Seeing the world as it isn't

When we look at the world around us, we feel that we are seeing it completely and accurately. What accounts for that [...]

Think you know the best way to study? Better test yourself.

What is the best way to study for an exam? Do you think you know? Better test [...]

Don't change your worldview based on one study

In the past few weeks, the blogosphere has been abuzz about the dangers of non-replication and the “decline” effect, triggered by Jonah Lehrer’s interesting piece in the New Yorker (mostly behind a firewall). The central claim in the piece is that initially strong or provocative findings diminish in strength over time. The decline [...]

Driving and distraction - California survey

An interesting survey of drivers in California provides some data about beliefs in the dangers of phone conversations and texting while driving as well as data about actual self-reported [...]

Texters: Please ban what I do...

Mike Fumento passed along a remarkably silly statistic from this Reuters story about a Harris Interactive survey from a couple years ago. According to the article:

89 percent of respondents believe texting while driving is dangerous and should be outlawed.


66 percent of the adults surveyed who drive and use text messaging told pollsters [...]

You can't anticipate everything

A standard approach to safety engineering is to try to define all of the potential risks in advance and to design protocols that, if followed precisely, will avoid all of the known hazards. Such safety-by-protocol is great in principle, but it has a critical failing: The illusion of knowledge. The approach assumes that [...]

Predicting learning and the illusion of knowledge

In The Invisible Gorilla, Chris and I discuss many aspects of the illusion of knowledge, the tendency to think we have a better understanding than we actually do. One aspect of this illusion is that we easily mistake surface understanding for deep understanding, what Leon Rozenblit and Frank Keil called the “illusion of explanatory [...]

more choice blindness videos

Yesterday I posted about a new, in-press study of choice blindness by Lars Hall, Petter Johansson, and colleagues. Their new study extended the phenomenon of choice blindness to real world taste decisions made by shoppers in a market. Read more about it in yesterday’s post entitled “Do you know what you like.”

Here [...]

Do you know what you like?

Do you know what you like? (Don’t) think [...]

unexpected bicycles and inattentional blindness

This article reports a tragic accident that happened on Sunday. A bicyclist was hit by a car and killed. Unfortunately, such accidents are far too common, and this particular example typifies how inattentional blindness operates in the real world.

Most people believe that unexpected or unusual events draw attention, perhaps even more [...]