Unlike the portrayal of various stereotypes might suggest, being rational doesn’t imply that one ought to only pursue selfish interests, or that one ought to pursue something in a cold and unemotional manner. Nothing about rationality implies any of that, it all depends on one’s goals.

Your goals might be to play chess incredibly well, to climb Everest, to be happy and amongst friends, or to help others. Our goals are whatever we, upon reflection, decide to pursue in life. Everyone wants to achieve their goals, and therefore, it is in everyone’s interest to be rational.

Read more about the science of rational decision-making in our three-part introductory series on rationality:

 

Rationality: The Science Of Winning – part I

On December 26th, 1983, the Soviet early-warning system for nuclear attacks reported a missile being launched from the United States. Shortly after, the system reported four more missiles underway. Stanislas Petrov, the sole officer on duty, was confronted with a monumental decision: Should he follow proper procedure and raise alarm, alerting the […]

Rationality: The Science Of Winning – part II

This is part II of a little series on the importance of rationality and applied rational decision-making (click here for part I). This series is based on material that has been published on GBS Switzerland’s blog. Perhaps the misconception that rationality is associated with e.g. robot-like Mr. Spock comes from having unrealistic […]

Rationality: The Science Of Winning – part III

This is part III of a series on the importance of rationality and applied rational decision-making (see part I, part II). This series is based on material that has been published on GBS Switzerland’s blog. We have biases because our brain-design dates back to the stone age. Our intuitive decision-making […]

Cognitive Biases and their relevance in poker

Unfortunately, humans don’t always behave in a rational way. Cognitive psychologists have discovered that there are particular areas of thinking where we systematically make bad decisions. Such systematic deviations from optimal decision-making are called cognitive biases.

Some examples of cognitive biases are:

…and many more.

Biases occur in our thinking because our brains were not optimised for a modern environment – we still have stone-age brains! At the same time, advances in science and technology put us into a situation where our decisions can affect people on the other side of the globe, or the welfare of entire generations in the future. With so much at stake, it is crucial that we become more rational and better at avoiding cognitive biases.

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