Definition: Characterised by weakness of will resulting in action against one's better judgement. Should you watch just one more episode of Game of Thrones before bed, or have that extra piece of pie? Probably not. Drug addicts, gamblers, hedge fund managers. You and me. We’re all akratic, to varying degrees. We’re all swimming through a [...]
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Numbers are tricky. Some are too big to think about—like the ‘googol’ (10 to the power of 100), which has so many digits (101) that storing it in our heads would hypothetically turn our brains into a black hole. Even for fathomable numbers, our brains are hardwired to process them like sensory information. Instinctively, but [...]
I created fake news. Completely innocently. But once an idea is formed, an effect known as the confirmation bias makes it hard for people to change their minds.
If content is written in 'familiar terms', will people trust it more?
Metaphors are all around you, and they might be the key to how humans manage to learn so quickly. They’re also exploited by advertisers, who can seed ideas because humans think associatively.
Do you ever get the feeling that there’s a lot more going on in the world then you can get at? Articles that are 'all tip and no iceberg'?
None of us are safe from the anchoring bias. The way we reason is coloured by our experiences, our parents' experiences, where we live, what we do. And little behavioural shortcuts are hardwired into our brains—these might help us make quicker decisions, but they don’t help us make better ones. One of them is the [...]
I've been having a lively conversation with my friend Kevin, around the merits of certain grammatical rules. I seemed to have ended up in the descriptivist camp, while Kevin is representing the prescriptivists. Of course, the delineation is never that simple. I think there's more of a spectrum, with 'do whatever you want' at one [...]