Fri. Feb 28th, 2020

The Art of Thinking Clearly – Index

Have you ever…

  • Invested time in something that, with hindsight, just wasn’t worth it?
  • Overpaid in an eBay auction?
  • Continued doing something you knew was bad for you?
  • Sold stocks too late, or too early?
  • Taken credit for success, but blamed failure on external circumstances?

These are examples of cognitive biases, simple errors we all make in our day-to-day thinking. But by knowing what they are and how to spot them, we can avoid them and make better choices – whether dealing with a personal problem or a business negotiation; trying to save money or making money; working out what we do or don’t want in life – and making sure we get it.

Simple, clear and always surprising, it will change the way you think – at home, at work, everyday.

Introduction

01.) Survivorship Bias – WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT CEMETERIES

02.) Swimmer’s Body Illusion – DOES HARVARD MAKE YOU SMARTER?

03.) Clustering Illusion – WHY YOU SEE SHAPES IN THE CLOUDS

04.) Social Proof – IF 50 MILLION PEOPLE SAY SOMETHING FOOLISH, IT IS STILL FOOLISH

05.) Sunk Cost Fallacy – WHY YOU SHOULD FORGET THE PAST

06.) Reciprocity – DON’T ACCEPT FREE DRINKS

07.) Confirmation Bias (Part 1) – BEWARE THE ‘SPECIAL CASE’

08.) Confirmation Bias (Part 2) – MURDER YOUR DARLINGS

09.) Authority Bias – DON’T BOW TO AUTHORITY

10.) Contrast Effect – LEAVE YOUR SUPERMODEL FRIENDS AT HOME

11.) Availability Bias – WHY WE PREFER A WRONG MAP TO NO MAP AT ALL

12.) The It’ll-Get-Worse-Before-It-Gets-Better Fallacy – WHY ‘NO PAIN, NO GAIN’ SHOULD SET ALARM BELLS RINGING

13.) Story Bias – EVEN TRUE STORIES ARE FAIRYTALES

14.) Hindsight Bias – WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP A DIARY

15.) Overconfidence Effect – WHY YOU SYSTEMATICALLY OVERESTIMATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES

16.) Chauffeur Knowledge – DON’T TAKE NEWS ANCHORS SERIOUSLY

17.) Illusion of Control – YOU CONTROL LESS THAN YOU THINK

18.) Incentive Super-Response Tendency – NEVER PAY YOUR LAWYER BY THE HOUR

19.) Regression to Mean – THE DUBIOUS EFFICACY OF DOCTORS, CONSULTANTS AND PSYCHOTHERAPISTS

20.) Outcome Bias – NEVER JUDGE A DECISION BY ITS OUTCOME

21.) The Paradox of Choice – LESS IS MORE

22.) Liking Bias – YOU LIKE ME, YOU REALLY REALLY LIKE ME

23.) Endowment Effect – DON’T CLING TO THINGS

24.) Coincidence – THE INEVITABILITY OF UNLIKELY EVENTS

25.) Groupthink – THE CALAMITY OF CONFORMITY

26.) Neglect of Probability – WHY YOU’LL SOON BE PLAYING MEGATRILLIONS

27.) Scarcity Error – WHY THE LAST COOKIE IN THE JAR MAKES YOUR MOUTH WATER

28.) Base-Rate Neglect – WHEN YOU HEAR HOOFBEATS, DON’T EXPECT A ZEBRA

29.) Gambler’s Fallacy – WHY THE ‘BALANCING FORCE OF THE UNIVERSE’ IS BALONEY

30.) The Anchor – WHY THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE MAKES OUR HEADS SPIN

31.) Induction – HOW TO RELIEVE PEOPLE OF THEIR MILLIONS

32.) Loss Aversion – WHY EVIL STRIKES HARDER THAN GOOD

33.) Social Loafing – WHY TEAMS ARE LAZY

34.) Exponential Growth – STUMPED BY A SHEET OF PAPER

35.) Winner’s Curse – CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM

36.) Fundamental Attribution Error – NEVER ASK A WRITER IF THE NOVEL IS AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL

37.) False Causality – WHY YOU SHOULDN’T BELIEVE IN THE STORK

38.) Halo Effect – EVERYONE IS BEAUTIFUL AT THE TOP

39.) Alternative Paths – CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’VE WON RUSSIAN ROULETTE

40.) Forecast Illusion – FALSE PROPHETS

41.) Conjunction Fallacy – THE DECEPTION OF SPECIFIC CASES

42.) Framing – IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAY, BUT HOW YOU SAY IT

