Jan 07, 2019 12:28:56

Cognitive Ease

by @yaki | 276 words | 🐣 | 59💌


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You're more likely to believe the sentence "a chicken with four legs" vs. "a chicken with three legs". Both are actually wrong. Chickens have only two feet.

Moreover, you'll believe more that someone has blonde hair than brown hair when that person is from Europe, even though there are people from the west who are brunette.

This is all a product of cognitive ease which is produced by the illusion of familiarity, what feels good, what's easier, or even when you are in good mood.

When you are exposed as well to repeated words, you're more likely to remember and believe them to be true than other blurry words or words written in poor fonts.

Another example is when you don't know the answer to a question, you go by what feels familiar or what makes more sense to be true. You are not alone. Our brain is aversive to mental effort as much as possible, so we go by what feels easy and familiar; although what feels familiar can be nothing but real illusion.

How does this affect us?

In decision making, cognitive ease can be harmful especially when we always believe the first conclusion we come up with. Thus, it's important that we develop logic in analyzing problems, so that we can make better decisions. Yes, it might be hard as it requires you to think, but that's what the brain is designed for anyway.

If you are interested to know more about this topic, grab Daniel Kahneman's book called, "Thinking fast and slow." Not only you will learn the common thinking errors we make, but you'll also be in a great company. 

  • 1

    @yaki I hear so many great things about this book, and I have it and started it twice and just can't seem to get momentum going. It's still on my shelf, and I'm waiting for a time when I'm ready to dive back in. It is interesting to contrast cognitive biases with the notion that more experience is supposed to make you better at something. I suppose it depends on the something. For example, more experience driving makes you a better driver. Those biases can help you prevent accidents.

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Jan 07, 2019 12:40:23
    • 1

      @brandonwilson haha I feel you. Actually, I haven't yet finished reading it. I still have a lot of pages left. Nonetheless, the book really provides you a lot of insights!

      And yes, you are right, more experience in driving can make you a better driver indeed, but it does not apply that just because someone is a better driver, he won't be or make any car accidents.

      Yaki avatar Yaki | Jan 10, 2019 02:55:07
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