1 of 11 : 10 Problems With How We Think
10 Problems With How We Think
Inherently Irrational

By nature, human beings are illogical and irrational. For most of our existence, survival meant thinking quickly, not methodically. Making a life-saving decision was more important than making a 100% accurate one, so the human brain developed an array of mental shortcuts.

Though not as necessary as they once were, these shortcuts -- called cognitive biases or heuristics -- are numerous and innate. Pervasive, they affect almost everything we do, from the choice of what to wear, to judgments of moral character, to how we vote in presidential elections. We can never totally escape them, but we can be more aware of them, and, just maybe, take efforts to minimize their influence.

Read on to learn about ten widespread faults with human thought.

(Image: Shutterstock)

Letters We Should Add to the Alphabet
"English is a relatively simple language, absurdly spelled." --The Economist The Economist's characterization of the English language is entirely correct. Anyone who has ever studied a foreign...
Read More →
Common Health Tips Without Scientific Support
Between daytime television talk shows, friends, family, and co-workers, health tips get passed around more than a dooby at a Colorado rock concert. But make sure to be skeptical of what you hear....
Read More →
How Humanity Could Go Extinct Before 2100
In 2008, Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute convened a conference of the world's brightest futurists and scientists to discuss how humanity might meet its end and formulate ways to prevent such a...
Read More →
Science Vacations
It's May, and that means the kiddies are about finished with school. Summer vacation is just around the corner. Where should you take the family this year? We think an ideal location has a good...
Read More →
6 Surprising Facts About Caffeine
Caffeine is many things: a stimulant, an alkaloid, and to many, a lifesaver. By counteracting a substance called adenosine in the body, which has the purpose of inhibiting activity in the central...
Read More →
The 10 Most Costly Medical Conditions in the U.S.
The World Health Organization ranks the healthcare system of the United States a paltry 37th, but we firmly outstrip the competition in another category: costs. The U.S. leads the world in per...
Read More →
3 Canceled NASA Projects That Would Have Been Awesome
Project Longshot was a conceptual design for an unmanned space probe that would travel to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our own. Conceived out of a partnership between the U.S. Naval...
Read More →
7 Psychology Facts That Sound Like Myths, But Aren't
Earlier this week, we shared "10 of Psychology's Greatest Myths," which came courtesy of Scott Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and Barry Beyerstein's compendium of 50 Great Myths of...
Read More →
Quackery from the Past You Have to See to Believe
Quackery has been around since the human race discovered disease and began probing methods of curing it. To the snake oil salesman, it doesn't matter if something works; it just matters if you can...
Read More →
10 of Psychology's Greatest Myths
Popular psychology is rife with misinformation and falsehoods. And sadly, the vast majority of them show no signs of vacating everyday culture. In 2009, Scott Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John...
Read More →