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The Availability Bias: How to Overcome a Common Cognitive Distortion

“The attention which we lend to an experience is proportional to its vivid or interesting character, and it is a notorious fact that what interests us most vividly at the time is, other things equal, what we remember best.”—William James The availability heuristic explains why winning an award makes you more likely to win another award. It explains why we sometimes avoid one thing out of fear and end up doing something else...

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Better Thinking & Incentives: Lessons From Shakespeare

At Farnam Street, we aim to master the best of what other people have figured out. Not surprisingly, it’s quite a lot. The past is full of useful lessons that have much to teach us. Sometimes, we just need to remember what we’re looking for and why. Life can be overwhelming. It seems like there’s a new technology, a new hack, a new way of doing things, or a new way we need to be every five minutes. Figuring out what to pay...