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Top 10 Thinking Traps Exposed — How to Foolproof Your Mind, Part II

Top 10 Thinking Traps Exposed — How to Foolproof Your Mind, Part II
In the first part of this article, we focused on 5 traps that hinder our ability to think rationally. As a quick recap, we discussed: The Anchoring Trap: Over-Relying on First ThoughtsThe Status Quo Trap: Keeping on Keeping OnThe Sunk Cost Trap: Protecting Earlier ChoicesThe Confirmation Trap: Seeing What You Want to SeeThe Incomplete Information Trap: Review Your Assumptions Now it’s time to complete the list and expose the remaining 5 dangerous traps to be avoided. Let’s dive right in. 6. In a series of experiments, researchers asked students in a classroom a series of very simple questions and, sure enough, most of them got the answers right. This “herd instinct” exists — to different degrees — in all of us. This tendency to conform is notoriously exploited in advertising. Conformity is also one of the main reasons why once a book makes into a well-known best-sellers list, it tends to “lock in” and continue there for a long time. What can you do about it? 7. 8. John Riley is a legend. Related:  Cognitive Bias

Top 10 Thinking Traps Exposed Our 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. “Is the population of Turkey greater than 35 million? Lesson: Your starting point can heavily bias your thinking: initial impressions, ideas, estimates or data “anchor” subsequent thoughts. This trap is particularly dangerous as it’s deliberately used in many occasions, such as by experienced salesmen, who will show you a higher-priced item first, “anchoring” that price in your mind, for example. What can you do about it? Always view a problem from different perspectives. 2. In one experiment a group of people were randomly given one of two gifts — half received a decorated mug, the other half a large Swiss chocolate bar. 3. 4.

10 More Common Faults in Human Thought | Listverse Humans This list is a follow up to Top 10 Common Faults in Human Thought. Thanks for everyone’s comments and feedback; you have inspired this second list! It is amazing that with all these biases, people are able to actually have a rational thought every now and then. The confirmation bias is the tendency to look for or interpret information in a way that confirms beliefs. The Availability heuristic is gauging what is more likely based on vivid memories. Illusion of Control is the tendency for individuals to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes that they clearly have no influence on. Interesting Fact: when playing craps in a casino, people will throw the dice hard when they need a high number and soft when they need a low number. The Planning fallacy is the tendency to underestimate the time needed to complete tasks. Interesting Fact: “Realistic pessimism” is a phenomenon where depressed or overly pessimistic people more accurately predict task completion estimations.

Top 10 Common Faults In Human Thought | Listverse Humans 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. You may be consciously thinking about one specific thing, but you brain is processing thousands of subconscious ideas. The Gambler’s fallacy is the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality, they are not. Reactivity is the tendency of people to act or appear differently when they know that they are being observed. Pareidolia is when random images or sounds are perceived as significant. Interesting Fact: the Rorschach Inkblot test was developed to use pareidolia to tap into people’s mental states. Self-fulfilling Prophecy Self-fulfilling prophecy is engaging in behaviors that obtain results that confirm existing attitudes. Interesting Fact: Economic Recessions are self-fulfilling prophecies.

Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism The authors test the hypothesis that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism. In Study 1, alcohol intoxication was measured among bar patrons; as blood alcohol level increased, so did political conservatism (controlling for sex, education, and political identification). In Study 2, participants under cognitive load reported more conservative attitudes than their no-load counterparts. In Study 3, time pressure increased participants’ endorsement of conservative terms. © 2012 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

47 Mind-Blowing Psychological Facts You Should Know About Yourself I’ve decided to start a series called 100 Things You Should Know about People. As in: 100 things you should know if you are going to design an effective and persuasive website, web application or software application. Or maybe just 100 things that everyone should know about humans! The order that I’ll present these 100 things is going to be pretty random. Dr. <div class="slide-intro-bottom"><a href=" Your Evolved Intuitions Part of the sequence: Rationality and Philosophy We have already examined one source of our intuitions: attribute substitution heuristics. Today we examine a second source of our intuitions: biological evolution. Evolutionary psychology Evolutionary psychology1 has been covered on Less Wrong many times before, but let's review anyway. Lions walk on four legs and hunt for food. Certain evolved psychological mechanisms in humans are part of what makes us like each other and not like lions, skunks, and spiders. These mechanisms evolved to solve specific adaptive problems. An an example of evolutionary psychology at work, consider the 'hunter-gatherer hypothesis' that men evolved psychological mechanisms to aid in hunting, while women evolved psychological mechanisms to aid in gathering.6 This hypothesis leads to a list of bold predictions. And as it turns out, all these predictions are correct.7 (And no, evolutionary psychologists do not only offer 'postdictions' or 'just so' stories. Notes

16 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School I am 28 now. I don’t think about the past or regret things much these days. But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was. Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier). 1. This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think. You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things. 2. You can do things quicker than you think. 3. 4. 5.

The Ten Most Revealing Psych Experiments 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. That's something. 1. The Robbers Cave Experiment is a classic social psychology experiment conducted with two groups of 11-year old boys at a state park in Oklahoma, and demonstrates just how easily an exclusive group identity is adopted and how quickly the group can degenerate into prejudice and antagonism toward outsiders. Researcher Muzafer Sherif actually conducted a series of 3 experiments. 2. The prisoners rebelled on the second day, and the reaction of the guards was swift and brutal. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think The Internet has introduced a golden age of ill-informed arguments. You can't post a video of an adorable kitten without a raging debate about pet issues spawning in the comment section. These days, everyone is a pundit. But with all those different perspectives on important issues flying around, you'd think we'd be getting smarter and more informed. Unfortunately, the very wiring of our brains ensures that all these lively debates only make us dumber and more narrow-minded. #5. Think about the last time you ran into a coworker or family member spouting some easily disproven conspiracy theory -- somebody who still thinks Obama's birth certificate is a fake or that Dick Cheney arranged 9/11 to cover up his theft of $2.3 trillion from the government. That has literally never happened in the history of human conversation. Getty"OK, so Dick Cheney doesn't have a third arm. The Science: Getty"Check it out, you guys, Carl has something called 'Loose Change' loaded up on his iPhone." #4. #3.

Military Must Prep Now for 'Mutant' Future, Researchers Warn | Danger Room Lockheed Martin tests its Human Universal Load Carrier exoskeleton. Photo: Lockheed Martin The U.S. military is already using, or fast developing, a wide range of technologies meant to give troops what California Polytechnic State University researcher Patrick Lin calls “mutant powers.” But the risk, ethics and policy issues arising out of these so-called “military human enhancements” — including drugs, special nutrition, electroshock, gene therapy and robotic implants and prostheses — are poorly understood, Lin and his colleagues Maxwell Mehlman and Keith Abney posit in a new report for The Greenwall Foundation (.pdf), scheduled for wide release tomorrow. If we don’t, we could find ourselves in big trouble down the road. “With military enhancements and other technologies, the genie’s already out of the bottle: the benefits are too irresistible, and the military-industrial complex still has too much momentum,” Lin says in an e-mail. The ethical concerns certainly have precedent.

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