Vlad Griskevicius is a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota, whose research delves into the evolutionary bases of human decision-making. In the book The Rational Animal, he and I discuss a number of ways in which human decision-making falls short of the classical ideal of rationality, and instead often falls prey to simplistic biases left over from the caveman era. Those biases often served our ancestors well, but they are often mismatched to the demands of the modern world. In this light, Trump’s election may be just another example of human nature in action. Is this more or less comforting than simply wringing our hands about ignorance, irrationality, and chaos? It depends. It is useful to remind ourselves of the “naturalistic fallacy” – the misconception that calling something “natural” is also calling it “good.” Some natural phenomena, such as the song of mockingbird, the scent of a … [Read more...] about Why Hillary Clinton Won the Popular Vote
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For example, if you see or hear something about a $300,000 Ferrari and then encounter a $10 candy bar, you might be less likely to recognize that the candy bar is overpriced. Crazy as it seems, if I were to simply say or show you the numbers 500,000 and 800,000—with no context—and then a few minutes later asked you to estimate how many books there are in your local library, you likely would offer a higher number than if I had first exposed you to the numbers five and ten. It seems absurd, right? Welcome to your subconscious mind. When pressed for answers, it will use whatever it has to work with, relevance be damned. Many studies have confirmed this phenomenon. … [Read more...] about How Anchoring Bias Makes You Dumb
Commit to at least of month of your plan, preferably three. Why? Because it takes time to get used to the new change in your routine or the awkwardness of starting and learning something new. After the allotted time, step back and evaluate: Are you enjoying what you are doing? Do you need to make some adjustments? Do you need to keep the ends but change the means? And if you don’t like it, want to do something else? … [Read more...] about Have You Left Too Much of You Behind?
The big question now is what can be done to prevent such a tragedy from happening again? There will be a two people in the cockpit at all times rule, which is standard in the United States. There will be closer psychological screenings for pilots. But there will never be a 100 percent guarantee. However, for passengers flying the route the day following the tragedy, the humanity of another pilot apparently put passengers at ease. … [Read more...] about Loves Lost: One Troubled Pilot Brings Grieving to Many
I imagine that my social work colleagues are taught this history lesson—that animal abuse prevention and protection was established before any such prevention and protection for children—but I have never run across this fact in nursing education. Howard Markel, MD, professor of pediatrics, psychiatry, and the history of medicine at the University of Michigan wrote about this case in his NYT article, "Case Shined Light on Abuse of Children" (December 14, 2009). He concludes his article with the poignant reminder: … [Read more...] about Preventing Abuse: Children Came After Animals