Homo Economicus: On the False Assumption of Perfect Rationality

  The term homo economicus (‘economic man’) refers to people as they’re portrayed in certain economic theories, where they’re seen as ideal decision-making machines, with flawless rationality, unlimited cognitive capacity, perfect access to information, and a narrow-range of consistent, self-interested goals. Roughly speaking, this means that the homo economicus can be seen as someone who …

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Bikeshedding and the Law of Triviality: Why People Focus on Minor Issues

  Bikeshedding (also referred to as the law of triviality) describes a phenomenon where people spend a relatively large amount of time, energy, and other resources dealing with relatively minor issues. For example, a corporate committee who engages in bikeshedding might spend more time discussing the construction of a small bikeshed compared to the construction of an …

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The Just-World Hypothesis: On the Belief that Everyone Gets What They Deserve

  The just-world hypothesis is a cognitive bias that causes people to assume that people’s actions always lead to fair consequences, meaning that those who do good are eventually rewarded, while those who do evil are eventually punished. For example, the just-world hypothesis could cause someone to assume that if someone else experienced a tragic …

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