The Good Habit



I like to think of myself as a rational person, but I am not one. The good news is that this isn't about me — or you. We are all irrational and we are all making mental mistakes.

Researchers and economists have long believed that human beings made logical, well-considered decisions. Nevertheless, researchers have discovered a wide variety of mental mistakes in recent decades that derail our thought. Sometimes we do psychologists and behavioral researchers are fond of geek out on these various mental errors. There are hundreds of them, and they all have fancy names like "pure impact of exposure" or "narrative fallacy," so I don't want to get lost in the scientific jargon now. Let's think about the mental mistakes that most often occur in our lives and break them down in a straightforward way. Here are five common mental errors that impel you to make good decisions.

1. Bias for Life.

These days almost every popular online media outlet is filled with survivor bias. Wherever you see articles with titles such as "8 Things Effective People Do Daily" or "Richard Branson 's Best Advice Ever Got" or "How LeBron James Trains Off-Season" you see survival biaSurvivorship bias refers to our propensity to concentrate on winners in a specific field and seek to learn from them while ignoring the losers who use the same approach altogether. There may be thousands of athletes who practice like LeBron James in a very similar way but never made it to the NBA. The problem is that no one is hearing about the thousands of athletes who never made it to the top. We hear only of the surviving people. We mistakenly overestimate one survivor's strategies, tactics, and advice while ignoring the fact that the same strategies, tactics, and advice did not work

2. The Aversion to Failure.

Loss aversion refers to our propensity to strongly favor loss avoidance to gain acquisition. Research has shown that you will experience a slight boost in satisfaction if anyone gives you $10, but if you lose $10, you'll experience a significantly higher drop in satisfaction. Sure, the reactions are the opposite but in magnitude, they are not equal.

3. Heuristic Accuracy.

The Heuristic Availability refers to a common mistake our brains make on the assumption that the examples that easily come to mind are also the most important or prevalent things.

Research at Harvard University by Steven Pinker, for example, has shown that we are living in the least violent time in history today. More people are living in peace now.

By: Sushmita Kumari Jha

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