The Cognitive Quiz – an Open Serious Game

Latest Cognitive Quiz

The “Cognitive Quiz” is an interactive lecture/open serious game about cognitive biases and decision-making. 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 optimized thanks to concepts of active pedagogy and gamification and are as follows:

1) The lecturer makes a brief presentation of the topic. Then, the participants get to know one another in a fun icebreaker, and are organized randomly in teams.

2) The lecturer presents a series of “riddles” or questions related to decision-making.

2) Participants are invited to think about the question individually (Think)

3) Participants discuss in groups the best answer to the question (Pair)

4) Groups decide on an answer, write it down, and give it to the lecturer. Then they justify their choice to the whole audience(Share)

5) The lecturer then presents the official answer to the question, based on the most authoritative research on cognitive biases from world-renowned researchers such as Daniel Kahnemann and Dan Ariely. The groups who get the correct answer earn points. At the end of the lecture, the lecturer announces the winning teams.

6) During a fun, concluding activity, the participants are invited to share the ways in which they can apply what they learned in their professional and personal lives.

The Cognitive Quiz is also part of the Open Serious Game movement. You can learn more about it here or you can contact me and I will tell you all about it. The game has been played both online and offline in companies, universities and independent initiatives in France (GRDF, Vestiaire Collectif, among others), Poland (Startup Community Poznan – Plus Jeden) and Ukraine (University of Lviv, University of Kiev)

If you are participating in a future session or if you are curious about the content of this interactive lecture, please continue reading!

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”.


In this interactive lecture, you will learn:

  • What are some cognitive biases and decision-making heuristics
  • How can you apply the research in cognitive biases and decision-making to the fields of marketing and management, and to your personal life.


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 related to food! Well, to navigate our lives, our brains use shortcuts that simplify our decision-making processes.

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 to convince the public that cigarettes were “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.


Rodrigo Serrano is a professional trainer based in Paris, France. In his 14 years of experience as a teacher, trainer and instructional designer, he has developed and delivered fun learning experiences in management, psychology, pedagogy and languages for major companies and universities in Spain, France, Monaco and Poland. He has developed a total obsession with effective and fun pedagogy over his professional career. You can contact him here.