This intriguing new study looks at the ways our cognitive biases distort our views of memory–and our predictions about our own ability to remember. It explores both the ease-of-processing heuristic (which I call the fluency heuristic in On Second Thought) and the stability bias.
I made it into Vampires Daily! Now I truly can retire . . .
Here is a short excerpt from On Second Thought’s chapter on the Whodunit Heuristic that relates to conflicted emotions over killing Osama bin Laden: “Questions of justice and punishment grow out of moral heuristics. Fiery Cushman of Harvard gives this example: Two friends are drinking at a local bar all afternoon, and they drive home… Read more
Here is a terrific Op-Ed piece from yesterday’s New York Times on how demeaning hospital nurses takes a psychological toll that in turn leads to increased risk of treatment mistakes. The author, an oncology nurse named Theresa Brown, does not use the phrase “stereotype threat,” but that is in essence what she’s describing. Much of… Read more
Here is an interesting review of On Second Thought in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. You must cut through a bit of academic jargon–the core idea is “social automaticity”–but the review offers some keen insights into the once adaptive nature of heuristics. It also points to the potential use of heuristics in forensic psychology.
CNN Health put together a health psychology offering for Moms, and kindly included a short mention of On Second Thought. Here it is. That’s my Mom in her youth.
I’ve done a fair number of interviews about On Second Thought and the general subject of irrational, heuristic thinking, but this one by Time‘s Maia Szalavitz is one of the most thorough and insightful ones. Szalavitz, a blogger for the Healthland site, even explores the connection between heuristic thinking and addiction and recovery–a subject we… Read more
The Mimicry Heuristic is our deep-wired tendency to make decisions and judgments based on strong connections–psychological and physiological–with others. Some of these decisions may be advantageous, and others dangerous–but there is no question that we do not operate as completely free agents in the world. Here is some fascinating new evidence, reported in today’s New… Read more