Snippets from The Science of Story

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The cure for the horror is story We know how this ends. You’re going to die and so will everyone you love. And then there will be heat. All the change in the universe will cease, the stars will die. And there will be nothing left of anything but infinite dead freezing void. Human life, in all its noise and … Read More

Groups are naturally extreme

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Again, from Dan Gardner’s book Risk: β€œWhat happens when people who share a belief get together to discuss it?  Psychologists know the answer to that and it’s not pretty.  They call it group polarisation. It seems reasonable to think that when like-minded people get together to discuss a proposed hazardous waste site, or the breast implants they believe are making … Read More

How information can harm decisions

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Additional knowledge of the minutiae of daily life can be not just useless, but actually harmful to us when we make decisions. From thinking to iterating Last June, Alex Iskold wrote a piece about the new age of continual partial attention: There will never be less information, there will always be more of it. Much more. The sooner we recognize … Read More

Cognitive Bias

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Wade‘s put together a nice list of 26 common cognitive biases. Bandwagon effect – the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink, herd behaviour, and manias. Carl Jung pioneered the idea of the collective unconscious which is considered by Jungian psychologists to be responsible for this cognitive bias. Bias … Read More