Group Conformity and Problem Solving

Group Conformity and Problem Solving in a Nutshell: Group conformity is often the major obstacle to effective group creativity and problem solving. Conformity can be reduced or even eliminated if its underlying reasons are addressed. Asch’ Conformity Experiments In a classic study published in 1951, Solomon Asch showed that conformity […] Read more »

Myopic Misery: How Sadness Affects Thinking & Decision-making

Myopic Misery in a Nutshell: Sadness and impatience leads to myopic misery, a tendency to seek immediate gains even if that means suffering long-term losses. Our moods can strongly influence our thinking, including creativity, problem solving, and decision-making. It is especially important to avoid making important decisions when you’re sad, […] Read more »

Social Loafing: Why It Hurts Group Creativity and How to Reduce It

Group problem solving can sometimes lead to breakthrough ideas that individuals working alone wouldn’t be able to come up with. Yet, often group problem solving not only doesn’t work as expected, but simply becomes an intellectual miscarriage. One important element for improving group problem solving and encouraging better ideas is […] Read more »

How Power Affects Mental Flexibility in Perspective Taking

Perspective taking is critical for trying to understand other people’s minds and predict their moves. Yet, our default inclination is to forgo perspective taking, and it may be aggravated by various biases such as the curse of knowledge. Also, perspective taking can be noticeably impaired by the feelings of high […] Read more »

Motivated Reasoning

What is Motivated Reasoning? A major obstacle to effective thinking is selective information processing, which is part of motivated reasoning and motivated cognition. Motivated cognition is a subconscious process which leads the mind to selectively search memory, analyze information, and reason in a way that reaches some desired conclusion.[1] What’s […] Read more »

The Curse of Knowledge

Our judgments can often be impaired by our existing knowledge. The curse of knowledge is the biased effect that our existing knowledge has on our ability to consider other people’s perspective. In other words, more knowledge is not always better, and it may be especially harmful when you want to […] Read more »

Perspective Taking

Perspective taking—our ability to step into other people’s shoes and see the world as they do— is critical for predicting other people’s moves, which is vital not only for outsmarting our competitors or rivals, but also in all sorts of non-competitive situations. Although perspective taking skill is critical, our natural […] Read more »

Emergent Properties

Our strategic thinking can be noticeably improved if we embrace the idea of emergent properties, which explains why our knowledge about individual parts doesn’t allow us to make confident overall predictions. Our judgment often suffers because we are tempted to predict overall systemic effects by examining individual elements. Such reductionism, […] Read more »

The Halo Effect – What It Does and How To Minimize It

The halo effect is a pernicious cognitive bias which distorts our judgment and decision making, especially as it concerns people or organizations. Its essence is that a positive overall evaluation distorts any evaluation of specific attributes. The reverse of the halo effect is the devil effect, when an overall negative evaluation […] Read more »

Prospective Hindsight Technique

Prospective Hindsight Technique in a Nutshell Prospective hindsight is a simple but effective technique for problem solving and decision making when you need to come up with more detailed explanations and generate more specific and concrete reasons. The essence of this technique is to think about a future event with […] Read more »