Psychologists uncover a new self-serving bias – if it’s my theory, it must be true If you look at the research literature on self-serving biases, it’s little surprise that critical thinking – much needed in today’s world – is such … Continue reading The SPOT Effect
Why facts don’t change our minds In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed … Continue reading Reason as an adaptation
Is Social Media Disconnecting Us From the Big Picture? Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that Donald Trump could be elected president, but I was. I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan, two of the most liberal places in … Continue reading The cognitive traps of social media
Why do people make bad decisions? ‘Information avoidance’ can explain Investors avoid looking at their financial portfolios when the stock market falls. People at risk of health conditions neglect to take medical tests even when they are free. Voters avoid … Continue reading Are you bad at decision-making?
Yes, I’d lie to you When Donald Trump, the Republican presidential hopeful, claimed recently that President Barack Obama “is the founder” of Islamic State and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, the “co-founder”, even some of his supporters were perplexed. Surely … Continue reading The era of post-truth politics
The mistrust of science If this place has done its job—and I suspect it has—you’re all scientists now. Sorry, English and history graduates, even you are, too. Science is not a major or a career. It is a commitment to … Continue reading How hard is to be a scientist
The Liberal Blind Spot Classic liberalism exalted tolerance, reflected in a line often (and probably wrongly) attributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” On university campuses, … Continue reading The benefits of diversity