I started with the raw list of the 175 biases and added them all to a spreadsheet, then took another pass removing duplicates, and grouping similar biases (like bizarreness effect and humor effect) or complementary biases (like optimism bias and pessimism bias). The list came down to about 20 unique biased mental strategies that we use for very specific reasons. I made several different attempts to try to group these 20 or so at a higher level, and eventually landed on grouping them by the general mental problem that they were attempting to address. Every cognitive bias is there for a reason — primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce.
Nudges span an exceedingly wide range, and their number and variety are constantly growing. Here is a catalogue of ten important nudges — very possibly, the most important for purposes of policy — along with a few explanatory comments.
Consumers, employees, students, and others are often subjected to “sludge”: excessive or unjustified frictions, such as paperwork burdens, that cost time or money; that may make life difficult to navigate; that may be frustrating, stigmatizing, or humiliating; and that might end up depriving people of access to important goods, opportunities, and services. Because of behavioral biases and cognitive scarcity, sludge can have much more harmful effects than private and public institutions anticipate. To protect consumers, investors, employees, and others, firms, universities, and government agencies should regularly conduct Sludge Audits to catalogue the costs of sludge, and to decide when and how to reduce it. Much of human life is unnecessarily sludgy. Sludge often has costs far in excess of benefits, and it can have hurt the most vulnerable members of society.
However, nudges aimed at reducing carbon emissions could have a pernicious indirect effect if they offer the promise of a ‘quick fix’ and thereby undermine support for policies of greater impact.
Toolkits for design, research, creativity
group facilitation methods for icebreakers, brainstorming, prioritizing, etc.
The Paradox Process is a model for brand development that when applied works for many brands facing complex challenges. Its primary purpose is to get insight into consumer pain points or contradictions that need solving, and it works by using contrary perspectives to arrive at new conclusions.
an interesting case study, even outside of the IT issues, of what can happen when something designed for one culture is not adapted appropriately for another. From the very beginning, they should have had Danish doctors, nurses and designers involved in identifying the modifications that needed to be made. Just translating the words is not sufficient (and even that didn't seem to work very well).
The IF/THEN Plan has helped people achieve all sorts of goals, including ones that are either habitual or automated. It has helped people deal with a fear of spiders (IF I see a spider, THEN I will keep calm). It has helped people score higher on IQ tests by completing them more efficiently (IF I complete a question, THEN I will move immediately to the next). It has even helped groups of business leaders make commercially advantageous decisions by overcoming confirmation bias. Again, this might seem strange, but let’s look to the evidence: In 2006, Peter Gollwitzer and a fellow researcher, Paschal Sheeran analysed 94 independent studies like the above, involving over 8000 participants and found a medium-to-large effect size of the IF/THEN Plan on goal attainment.
Why co-create and why now? Collective Wisdom is a first-of-its-kind field study of the media industry, that maps works that live outside the limits of singular authorship. While the concept of co-creation is entering the zeitgeist, it is an ancient and under-reported dynamic. Media co-creation has particular relevance in the face of today’s myriad of challenges, such as the climate crisis and threats to democracy. But it is not without risks and complications. In this study we look at how people co-create within communities; across disciplines; and increasingly, with living systems and artificial intelligence (AI). We also synthesize the risks, as well as the practical lessons from the field on how to co-create with an ethos grounded in principles of equity and justice. This qualitative study reframes how culture is produced, and is a first step in articulating contemporary co-creative practices and ethics. In doing so, it connects unusual dots.
Learn how a brand book helps your nonprofit promote a positive brand identity and maintain consistency across marketing channels and platforms.
Especially striking was something that I was not surprised by but had never heard explained before: the idea that groups conform, but always in a specific direction. They always become more extreme. They never move towards the middle. Sunstein addresses the phenomenon by describing relevant research. He writes: The effect of group deliberation was to shift individual opinions toward extremism. Group “verdicts” on climate change, affirmative action, and same-sex unions were more extreme than the predeliberation average of group members. In addition, the anonymous views of individual members became more extreme, after deliberation, than were their anonymous views before they started to talk. We see this phenomenon everywhere, especially social media, but the simple principle of conformity by itself doesn’t explain it. If a group conforms over time, shouldn’t their new views converge on the original group mean? Wouldn’t people’s views be just as likely to become more moderate than more extreme? The answer, of course, is no. Why? Because someone with more extreme views is usually more outspoken or passionate about those views, and that looks to most people like confidence. And we tend to conform to the views of those who seem more confident. Maybe Facebook isn’t the best place to form our political opinions.