Reverse Psychology: Getting People to Do Something By Asking for the Opposite

  Reverse psychology is a manipulation technique that involves getting people to do something by prompting them to do the opposite. Reverse psychology can take various forms, such as forbidding the target behavior, questioning the person’s ability to perform the target behavior, and encouraging the opposite of the target behavior. For example, a parent might …

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The Napoleon Technique: Postponing Things to Increase Productivity

  The Napoleon technique is a productivity technique that involves postponing dealing with something, if there is a good chance that it will get properly resolved without your immediate input. For example, based on the Napoleon technique, you could decide to wait a day before replying to emails that ask for your advice on non-urgent …

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Double Standards: What They Are and How to Respond to Them

  A double standard is a principle or policy that is applied in a different manner to similar things, without proper justification. Essentially, this means that a double standard occurs when two or more things, such as individuals or groups, are treated differently, when they should be treated the same way. For example, a double …

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Hubris: The Dangers of Excessive Pride and Confidence

  Hubris is a personality trait that involves excessive pride, confidence, and self-importance. Accordingly, hubristic individuals tend to overestimate things such as their abilities, knowledge, importance, and likelihood of success. For example, a hubristic person might believe that they’re never wrong, that they’re guaranteed to succeed in all their ventures, or that they deserve to …

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The Appeal to Definition Fallacy: When People Misuse the Dictionary

  The appeal to definition (also known as the argument from dictionary) is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone’s argument is based, in a problematic manner, on the definition of a certain term as it appears in a dictionary or a similar source. The main problem with such arguments is that dictionaries are descriptive in …

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The Fundamental Attribution Error: When People Underestimate Situational Factors

  The fundamental attribution error is a cognitive bias that causes people to underestimate the influence of environment-based situational factors on people’s behavior, and to overestimate the influence of personality-based dispositional factors. Essentially, this means that the fundamental attribution error causes people to assume that other people’s actions are less affected by their environment than they …

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Virtue Signaling: When People Try to Show Their Goodness

  Virtue signaling is the act of speaking or behaving in a way that’s meant to demonstrate one’s good moral values. For example, if a person widely proclaims on social media that they strongly support a certain cause, just because they want to show others how caring they are, that person is virtue signaling. Virtue …

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Ennui: How to Overcome Chronic Boredom

  Ennui (pronounced on-wee) is a type of chronic boredom, which generally involves weariness, dissatisfaction, and apathy, as well as the tendency to feel that everything is uninteresting and unfulfilling. People can experience either a general sense of ennui in their life, or they can experience it in relation to a specific domain, such as …

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Equivocation and the Equivocation Fallacy

  Equivocation is the deliberate use of vague or ambiguous language, with the intent of deceiving others or avoiding commitment to a specific stance. For example, when a person is asked a direct yes-or-no question, and gives a vague response that doesn’t answer the question, that person is equivocating. The equivocation fallacy is a logical fallacy …

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