Archive | psychology

How to Avoid the Conjunction Fallacy

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning and stumbled upon one of my favorite University textbooks: Tversky and Kahneman’s “Judgement Under Uncertainty”. This book taught me the basics of probability, a ridiculously useful skill which I’ve relied on far more frequently than I ever would have imagined. A better understanding of probability can help us overcome…

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Unleash Your Inner William Gibson

Welcome to the future. It is a common complaint that we were promised jetpacks and flying cars but all we got was… something less cool. But the complaints are mostly unwarranted. Things that seemed like science fiction not long ago are now commonplace (or soon will be): under-the-skin GPS, 3D printing, hoverboards, lab-grown leather, self-heating…

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How Much of Leadership Is About Theater?

For reasons not worth getting into, this past week I was reminded of a decade-old HBS discussion entitled “How Much of Leadership Is About Control, Delegation, or Theater?” The original discussion was prompted by a claim from Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer that leaders only explain 10% of a company’s performance. Instead, a company’s current performance…

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Can you trust your own memory?

Research shows we can’t trust our own memories. Many of us probably think that our individual experiences (sights, sounds, and feelings) are saved intact in our brains. A loose analogy might be a video camera recording everything it sees to a flash drive. When the time comes to remember something, we just play it back…

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The 18 Traits of Good Liars

Dutch psychologist Aldert Vrij can tell if you’re lying. Vrij has published more than 500 articles on using verbal and non-verbal cues for lie detection. His book Detecting Lies and Deceit: Pitfalls and Opportunities has been called “the most comprehensive review of deception to date.” At more than 500 pages, it’s not only comprehensive, it’s…

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