This fascinating study is related to the Visceral Heuristics–the embodiment of ideas and emotions, discussed in Chapter 1 of On Second Thought. The scientists here document–with international and national data as well as lab experiments–that having an active lifestyle may be the single most important determinant of political engagement–voting, rallying, petitioning. Conversely, being a slug… Read more
In On Second Thought’s chapter on the Futuristic Heuristic, I discuss the George Bailey Effect, named after the main character in the Frank Capra movie It’s a Wonderful Life. In that story, the suicidal George regains hope by imagining how life would be without him. Here in the magazine Scientific American Mind is an article… Read more
There is a theory in psychology–called “fuzzy trace theory”–which argues that heuristic thinking can sometimes be advantageous, because it is vague and holistic and fast. Especially in relation to health numeracy–making sound health decisions–fuzzy thinking can keep us from over-thinking calculations of risk and benefit. Here is a fascinating example of how imprecise, heuristic thinking… Read more
Should all kids–college age or even younger–be required to learn how the human mind operates? So argues Tom Jacobs of Miller-McCune magazine, in this review of On Second Thought and Antonio Damasio’s Self Comes To Mind. Both books, Jacobs writes, “would make excellent, highly readable texts for such a course.”
The heuristic mind often confuses effort and time, so Christmas deadlines loom larger than they really are. Read about it in The Huffington Post.
It’s that time of year, when we take stock and try to make some changes. Here is a Self magazine article that mentions the scarcity heuristic as a tool for change.
IBM and the game show Jeopardy! announced this week that Watson–a computerized contestant long in the works–is ready to show its cognitive savvy on the air. For three consecutive nights starting February 14th, Watson will match wits with Ken Jennings–who won 74 games in a row, the longest streak ever–and Brad Rutter, who holds the… Read more