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The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational

George Dvorsky

January 10, 2013

The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn't mean our brains don't have major limitations. The lowly calculator can do math thousands of times better than we can, and our memories are often less than useless — plus, we're subject to cognitive biases, those annoying glitches in our thinking that cause us to make questionable decisions and reach erroneous conclusions.


Complete entry


Posted by Pastor_Alex  on  01/10  at  11:15 AM

Nice summary article of cognitive bias. The interesting thing for me is that even when a person is aware of the biases, they still operate. It is very hard to work past them. That means it is even more important to know and understand how our minds are not completely, or even mostly, under our control. It also means that it is especially important to be aware of the times when we are in the drivers seat so we don’t waste the opportunity.

Posted by b.  on  01/10  at  01:21 PM

1. That main lesson I got from Agre (whom we should all read) is that we are more routine than rational.

2. “The human brain is capable of 10^16 processes per second” *cough* a 1998 argument? What exactly is a process? How could you measure brain-bandwidth? If we talk “computations” rather than “processes” then what about the molecular processes in cells, what about glia and gap-junctions? We have no idea how much ‘processing’ power is in the brain, let alone whether “processing power” is even important. What is the processing power of a ocean? What about the sun?

I would be more careful about throwing around antiquated ideas about brain “processing”.

Posted by level headed  on  01/16  at  11:24 AM

i agree with B.  i would also like to add (from a formally uneducated sharp tool’s perception) that all of this is navigated by the ego.  to borrow from freud’s theory>>>  seems to me that human beings are driven by the id at all times.  that it definitely is a matter of *dealing with the juvenile two year old* in us all.  i observe the elderly becoming immature and back peddling in their behavior everyday in my quaint little job.  but, this isn’t bias to an age group alone.  seems those who *live in a bubble* and are allotted behaviors that clearly display they haven’t had to survive or play hard to survive >>reveals examples of dulled processes.  having said this it is VERY clear to me how each one of us are SO very different from the other.  maybe i am afforded the luxury of interacting with a wide range of human beings daily and through this simple opportunity, i have been able to sharpen my ego’s ability to navigate around some of these biases and fallacies.  i have always perceived my life as lucky and unlucky at the same time.  i struggle with the local colleges making MONEY rather than encouraging the molding of the smarter mouse with the best opportunity to represent the population when navigating through the educational maze establishing opportunity for the career labryrinth ahead.  i question everything about our educational systems in america and find it disturbing that EDUCATED people who holds degrees and are PROFESSORS willingly subscribe to these ‘machines’ destroying the best opportunity of establishing a great race. (forgive me ....but, i believe we are in a decline of the human race…. rather than the perception of the decline of ‘crime and violence’ theory)  you see, violence can be ‘perceived’ passive aggressive.  although you observe numbers and studies to disprove the perception of violence, it isn’t necessarily true. as we have become more aware of ourselves collectively, we also become a creature creating a more complicated ‘mouse trap’.  also, we should entertain the mere population increase and the evolution of tribes.  as well, it also becomes clear that the possibilities are endless concerning quantum physics and our perceptions related to these things which has great possiblities that has yet to be discovered.  smoke and mirrors that our brain processes perceive unconsciously or consciously>>>and how our brain processes it.  my point?  through my simple job which allows interaction with a large range of human beings daily has revealed to me how complicated we are.  that our urge to dissect ourselves and evaluate becomes our own tail chasing.    could you imagine putting every human action and reaction in the universe simultaneously occurring and the consequences of these events on a pie chart???  to evaluate and observe?  (do i smell smoke?)  LOL!!!  i wanted to put my two cents worth in because while i agree with B.  i also feel that this was a good read for the layman.  SURE!  it’s antiquated.  but, B….  get off your high and mighty blah blah blah blah and can it.  *rollzeyez*  your pride and arrogance is showing>>>> falling short of the glory of all your possiblities.  i won’t bother laying down any of the above biases before your feet representing the stones in which you are tripping over….  because then i would be committing my own tail chasing~    wink

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