Tips For Trying To Think Less Irrationally

Books & Boots

Professor Stuart Sutherland divides his book Irrationality: The Enemy Within into 23 chapters, each addressing a different aspect of why human beings are so prone to irrational, illogical, biased and erroneous thinking.

Having trotted through its allotted subject, each chapter ends with a few tentative suggestions of how to address the various biases and errors described in it.

This blog post is a summary of that advice. I have omitted tips which are so tied to specific examples that they’re incomprehensible out of context, and trimmed most of them down (and expanded a few).

The Wrong Impression

  1. Never base a judgement or decision on a single case, no matter how striking.
  2. In forming an impression of a person (or object) try to break your judgement down into his (or its) separate qualities without letting any strikingly good or bad qualities influence your opinion about the remainder: especially in interviews or…

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