43.) Action Bias – WHY WATCHING AND WAITING IS TORTURE

44.) Omission Bias – WHY YOU ARE EITHER THE SOLUTION – OR THE PROBLEM

45.) Self-Serving Bias – DON’T BLAME ME

46.) Hedonic Treadmill – BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

47.) Self-Selection Bias – DO NOT MARVEL AT YOUR EXISTENCE

48.) Association Bias – WHY EXPERIENCE CAN DAMAGE OUR JUDGEMENT

49.) Beginner’s Luck – BE WARY WHEN THINGS GET OFF TO A GREAT START

50.) Cognitive Dissonance – SWEET LITTLE LIES

51.) Hyperbolic Discounting – LIVE EACH DAY AS IF IT WERE YOUR LAST – BUT ONLY ON SUNDAYS

52.) ‘Because’ Justification – ANY LAME EXCUSE

53.) Decision Fatigue – DECIDE BETTER – DECIDE LESS

54.) Contagion Bias – WOULD YOU WEAR HITLER’S SWEATER?

55.) The Problem with Averages – WHY THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN AVERAGE WAR

56.) Motivation Crowding – HOW BONUSES DESTROY MOTIVATION

57.) Twaddle Tendency – IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, SAY NOTHING

58.) Will Rogers Phenomenon – HOW TO INCREASE THE AVERAGE IQ OF TWO STATES

59.) Information Bias – IF YOU HAVE AN ENEMY, GIVE HIM INFORMATION

60.) Effort Justification – HURTS SO GOOD

61.) The Law of Small Numbers – WHY SMALL THINGS LOOM LARGE

62.) Expectations – HANDLE WITH CARE

63.) Simple Logic – SPEED TRAPS AHEAD!

64.) Forer Effect – HOW TO EXPOSE A CHARLATAN

65.) Volunteer’s Folly – VOLUNTEER WORK IS FOR THE BIRDS

66.) Affect Heuristic – WHY YOU ARE A SLAVE TO YOUR EMOTIONS

67.) Introspection Illusion – BE YOUR OWN HERETIC

68.) Inability to Close Doors – WHY YOU SHOULD SET FIRE TO YOUR SHIPS

69.) Neomania – DISREGARD THE BRAND NEW

70.) Sleeper Effect – WHY PROPAGANDA WORKS

71.) Alternative Blindness – WHY IT’S NEVER JUST A TWO-HORSE RACE

72.) Social Comparison Bias – WHY WE TAKE AIM AT YOUNG GUNS

73.) Primacy and Recency Effects – WHY FIRST IMPRESSIONS DECEIVE

74.) Not-Invented-Here Syndrome – WHY YOU CAN’T BEAT HOME-MADE

75.) The Black Swan – HOW TO PROFIT FROM THE IMPLAUSIBLE

76.) Domain Dependence – KNOWLEDGE IS NON-TRANSFERABLE

77.) False-Consensus Effect – THE MYTH OF LIKE-MINDEDNESS

78.) Falsification of History – YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG

79.) In-Group Out-Group Bias – WHY YOU IDENTIFY WITH YOUR FOOTBALL TEAM

80.) Ambiguity Aversion – THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RISK AND UNCERTAINTY

81.) Default Effect – WHY YOU GO WITH THE STATUS QUO

82.) Fear of Regret – WHY ‘LAST CHANCES’ MAKE US PANIC

83.) Salience Effect – HOW EYE-CATCHING DETAILS RENDER US BLIND

84.) House-Money Effect – WHY MONEY IS NOT NAKED

85.) Procrastination – WHY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS DON’T WORK

86.) Envy – BUILD YOUR OWN CASTLE

87.) Personification – WHY YOU PREFER NOVELS TO STATISTICS

88.) Illusion of Attention – YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE OVERLOOKING

89.) Strategic Misrepresentation – HOT AIR

90.) Overthinking – WHERE’S THE OFF SWITCH?

91.) Planning Fallacy – WHY YOU TAKE ON TOO MUCH

92.) Déformation Professionnelle – THOSE WIELDING HAMMERS SEE ONLY NAILS

93.) Zeigarnik Effect – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

94.) Illusion of Skill – THE BOAT MATTERS MORE THAN THE ROWING

95.) Feature-Positive Effect – WHY CHECKLISTS DECEIVE YOU

96.) Cherry-picking – DRAWING THE BULL’S-EYE AROUND THE ARROW

97.) Fallacy of the Single Cause – THE STONE-AGE HUNT FOR SCAPEGOATS

98.) Intention-To-Treat Error – SPEED DEMONS MAKE SAFE DRIVERS

99.) News Illusion – WHY YOU SHOULDN’T READ THE NEWS

Epilogue

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