The Cobra Effect: how linear thinking leads to unintended consequences

Have you ever tried to fix a problem, only to make things worse? That’s called the Cobra Effect—when an attempted solution results in unintended consequences. Because most of our cause-to-effect experiences involve very simple, direct relationships, we tend to think in terms of linear chain of events. But the world is much more complex than … Read More

How to make better decisions with second-level thinking

It’s easy to get carried away when making a decision. We look at the current situation and extrapolate what we consider to be the most likely future outcome. What we often fail to consider, though, are the complex ramifications of the decisions we make. For example, you’re feeling hungry. The fast and easy decision would … Read More

The affliction of abundance: FOBO or the fear of a better option

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a term that has become common in everyday language and has permeated most corners of our popular culture. I wrote a long article about the phenomenon and its alternative, JOMO—the joy of missing out. But the author who coined the term FOMO, Patrick J. McGinnis, recently warned people … Read More

The science of decision making: why smart people do dumb things

Chocolate or vanilla? Trello or Jira? Atom or VS Code? Stay in or go out? Should I click on this link or not? We make thousands of choices everyday, often automatically, using mental shortcuts we have created over years of experience. Decision making is the process we use to identify and choose alternatives, producing a … Read More