How developing mental immunity can protect us from bad ideas

Every day, a new video goes “viral”, and an “infectious” idea starts spreading. Mental immunity is a psychological theory that is also known as cognitive immunology. With origins dating back 70 years, this field of research is based on the premise that not only is there an immune system for the body, but an immune … Read More

Your circle of competence: should you stick within it or step outside of it?

Should you stick to what you know, or is it wiser to broaden your abilities? Some people may tell you to only take on projects that fall within your circle of competence, while others will advise you to get out of your comfort zone. Who’s right? The circle of competence model states that everyone has … Read More

Unbounded learning: how to unshackle your education

While bounded learning is based on a fixed curriculum with specific educational outcomes, unbounded learning embraces the never-ending cycle of personal growth generated by continuous education. It is based on strategies and tools that avoid unnecessary direction and restriction, that foster curiosity, and that reward exploring adjacent questions. Today’s world offers many opportunities for unbounded … Read More

Selective ignorance: cultivating intentional knowledge in a chaotic world

Have you ever found yourself aimlessly scrolling online, then feeling guilty about the wasted time? Twelve years ago, the Webster’s New World Dictionary—which is the official dictionary used by the Associated Press and many leading newspapers such as the New York Times—selected “selective ignorance” as a candidate for the word of the year. (it lost … Read More

Hindsight bias: the knew-it-all-along phenomenon

Historians and physicians alike are constantly fighting an invisible beast: the hindsight bias, also known as creeping determinism, which is the tendency for people to perceive past outcomes as having been more predictable than they actually were. Linked to distortions of our memories, the hindsight bias causes us to think we knew how an event … Read More

The curse of knowledge

Have you ever had a teacher who was very smart, but also terrible at actual teaching? An expert who used so much jargon you could not quite follow their explanation? This is called the “curse of knowledge”, a term coined in 1989 by economists Colin Camerer, George Loewenstein, and Martin Weber. It’s a cognitive bias … Read More