Bit of a Tangent

020 | Mental Models 3: Fantastic Biases and Where To Find Them

November 5, 2019

This is part 3 of the series on Mental Models, in which Gianluca and Jared discuss the cognitive biases that often impede aspiring rationalists. They discuss the idea of “System 1 and 2” thinking as a framing for the entire discussion, before exploring 12 of the most deadly thinking traps and how to avoid them. This includes everything from the Planning Fallacy and Anchoring, to more esoteric pitfalls that are yet to be named. Finally, they describe meta-biases—like the Bias Blindspot and the Fallacy Fallacy—equipping your mental toolkit with everything you need to upgrade your thinking. 




System 1 and 2 thinking in Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow”:

An awesome resource, the Cognitive Bias Codex:

A superb introduction to biases by Rob Bensinger:

Yudkowsky on scope insensitivity:

[Study] Scope insensitivity: The limits of intuitive valuation of human lives in public policy:

Bayes’ Theorem in medical testing:

Bayes’ Theorem examples visualised:

Hamburg’s philharmonic concert hall that ran 6 years and 1000% over budget:

Fascinating studies on the planning fallacy in students’ academic predictions:,_1994.pdf

Reference class forecasting:

How to overcome the planning fallacy with “fudge ratios”:

Spinning the wheel on the anchoring bias:

“Influence” by Robert Cialdini:

016 | Free Will, Compassion, and Reinforcement Learning:

Inferential distances:

Findings in Hedonic adaptation:

Dan Harris’ “10% Happier” podcast:

The Peak-End Rule:

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