Reflective Learning: Thinking About the Way You Learn

  Reflective learning involves actively monitoring and assessing your knowledge, abilities, and performance during the learning process, in order to improve the process and its associated outcomes. For example, if you’re studying for a test, you can engage in reflective learning by asking yourself how well you understand each of the topics that you’re studying, …

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The Bias Blind Spot: People Are Often Unaware of Their Own Biases

  The bias blind spot is a cognitive bias that causes people to be less aware of their own biases than of those of others, and to assume that they’re less susceptible to biases than others. For example, the bias blind spot can cause someone to assume that other people’s political stance is influenced by …

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Belief Bias: When People Rely on Beliefs Rather Than Logic

  The belief bias is a cognitive bias that causes people to over-rely on preexisting beliefs and knowledge when evaluating the conclusions of an argument, instead of properly considering the argument’s content and structure. Accordingly, the belief bias means that people often accept arguments that align with their preexisting beliefs, even if those arguments are …

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Crab Mentality: When People Pull Down Those Who Get Ahead

  Crab mentality is a phenomenon where people react negatively, in terms of their thoughts, statements, or actions, to those who get ahead of them, even though they don’t expect there to be direct benefits to doing so. For example, crab mentality can cause someone to discourage or sabotage their friend who is starting to …

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False Premise: When Arguments Are Built on Bad Foundations

  A false premise is an incorrect proposition or assumption that forms the basis of an argument and renders it logically unsound. For example, in the argument “all birds can fly, and penguins can’t fly, so penguins aren’t birds”, the premise that “all birds can fly” is false, since some birds can’t fly, and this …

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Reflective Practice: Thinking About the Way You Do Things

  Reflective practice involves actively analyzing your experiences and actions, in order to help yourself improve and develop. For example, an athlete can engage in reflective practice by thinking about mistakes that they made during a training session, and figuring out ways to avoid making those mistakes in the future. Reflective practice can be beneficial …

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FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

  Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (abbreviated as FUD), are a collection of mental states that can influence people’s thinking in a variety of situations, and that are often used together to manipulate people’s behavior. For example, a salesperson might push a customer to buy unnecessary software for their computer, by promoting FUD in various ways, …

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Chutzpah: The Benefits and Dangers of Shameless Audacity

  Chutzpah is the willingness to take risks in a highly shameless and confident manner, that’s often seen as disrespectful or rude. For example, an entrepreneur who’s running a small startup might display chutzpah by calling the CEO of a large company directly, despite having no invitation to do so. Chutzpah can be beneficial in …

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The Brown M&M’s Principle: How Small Details Can Help Discover Big Issues

  The brown M&M’s principle is the idea that small details can sometimes serve as useful indicators of big issues. This principle is named after a rock band (Van Halen), who had a “brown M&M’s clause” in their contracts with event organizers, stipulating that the organizers must provide M&M’s in the backstage area, but that …

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Circumlocution: When People Use Too Many Words

  Circumlocution is the act of saying something using more words than necessary, often with the intent of being vague, evasive, or misleading. For example, a politician might use circumlocution by giving a long and vague response to a question, in order to make it difficult for people to notice that the politician didn’t actually …

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