's important. First up, the study by Eugene Caruso and colleagues at the University of Chicago, in which 221 students looked at different photos of President Obama, and proved divided about which ones were the most true to life. I think that's exactly backwards. Which brings me to news item number 2: the question of whether the South African running champion Caster Semenya should be allowed to continue competing as a woman, given that her anatomy includes organs of both genders. As Levy notes, the resolution will have to be decided by committees. Human behavior needs a "no blank slates" approach.

Michael Shermer 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. 1. Did you know that people who use the word because when making a request dramatically increase their chances of getting the favor? Social psychologist Ellen Langer performed an experiment in which she asked to cut in line to use a copy machine. Excuse me, I have five pages. Excuse me, I have five pages. Using because I'm in a rush yielded a huge approval boost. Excuse me, I have five pages. Using the word because is more important than the ensuing reason. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Skeptic » Home » The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine 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. Primary metaphors are brain mappings linking disparate brain regions, each tied to the body in a different way. Complex conceptual metaphors arise via neural bindings, both across metaphors and from a given metaphor to a conceptual frame circuit. Because conceptual metaphors unconsciously structure the brain's conceptual system, much of normal everyday thought is metaphoric, with different conceptual metaphors used to think with on different occasions or by different people. There are consequences in virtually every area of life. In politics, conservatives and progressives have ideologies defined by different metaphors. The science is clear.

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