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Cognitive Overconfidence

The Big Idea for Sunday, July 06, 2014

Daniel Kahneman has shown us how we're often confident in our intuitive judgments even when we have no idea what we're doing. And to make matters worse, we tend to evaluate the reliability of other people's decision making on the same basis - if they're confident, they must know what they're talking about.

In today's lesson David Ropeik argues that our cognitive hubris allows us to think that we’re smarter than we actually are, to stubbornly deny the overwhelming evidence that human cognition is in fact a messy subjective mix of facts and feelings, intellect and instinct, reason and gut reaction. Pure, objective, analytical ‘just-the-facts’ Cartesian reason is a wonderful goal – “God’s crowning gift to man” as Sophocles put it – but it’s an unachievable myth. And believing in it is dangerous.


  1. 1 Dealing With the Danger of Cognitive Hubris
    David Ropeik Risk: Reason and Reality
  2. 2 You're So Predictable. Daniel Kahneman and the Science of Human Fallibility
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  3. 3 What Rats Can Teach Us About Confidence
    Adam Kepecs
  4. 4 Slow Down, You Think Too Fast
    Daniel Kahneman

Cognitive Overconfidence

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