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The Barnum Effect: why we love astrology and personality tests

What do astrology, aura reading, fortune telling, cold reading, and some personality tests such as the MBTI have in common? They all exploit the Barnum Effect to convince people that the generated statements are personal to them. The statements are so vague, we interpret our own meaning, sometimes feeling in awe of their accuracy. “That’s so me!”…

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Procrastination is Contagious

Source: Time Management

Well, maybe it is not a newsflash.  I think we all know that you become like those that you hang out with. (Remember when your parents were concerned about you hanging out with a certain crowd in school?  Makes sense, doesn’t it?) It has been shown time and again that people adapt their habits and…

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Declinism: how rosy retrospection impacts decision-making

“It was better before,” says your friend. “Ha, those were the days,” your reply with a sigh. Declinism is the belief that societies tend towards decline, often linked with rosy retrospection—our tendency to view the past more favourably and the future more negatively. It may seem harmless, but declinism can cloud your judgement and lead…

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The Nirvana fallacy: when perfectionism leads to unrealistic solutions

“Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien” wrote Voltaire in 1772. The Nirvana fallacy consists in comparing existing solutions with ideal, perfect ones—which are often unrealistic. The Nirvana fallacy can lead to dangerous thinking and harmful decisions. Solutions that improve safety but do not completely eliminate a risk are often the victim of the Nirvana fallacy.…

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