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

Creative Problem Solving: from complex challenge to innovative solution

Even if you usually excel at finding solutions, there will be times when it seems that there’s no obvious answer to a problem. It could be that you’re facing a unique challenge that you’ve never needed to overcome before. You could feel overwhelmed because of a new context in which everything seems to be foreign, … 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

The false compromise fallacy: why the middle ground is not always the best

Picture this: you are having a debate with a colleague regarding the best next steps for a complex project. You both have been presenting your arguments, the tone is friendly, but you cannot seem to agree on the best way forward. So you decide to find a middle ground. Sounds reasonable enough, right? Well, it’s … Read More

The dangers of apophenia: not everything happens for a reason

Humans love patterns. Sometimes that’s helpful, but other times… Not so much. Apophenia is the common tendency to detect patterns that do not exist. Also known as “patternicity”, apophenia occurs when we try to make predictions, or seek answers, based on unrelated events. Apophenia can lead to poor decision-making. For instance, many people choose their … Read More

Weak arguments and how to spot them

We consume an inordinate amount of information, whether it’s blog posts, podcasts, social media content, online videos — a constant stream of data and claims we need to process and assess. When you are pressed for time, how can you quickly tell the difference between a strong argument and a weak argument, and why does … Read More

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