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. 

---------------

Shownotes:

---------------

System 1 and 2 thinking in Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow”: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11468377-thinking-fast-and-slow

An awesome resource, the Cognitive Bias Codex: https://ritholtz.com/2016/09/cognitive-bias-codex/

A superb introduction to biases by Rob Bensinger: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/ptxnyfLWqRZ98wnYi/biases-an-introduction

Yudkowsky on scope insensitivity: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/2ftJ38y9SRBCBsCzy/scope-insensitivity

[Study] Scope insensitivity: The limits of intuitive valuation of human lives in public policy: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211368114000795

Bayes’ Theorem in medical testing: https://plus.maths.org/content/maths-minute-bayes-theorem

Bayes’ Theorem examples visualised: https://oscarbonilla.com/2009/05/visualizing-bayes-theorem/

Hamburg’s philharmonic concert hall that ran 6 years and 1000% over budget: https://www.thelocal.de/20161101/700m-over-budget-hamburg-concert-hall-finally-finished-elbphilharmonie

Fascinating studies on the planning fallacy in students’ academic predictions: https://web.mit.edu/curhan/www/docs/Articles/biases/67_J_Personality_and_Social_Psychology_366,_1994.pdf

Reference class forecasting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_class_forecasting

How to overcome the planning fallacy with “fudge ratios”: https://wpsmith.net/2015/improving-your-time-estimates-the-fudge-ratio/

Spinning the wheel on the anchoring bias: https://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07/27/anchoring-effect/

“Influence” by Robert Cialdini: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28815.Influence

016 | Free Will, Compassion, and Reinforcement Learning: https://www.podtangent.com/e/016-free-will-compassion-and-reinforcement-learning/

Inferential distances: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/HLqWn5LASfhhArZ7w/expecting-short-inferential-distances

Findings in Hedonic adaptation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonic_treadmill#Empirical_findings

Dan Harris’ “10% Happier” podcast: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast

The Peak-End Rule: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak%E2%80%93end_rule

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App