Reading Notes & Thoughts from…

“Elon Musk Thinks Every Child Should Learn about these 50 Cognitive Biases” 

By Jessica Stillman , Inc Magazine

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Placebo Effect. This isn’t strictly a cognitive bias according to Musk’s graphic, but still useful to know. If you think something will work, you’re likely to experience a small positive effect whether it really does or not.

Survivorship Bias. We remember the winners and forget about the many, invisible losers. Big in startups.

Tachypsychia. How exhaustion, drugs, or trauma mess with our sense of time.

Law of Triviality (AKA Bike-Shedding). Giving excessive weight to trivial issues while ignoring more important ones. My favorite way of saying this is “Being good at something unimportant doesn’t make it important.”

It’s called Bike-Shedding because the original paper used the example of a fictional employee committee for a new manufacturing facility.   They would be more likely to spend time focusing on the location and construction of the employee bike shed than the construction materials or how the machines are anchored.

Can also be putting extra weight on things we made ourselves, or the decisions we made.  (See Ikea Effect below)

This also helps explain why many meetings can run way too long.  In simple terms, the more people there are at the table, the longer it will take to get to a final decision.

This law goes even further to state that the less complex the problem, the longer it will take make a final decision.  The simpler it is for people to understand, the more that people will provide input, disagree, try to get their way, etc.  If a problem is very complex and hard to understand, less people will provide input, making discussions shorter.

Zeigarnik Effect. Uncompleted tasks haunt our brains until we finish them.