Our Limited Attention and Mental Resources
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Post No.: 0220   Furrywisepuppy says:   We all have limited attentional resources – so we can do several things at once but only if they’re all very undemanding and simple intuitive tasks or tasks we’re specifically skilled at doing. … Read More

The Placebo and Nocebo Effects
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Post No.: 0213   Furrywisepuppy says:   A ‘placebo’ is something, whether a compound, procedure or other thing, that brings about a beneficial psychological (and therefore possibly physiological) effect for a patient, that cannot be attributed to the therapeutic worth … Read More

A Primer on the Effects of Priming
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Post No.: 0194   Furrywisepuppy says:   ‘Priming’ has been mentioned before within several previous posts already, so we’ll explore a bit more about this psychological technique or effect…   Priming involves exposing people to a prior stimulus, such as … Read More

Liar, Liar, Smelly Pants on Fire
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Post No.: 0183   Furrywisepuppy says:   Just about every person has told lies before, at least small lies, and if you deny that you have then you’re lying right now or you’re extremely good at deceiving even yourself! Sometimes … Read More

More About Our Systematic Errors
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Post No.: 0177   Furrywisepuppy says:   This post expands on Post No.: 0057 regarding our fast, automatic and effortless ‘system one’ or intuitions, and our slow, deliberate and effortful ‘system two’ or conscious analyses…   Systems one and two … Read More

Cognitive Dissonance and Confirmation Bias
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Post No.: 0166   Furrywisepuppy says:   If you’ve been reading the posts in this blog consecutively, you’ve probably noticed that cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias have been mentioned several times before in previous posts, so I’d like to offer … Read More

The Availability Heuristic on Our Perceptions of Risk
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Post No.: 0157   Furrywisepuppy says:   The ‘availability heuristic’ is the process of judging the size of a category or frequency of an event by the ease or fluency in which specific instances of it come to mind (e.g. … Read More

We’re Not Aware of How Much Gets Past Our Conscious Minds
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Post No.: 0148   Furrywisepuppy says:   A personal self-monitoring and self-control of our biases shouldn’t be relied upon (well there’s the bias of believing that one has gotten one’s own biases under control or that biases mainly affect other … Read More

Challenging People’s Beliefs Can Often Backfire
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Post No.: 0127   Fluffystealthkitten says:   As you probably know very well from personal experience – trying to debunk another person’s deeply-held beliefs is often fraught with dangers. It can sometimes backfire, and backfire spectacularly. It’s like trying to … Read More

Our Expectations Can Override Our Senses
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Post No.: 0121   Furrywisepuppy says:   Our expectations and preconceptions can shape or override our sensory data. For example, in experiments, unless there are glaring differences in taste between two different wines, the higher-priced wine will be deemed more … Read More

Body Language and Non-Verbal Communication
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Post No.: 0099   Furrywisepuppy says:   Whereas mathematical symbolic language must be precise (e.g. ‘A > B’ should mean nothing else except ‘the value of A is greater than the value of B’) – everyday language can often be … Read More

Collective Wisdom or the Wisdom of the Crowd
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Post No.: 0090   Furrywisepuppy says:   The ‘wisdom of the crowd’ or ‘collective wisdom’ works when individuals may greatly over-estimate or greatly under-estimate answers to a question, such as ‘how heavy is this cow?’, and therefore if the sample … Read More

We Only Trust Our Instincts if We Have Nothing Better to Trust
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Post No.: 0085   Furrywisepuppy says:   Instincts (or intuitions, gut feelings, hunches or whatever you want to call them) and other effortless, unconscious mental heuristic processes have their benefits for sure e.g. when we truly only have a literal … Read More

A Few Mental Shortcuts Used in Persuasion
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Post No.: 0078   Furrywisepuppy says:   You’d think everyone would consider all the information presented to them and then make rational decisions based on this information, but people tend to actually rely on a few mental shortcuts…   Reciprocity … Read More

The Vast Majority of Us Think We are Above Average
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Post No.: 0073   Furrywisepuppy says:   Research on this area has mostly been in ‘Western’ countries so cultural differences may or may not present different data but, relative to other people concerning many desirable traits, most people think they’re … Read More

The Cognitive Processes of ‘System One’ and ‘System Two’
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Post No.: 0057   Furrywisepuppy says:   In the context of psychology, and first coined by behavioural economists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky – ‘system one’ (or ‘type one’) processes describe our fast, automatic and effortless subconscious or unconscious instincts … Read More

Trying to Measure People’s Personalities
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Post No.: 0038   Furrywisepuppy says:   For a long time now, many psychologists have used a certain model or framework to assess people’s personalities. The ‘big five’ broad dimensions of personality in this model are – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, … Read More

The Bias Blind Spot of Believing We’re Not Biased
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Post No.: 0019   Furrywisepuppy says:   Human cognitive biases explain so much about human social squabbles, divisions and conflicts. They help explain why nearly everyone thinks they’re right and everyone who disagrees with oneself is wrong, why everyone thinks … Read More

Our Individual and Contextual Versions of Reality
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Post No.: 0008   Furrywisepuppy says:   Placing our eyes onto something is no guarantee of seeing, and hearing something is no guarantee of listening, for instance. And never mind that we may look but not see if we’re not … Read More

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