Knowing is {less than} Half the Battle

November 8, 2018

You may know that $19.99 is pretty much the same price as $20.00, but the first feels like a better deal. You may know that a prisoner's guilt is independent of whether you are hungry or not, but she'll feel like a better candidate for parole after you've eaten. You may know that a tasty piece of fudge arranged to look like human waste will still taste delicious but you'd be hesitant to eat it. 


Recent research has shown that there is a disconnect between knowing something to be true and acting in accordance to that knowledge. Much of contemporary research in judgement and decision-making support the notion that knowledge is rarely the central factor controlling our behavior. The most powerful drivers of behavioral control comes from situation selection, habit formation, and emotion regulation. 


Knowing is not half the battle for most cognitive biases. Ironically, simply knowing that this cognitive bias exists is not enough to avoid its influence. 


So now you know. And that's less than half the battle. 



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