The Zero-Sum Bias: When People Think that Everything is a Competition

  The zero-sum bias occurs when people mistakenly expect gains and losses to be directly balanced in a situation where they’re not, especially in terms of one party benefiting directly at the expense of others. For example, the zero-sum bias can cause someone to think that a resource they’re interested in is limited, meaning that …

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The False-Consensus Effect: People Overestimate How Much Others Are Like Them

  The false-consensus effect is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate how much others are like them, in terms of sharing things such as their beliefs, values, characteristics, experiences, and behaviors. Essentially, this means that the false consensus effect leads people to assume that others are more similar to them than they actually …

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Nudge: How Small Changes Can Significantly Influence People’s Choices

  A nudge is a simple aspect of people’s decision-making environment that alters their behavior in a predictable way, without forbidding any options or significantly changing their incentives. For example, if a school wants to reduce the amount of soda that students drink, then placing water bottles instead of soda cans near the register in …

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The Bandwagon Effect: Why People Tend to Follow the Crowd

  The bandwagon effect is a cognitive bias that causes people to think or act a certain way if they believe that others are doing the same. For example, the bandwagon effect can cause someone to adopt a certain political ideology, because they see that other people in their social circle have adopted the same …

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The Familiarity Backfire Effect: Why Debunking a Myth Can Make People Believe It

  The familiarity backfire effect is a cognitive bias that causes people to remember misinformation better, and to remember it as being true, after they’re shown corrective information that’s supposed to debunk it, as a result of the increased exposure to the misinformation. For example, if someone is shown evidence that disproves a certain health-related …

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The Dangers of Social Media and How to Avoid Them

  Most people use social media in one form or another. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, and while social media can sometimes be beneficial, it’s important to be aware that social media is associated with a number of issues and potential dangers, including stress, anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Understanding the dangers of …

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The Empathy Gap: Why People Fail to Understand Different Perspectives

  The empathy gap is a cognitive bias that causes people to struggle to understand mental states that are different from their present state, or to struggle to consider how such states affect people’s judgment and decision-making. Essentially, the empathy gap means that when people are in a certain mental state (e.g. happy or angry), …

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How People Flirt: A Scientific Guide

  Flirting is a key part of many social interactions. At the same time however, flirting is also a behavior that few people truly understand. Fortunately, psychologists have conducted quite a bit of research on the topic of flirting. In the following article, you will learn about the different styles of flirting, including the verbal …

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