The Representativeness Heuristic on Our Judgements
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Post No.: 0588   Furrywisepuppy says:   One of the most basic heuristics of ‘system one’ is to represent things in categories, with conceptions of norms and prototypical exemplars that things that belong to a particular category are perceived to … Read More

Signalling Theory and Displays of Fitness
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Post No.: 0584   Furrywisepuppy says:   ‘Signalling theory’ is about conveying signals to other individuals that, ostensibly, display one’s genetic fitness or some other desirable trait. The purpose could be for trying to gain a potential mate’s attention or … Read More

Our Preferences are Shaped by What Options are Presented
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Post No.: 0576   Furrywisepuppy says:   If our rule of thumb when uncertain is to just ‘pick the middle option’ then what we pick will logically be affected by what options are presented. So we might pick a wine … Read More

How We Come to Our Decisions
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Post No.: 0549   Furrywisepuppy says:   During decision conflicts, different cognitive networks are competing with each other – for example, reason versus emotion, satisfying our present versus our future desires, reading the word or the colour of the word … Read More

Tailor Your Arguments to Your Audience
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Post No.: 0537   Fluffystealthkitten says:   When you present your arguments and you want to motivate action from others – choosing the right framing for the audience in front of you is crucial. How are your arguments directly relevant … Read More

Base Rates, Base Rate Neglect and Bayesian Thinking
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Post No.: 0526   Furrywisepuppy says:   Firstly some definitions – the base rate, prevalence or prior probability (which term gets used depends on the context) is the probability of some thing or event occurring, such as the percentage of … Read More

Introverts, Shyness and the Spotlight Effect
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Post No.: 0519   Furrywisepuppy says:   The modern world tends to reward extroverts with more fame than introverts, even though it’s the introverts behinds the scenes who mostly make the modern world happen as they work on their computers … Read More

The Misattribution of Sources, Memories and Emotions
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Post No.: 0510   Furrywisepuppy says:   We often focus on a fact or story whilst ignoring the source of that fact (or ‘fact’) or story, even though the source will help tell us the reliability of it. We could … Read More

Comparing Things and Relative Judgements
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Post No.: 0506   Furrywisepuppy says:   We judge things by comparing things – particularly by comparing things with other things that are currently being brought to mind. We don’t (and in many cases can’t) make true absolute or objective … Read More

Our Current Decisions are Shaped by What’s Currently on Our Minds
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Post No.: 0497   Furrywisepuppy says:   Primes and whatever we happen to be currently thinking about affect our decisions, while anything we fail to currently consider or recall won’t. This should be obvious e.g. if we’re vegan and we’ve … Read More

The Joys and Woes of Emotions and Feelings
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Post No.: 0488   Furrywisepuppy says:   According to some definitions, an ‘emotion’ is an external expression of an inner state that occurs typically without/before awareness in response to a stimulus; whereas a ‘feeling’ is an experience of being in … Read More

Try Your Best to Convince Me!
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Post No.: 0481   Fluffystealthkitten says:   I’m going to present here a random array of cognitive effects and tricks that might help improve your ability to convince or persuade others in various contexts. Post No.: 0078 also presented a … Read More

Naïve Realism and Perceiving the World Objectively
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Post No.: 0471   Furrywisepuppy says:   When you know what the lyrics to a muffled phrase in a song are, or the words of a messily handwritten letter are, then those words will seem more crystal clear to you. … Read More

How to Better Tell When People are Lying
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Post No.: 0454   Furrywisepuppy says:   Common tactics that people might use if they’re lying or want to conceal the truth include – wasting your time or trying to buy time (e.g. by questioning the question that’s just been … Read More

Oversimplistic Heuristics or Rules of Thumb
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Post No.: 0448   Fluffystealthkitten says:   Humans operate on some basic and reasonably predictable instincts that primarily evolved long before the species created this modern world. We can essentially break human behaviour down into a number of heuristics that … Read More

The Identifiable Victim Effect
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Post No.: 0437   Furrywisepuppy says:   The ‘identifiable victim effect’ is the tendency to respond more strongly towards a single identifiable person at risk than towards a large group of unidentifiable people at risk.   When we choose where … Read More

Social Proofs and Following the Herd
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Post No.: 0431   Furrywisepuppy says:   Especially in ambiguous or unfamiliar social settings, we tend to look for ‘social proofs’, follow the herd and copy the actions of others in an attempt to reflect the appropriate behaviour or social … Read More

Senses and Sensory Reality
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Post No.: 0419   Furrywisepuppy says:   Reality is an illusion constructed inside your own brain. Everything you perceive is down to a personal interpretation, based on your own genes combined with your own personal present and importantly past experiences … Read More

A Nudge in the Right Direction
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Post No.: 0414   Furrywisepuppy says:   Education evidently isn’t enough sometimes to get people to do what’s good for them. For example, there are many health professionals who don’t even lead healthy lifestyles when they obviously know what they … Read More

How To Be a Better Judge of Character
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Post No.: 0410   Furrywisepuppy says:   Everybody’s got a personality or character unless they’re dead! So what most people (narrow-mindedly) mean when they think someone ‘lacks personality’ is that they lack an ‘outgoing’ character. It’s like everybody has a … Read More

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