The art and science of abstract thinking

What is something we only become capable of doing after age eleven, that helps us solve complex problems and write poetry, but needs to be yielded carefully? That’s abstract thinking, a powerful tool for creativity and innovation which anyone can learn how to use better. The difference between concrete and abstract thinking Concrete thinking is …

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Attentional bias: the invisible puppeteer behind our decisions

Most people feel that, within the constraints they need to navigate, they are in control of their decisions. But we often automatically follow a train of thought or an external cue without noticing the selective factors in our attention. This phenomenon is called the attentional bias, and it affects many of the decisions we make. …

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Redefining knowledge management with Kevin Lin, founder of Dendron

Welcome to this edition of our Tools for Thought series, where we interview founders on a mission to help us think better and become more creative and productive. Kevin Lin is the founder of Dendron, a lightning fast, open source personal knowledge management tool that lives in your integrated development environment. Dendron uses schemas and …

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Authority bias: when we irrationally trust the judgement of experts

Whether it’s a doctor, a financial advisor, or a manager, we sometimes apply whatever an authority figure tells us to do, despite knowing that their recommended approach is inefficient, wrong, and potentially even dangerous. Why is that? One explanation is the authority bias. The authority bias is our tendency to be more influenced by the …

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The impact of the ambiguity effect on decision-making

When something is described as ambiguous, it means that it is confusing, unclear, or open to different interpretations. Entrepreneurs face ambiguous situations all the time; it’s the nature of the business. For example, entrepreneurs make decisions about pricing, marketing, vendors, and finances that don’t have certain outcomes. In addition, entrepreneurs often have to make choices …

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Functional fixedness: when we stick to what we know

Surely, a knife is made for cutting things. And you can only use a cotton swab to clean your ears — right? Functional fixedness is a form of cognitive bias which makes us automatically narrow down the function of each tool. Although functional fixedness offers great mental shortcuts, it can present barriers to working to …

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The science of eureka moments

A eureka moment is that magical epiphany when the solution to a problem seems to appear out of nowhere. Also known as an “Aha!” moment, little beats the sudden clarity you feel at solving a puzzle or finally understanding a previously unfathomable concept. Eureka moments can lead to creative discoveries, the triumphant completion of a …

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The rise of fake scientists

Yesterday at lunch time, while I was sipping tea and casually going through Instagram stories to see what my friends were up to (not the best kind of work break, but we are human after all), I was shown an advert for a website I had never heard about before. It’s called Gaia, and it …

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Building a healthier internet with Jeremy Hurst, co-founder of Idenati

FEATURED TOOL Welcome to this edition of our tools for thought series, where we interview founders of companies on a mission to help you live, work, and think better. Jeremy Hurst is the co-founder of a software company called Idenati, started in 2019 as a side project at first. On the surface, Idenati helps people …

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