The Abilene paradox: When not rocking the boat may sink the boat

Have you ever found yourself in a brainstorming session at work, where everyone ends up agreeing on a less-than-ideal course of action? The Abilene paradox describes this unfortunately common situation where a group of people agree to an idea, despite most of them not fully believing that it is the best decision. Although it may … Read More

Reopening the mind: how cognitive closure kills creative thinking

Finding answers is a highly-valued skill in today’s world, where more than ever knowledge is power. We pride ourselves in quickly resolving issues and creating consensus. In job descriptions, companies clearly state that they are looking for problem solvers. But what if this single-mindedness blinds us to more creative answers? What would happen if we … Read More

How to overwrite your cognitive scripts

Although we think we are fully aware and in control of our everyday decisions, we actually often follow a series of cognitive scripts. These cognitive scripts often develop in childhood and are personal to you. However, as they are commonly based on a sequence of events that we expect to occur in given situations, many … Read More

Novelty fallacy: why new isn’t always better

The most recent smartphone, the latest tool, the hottest trend… Humans are naturally attracted to novelty, whether it’s new objects or new ideas. In the modern world, our desire to be on the cutting edge of technology only exacerbates the appeal of adopting the newest innovations. However, there is danger in blindly embracing something new … Read More

Fear setting: an exercise to define and conquer your fears

Fear is unavoidable, especially when attempting to accomplish an important goal or embarking on a new project that requires you to take risks. However, fear doesn’t need to become a source of unmanageable stress and anxiety. A simple method called “fear setting” will help you to define your fears so that you can embrace them … Read More

Availability bias: the tendency to use information that easily comes to mind

As humans, our ability to make the right decisions is limited by the many constraints of our mind. One such constraint is the availability bias — our tendency to make judgments based on previous experiences that are easily recalled. When some piece of information is easily brought to mind, we incorrectly assume that it’s an … Read More

Cognitive bottlenecks: the inherent limits of the thinking mind

The “thinking mind” is the part of the mind that seeks to make sense of the world; it analyses situations, imagines scenarios, evaluates solutions, and tells stories. It’s an inherent aspect of what makes us human. However, it’s limited by multiple cognitive bottlenecks. Why does it matter? Because these cognitive bottlenecks limit how much information … Read More

Present bias: how instant gratification impacts your long-term goals

How many times have you heard the phrases “live for the moment”, “you only live once”, or “seize the day”? This advice may sound great for adding some spontaneity to your life, but seizing short-term opportunities can lead you to settle for a small present reward rather than wait for a larger future reward. This … Read More