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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The Sagan Standard: Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

  The Sagan standard is the adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” (a concept abbreviated as ECREE). This signifies that the more unlikely a certain claim is, given existing evidence on the subject, the greater the standard of proof that is expected of it. Accordingly, if a certain claim is considered extraordinary, meaning that …

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Opportunity Cost: What It Is and How to Account for It

  Opportunity cost is the value of the best alternative that you miss out on as a result of choosing a different option. For example, if a person chose to invest in a certain venture, their opportunity cost is the money they could have made by investing in a different venture, and namely in the …

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False Equivalence: The Problem with Unreasonable Comparisons

  False equivalence is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone incorrectly asserts that two or more things are equivalent, simply because they share some characteristics, despite the fact that there are also notable differences between them. For example, a false equivalence is saying that cats and dogs are the same animal, since they’re both …

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The Verbatim Effect: People Remember Gist Better Than Details

  The verbatim effect is a cognitive bias that causes people to remember the gist of information, which is its general meaning, better than they remember its exact form, which is the way the information was presented and the minor details that it involved. For example, when people read a long text, they’re more likely …

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Memento Mori: Remember That You Will Die

  Memento mori is a Latin phrase that means “remember that you will die”. It is meant to remind you of your own mortality, and of the brevity and fragility of human life. ‘Memento mori’ has been mentioned as an important principle by many people throughout history, and implementing it in your own life can …

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Jumping to Conclusions: When People Decide Based on Insufficient Information

  Jumping to conclusions is a phenomenon where people reach a conclusion prematurely, on the basis of insufficient information. For example, a person jumping to conclusions might assume that someone they just met is angry at them, simply because that person wasn’t smiling at them while they talked, even though there are many alternative explanations …

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FOMO: How to Overcome the Fear of Missing Out

  The fear of missing out (FOMO) is the concern that people experience with regard to the possibility that they’re missing out or will miss out on rewarding opportunities. People most commonly experience FOMO when it comes to rewarding opportunities that other people, and especially those in your close social circle, are a part of. …

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The Contrast Effect: When Comparison Enhances Differences

  The contrast effect is a cognitive bias that distorts our perception of something when we compare it to something else, by enhancing the differences between them. This comparison can be either explicit or implicit, simultaneous or at separate points in time, and can apply to various traits, ranging from physical qualities, such as color …

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