Archive | psychology

Fear of using nuclear energy might be contributing to global warming

Remember the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster? In 1986, there was an accident during a test at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine and the resulting explosion released at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the atmosphere. The radiation released was 400 times the radiation produced by the bombing of Hiroshima during World…

Continue Reading 0

You should embrace Hanlon’s Razor

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. This colorful phrase, called Hanlon’s Razor, explains that people aren’t always out to get us; sometimes they just make mistakes. It’s a practical application of Occam’s Razor which states that, everything else being equal, the simplest solution is usually the best one. Hanlon’s…

Continue Reading 0

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…

Continue Reading 3

A One-Question Test for Narcissism

Do you know someone you think is a narcissist? A narcissistic personality is characterized by inflated views of the self, extreme vanity, and obsessive self-importance. The term comes from the mythical Greek character, Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Entranced by his own beauty, Narcissus stared…

Continue Reading 0

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…

Continue Reading 1

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…

Continue Reading 2