Why do we need to be right?

One of the most prevalent phenomena in our collective psyche is the need to be right. Pundits debate their views of climate change and political conflicts on television, we have arguments with friends as to who said what, and we often triumphantly proclaim: “I told you so!” This phenomenon starts early. From a very young …

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Jootsing: the art of jumping out of the system

“Constraints breed creativity” is such a popular principle, it has become a design trope. Think outside the box, they say. Rather than just thinking outside the box, “jootsing” is about destroying the box or completely ignoring its existence. The term was coined by Douglas Hofstadter, an American scholar of cognitive science, physics, and comparative literature. …

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Emotional fitness and leadership with Dr. Emily Anhalt

Welcome to a new edition of our interview series, where we ask researchers, creators, and entrepreneurs questions about how to make the most of our mind. Very excited to welcome Dr. Emily Anhalt, clinical psychologist, emotional fitness expert, speaker, author, and co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Coa, the world’s first “gym for the mind”. …

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5 thinking tools to add to your metacognitive toolbox

Developing metacognitive skills is essential to being productive while taking care of your mental health. While some tools such as journaling or the Eisenhower matrix are already well known, there are other tools borrowed from the world of education. Here are five thinking tools you can add to your metacognitive toolbox. 1. Bloom’s taxonomy of …

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The butterfly effect: the impact of deterministic chaos on our lives

The butterfly effect teaches us to ackowledge the chaotic nature of life, to be mindful of our starting conditions, to generate the best catalysts to achieve our goals, and to constantly adjust our forecast. What do predicting the weather, studying cognitive processes, and starting a war have in common? They all require to take into …

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The difference between efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency

Efficacy, effectiveness, efficiency… These terms sound confusingly similar. Commonly used in medical research, project management, and decision science, they are often mixed up in everyday conversations. If you’re in a hurry, here’s the difference: Efficacy means getting things done Effectiveness means doing the right things Efficiency means doing things right Sounds confusing? Don’t worry, I …

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Inductive versus deductive reasoning: how to make stronger arguments

Most scientists agree: it’s impossible to prove the truth. However, by using inductive and deductive reasoning, we can get closer. While both are based on evidence, they provide two different ways of solving problems, making decisions, and evaluating facts. But before we take a closer look at the difference between inductive versus deductive reasoning, what …

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Lethologica: what happens when a word is on the tip of the tongue

“Wait, I swear, I know this!” you say. “Give me a second, it’s on the tip of my tongue… Does it start with a K? Maybe a C?” You feel like you are just about to remember, but somehow the memory feels stuck in your mouth. This is the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, also known as lethologica. …

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Memory bias: how selective recall can impact your memories

How many times have you forgotten where you left your keys? What about your friend who always seems to make up events that never happened? Do you ever struggle to remember someone’s name? Don’t worry—you’re not the only one. Our memory is far from perfect, and the memory bias effect doesn’t help. A memory bias …

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Exaggeration: why we make a mountain out of a molehill

In French, we have an expression to describe a situation where someone makes too much of a minor issue: “C’est une tempête dans un verre d’eau.” It’s a storm in a glass of water. Funnily enough, British people talk about a storm in a teacup, and American people talk about a tempest in a teapot. …

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