We have more information at our fingertips than ever before… but this doesn’t mean we’re making better decisions. From DNA analysis to political debates to fantasy football, our desire to confirm our beliefs skews how we interpret the data in front of us.
When it comes to food, presentation and taste are connected: the eyes eat first. The science suggests we apply a similar idea to people: attractive people are seen as smarter, kinder, more moral, and so on. It’s called the attractiveness halo.
What’s more likely: death by shark attack, or death by lightning strike? Most people choose the wrong answer. Why? It’s the availability bias—our tendency to assume that events that come easily to mind must be more common or true.
In a groundbreaking study, sociologist Devah Pager showed that being Black hurts an applicant’s chances of being hired just as much as a felony conviction. What do decisions based on gut instincts mean for the survival of a business?
Voices are more than just sounds; they’re auditory “faces” that can give clues to who we are. But are these clues always accurate? How might accents skew our decision-making?
We like to think we use objective criteria to make our decisions. But what happens when we choose the person first, and then choose the standard that supports our decision?
Albert Einstein, we would say, is a genius. Yet we might say the same for a puppy that can open a cabinet to get her snacks. Sometimes it makes sense to shift our standards based on context. But are we raising and lowering the bar when we shouldn’t?
40 years ago, researchers found that patients with amnesia could form new memories… implicitly. This sparked an ongoing revolution in research on the hidden mind.
In Part 2, we explore the story of a small group of scientists, the test they developed to reveal implicit process of the mind, and how they harnessed the birth of the internet to share it with the world.
We work out, then pig out. We donate to charity, then indulge in retail therapy. Does this also happen with our good deeds? How can we avoid bringing our moral scorecards to the workplace?
We overvalue the things we own. This is fine when it’s a family keepsake or memento – but how does this influence the decisions we make about homes, investments, and more?
You perform well at work one day, but not the next. One person sees you as “warm”; another as “cold”. Maybe it’s just you – but could other people’s expectations be shaping your behavior?
Expectations help us quickly navigate our world. Yet they can also blind us to the simple solutions, talent, and opportunities that are right in front of us.