The Representativeness Heuristic

In this video I describe another heuristic identified by the work of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. The representativeness heuristic is a shortcut that we use when attempting to estimate the odds of something being true, such as whether an interview profile came from a lawyer or an engineer. Rather than using relevant base rate information, participants showed a tendency …

The Availability Heuristic

In this video I provide an introduction to behavioral economics and the work of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman by describing a heuristic we use when attempting to assess the frequency of events. The availability heuristic is a shortcut that estimates frequency based on how available an event is to us, or how readily we can bring examples to mind. …

Problem Solving: Algorithms vs. Heuristics

In this video I explain the difference between an algorithm and a heuristic and provide an example demonstrating why we tend to use heuristics when solving problems. While algorithms provide step-by-step procedures that can guarantee solutions, heuristics are faster and provide shortcuts for getting to solutions, though this has the potential to cause errors. In the next few videos we’ll …

Obstacles to Problem Solving

In this video I introduce several potential obstacles to problem-solving including overconfidence, illusory superiority, belief bias, and belief perseverance. Then I describe a “consider the opposite” strategy for potentially reducing the influence of bias when interpreting evidence that supports or contradicts our pre-existing beliefs. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d …

Approach and Avoidance Motivations

Another way of categorizing motivations is to consider them as either approach motivations or avoidance motivations. An approach motivation is a drive to experience a positive outcome, while an avoidance motivation is a drive to not experience a negative outcome. The relative strength of these motivations may not be equal and some research has suggested that motivations to avoid loss can …

What is the Availability Heuristic?

In their first study of the availability heuristic, Tversky and Kahneman asked participants to estimate whether English had more words that started with the letter K or more words that had K as the third letter. What do you think? If you’re like most participants in their study, you might guess that there are more words that start with k …

Language, Thought, & Cognition Resources

On this page you’ll find a number of resources for understanding the key concepts of linguistics, cognition, and thought, including language acquisition, problem-solving, and decision-making. If I’ve missed a good resource, please share it in the comments section! General Resources Language & Cognition Key Terms Language Acquisition Pinterest Page Decision-Making Pinterest Page OpenStax Cognition & Language Chapter Master Introductory Psychology …

Tali Sharot on Optimism Bias

In this video Tali Sharot discusses how, for better or worse, optimism can bias our views of the world, particularly when it comes to assessing our own likelihood of experiencing negative events. She also mentions how it influences our self-assessment (the Lake Wobegon Effect), our cognitive interpretation of events, and our anticipation for the future. Sharot then discusses her research …