Fixing the bugs in our brain

We human beings should be famous for doing irrational things predictably. No, I am not joking.

Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University, wrote a book about it. The take home message from his TED talk is that the only way to stop making some those mistakes is to be able to challenge our intuitions. The inherent difficulty in doing so cannot be overstated but that is exactly why we make those mistakes time and again without realising.

Focusing on Heuristics

To deal with any situation we rely heavily on models that have been built based on previous experiences (irrespective of how similar or different the current situation is from the previous one). These models or mental shortcuts are commonly known as heuristics. With that realisation, it seems obvious that one must pay adequate attention to these models and do what one can to improve them.