The Cognitive Quiz – An Interactive Lecture about Cognitive Biases and Decision Making.
Would you like to better understand the behaviour of the people around you?
Would you like to learn about the mechanisms behind your own decision-making?
If the answer is yes, then you are invited to participate in the “Cognitive Quiz”.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN IN THIS LECTURE?
In this interactive lecture, you will learn:
BEFORE THE LECTURE
You are invited to read the following FAQ before the lecture.
1) What is a cognitive bias?
We, humans, live in a very complex world and make many, many decisions every day. What to eat, what to wear, which song to listen to, which friend to trust…Researchers from Cornell University have estimated that we make over 200 decisions every day – and that is only the number of decisions related to food! Well, to make hundreds, possibly even thousands of decisions every day, our brains use shortcuts that simplify our decision-making processes and help us live our lives without having to think too much about things.
These shortcuts (called heuristics) are generally very useful and help us survive and thrive in the world. An example of such a shortcut is our frequent compliance and obedience when a doctor, a policeman or other authority figure gives us an order. Doing so is usually a good idea because authority figures have specific expertise that we might need, and because a functional society relies on them to ensure peace and order.
The problem, however, is that these shortcuts can sometimes lead us to make predictably bad decisions. When this happens, such decision-making errors are called Cognitive Biases.
Let’s look at the following example: In the 1940’s and 50’s, tobacco brands such as Viceroy launched marketing campaigns with the purpose of convincing the public that a product such as cigarettes could be healthy. To do this, they used doctor testimonials, hoping to exploit people’s natural trust for authority figures.
Well, accepting an inaccurate or unjustified idea, just because it comes from an authority figure is an example of cognitive bias called authority bias; and knowing of its existence might help us make better decisions (such as not falling for the idea that cigarettes can be healthy!)
Another example of a cognitive bias is the Halo Effect, which is a decision-making error that makes us transfer one attribute from a person to all the things he or she does. For example, research has shown that if a person is physically attractive (positive attribute), we tend to (possibly mistakenly) view the person as more honest and productive too, even if it shouldn’t be the case.
Yet another example of cognitive bias is the confirmation bias, which is the human natural tendency to notice, focus on, and give more credibility to information and evidence that confirms our existing beliefs, and to ignore or discard any information and evidence that might be against our beliefs.
There is currently a list of 105 cognitive biases on Wikipedia! So we have work to do if we want to better understand the mechanisms behind our decision-making!
Why it is useful to learn about cognitive biases?
Knowing about cognitive biases will help you, first, to let go of the idea that humans are perfectly rational. It will also allow you to make better decisions and develop better products and services for your customers.
The Cognitive quiz – an interactive lecture about cognitive biases.
The Cognitive Quiz is a two-hour interactive lecture that helps participants in the lecture learn about the academic research on Cognitive Biases. It is called an interactive lecture because the role of the participants is active and requires extensive collaboration and participation. The mechanics of the lecture are as follows:
1)The lecturer will present a series of “riddles” or interesting questions that reflect interesting research about cognitive biases.
2) Participants are invited to think about a question related to cognitive biases individually (Think)
3) Participants discuss in groups the best answer to the question (Pair)
4) Groups compare their ideas with the group (Share)
5) The lecturer presents the answer to the question, based on the most authoritative research on cognitive biases from world-renowned researchers such as Daniel Kahnemann and Dan Ariely.
To participate in the lecture, you just need a microphone and a camera, and a friendly and open disposition for collaborating.
See you soon at the next session of the Cognitive Quiz!
Photos from the French Cognitive Quiz Sessions in Paris.