Friday’s Big Idea
Today’s Big Idea: Human Cognitive Error
The human mind is the most complex machine on Earth, extraordinarily well-suited to certain tasks (creative thinking, for example), yet very poorly suited to others. Most of the glitches in the system are the result of vestigial habits which were at one time in our history evolutionarily beneficial. Quick decision-making for example, a better survival skill for tribal jungle-dwellers than for suburbanites.
The great promise of cognitive psychology and neuroscience is eventually to provide precise maps of how our minds operate. Already scientists have revealed certain hidden patterns and tendencies in our thinking which, when studied, can enable us to make better decisions and develop better methods of learning chess, or history, or finance. As the science marches forward, it’s overturning many of our basic, mistaken assumptions about ourselves.