Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. A new theory aims to make sense of it all.
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A yogi’s twist on decision science
Eva M. Krockow Ph.D.
Do you ever spot pictures in the clouds? Human brains are remarkably good at recognizing patterns. This is an evolutionary advantage, but it comes at a cost.
Ready to escape the hardship of 2020? Harness the Fresh Start Effect and make meaningful changes.
Is it possible to improve doctors' treatment choices? Group-based decision making may offer a novel way of boosting tricky medical judgments.
May you harm one person in order to save several others? Your cultural background is likely to influence your response.
Can safety interventions such as compulsory face masks tempt people into relaxing other preventative behaviors? Risk compensation theory offers surprising insights.
What's in a name? Its length, spelling, or meaning may affect the characteristics that people associate with it.
Struggling to make a choice? Rolling dice or flipping coins can offer surprising benefits to speed up the process.
Choosing to ignore potentially helpful information—even if unpleasant—seems irrational. So why do many people actively avoid bad news?
Why would someone adopt protective health behaviours in one area while endangering their life in another? Cognitive dissonance theory may shed light on puzzling choices.
Have you benefitted from the kindness of others during the COVID-19 pandemic? The unique psychological properties of disasters could have prompted a sudden surge in altruism.
The surprising lessons of reality TV: "Too Hot to Handle" offers unexpected insights into human cooperation that are relevant to climate change.
It can be tempting to chase arbitrary health targets. But are you losing sight of the bigger picture?
Struggling to stay at home during a lockdown? Surprising research on cognitive biases explains why waiting for a crisis to pass can be just as tough as actively fighting it.
Panic-buying, stealing, and hoarding of toilet paper is one of the more bizarre reactions to the outbreak of COVID-19. The "zero-risk bias" could help explain it.
Are two heads really better than one? Research suggests that groups can outsmart individual decision-makers.
Can bending into pretzel shapes actually sharpen the mind? Try these 7 poses and find out for yourself.
Research explains why cheerleaders often appear so attractive, and how you can use this effect to your advantage.
Strategic prioritization and time management can go a long way in mitigating the effects of the deceptively simple "bike shed problem."
Do you ever feel misunderstood by other people? The "illusion of asymmetric insight" may be at the root of people's biased character judgements.
Is regret keeping you up at night? Here's how to reduce self-blame and make better decisions in the future.
Searching for the perfect gift this Christmas? Good ideas are hard to come by, but gift cards are not the solution.
Should we put current patients at risk in order to save future generations?
How can we tackle the common problem of overconfidence? Understanding its different origins is a first step.
Do you like getting your fair share? Social Value Orientation may explain why.
Does a "bad hair day" drag you down? You're not alone. Here's what the science says about our hairy choices.
Are you worried about falling prey to urban legends and fake news? It could be worth examining a statement's truthiness.
What can Kylie Minogue's song lyrics tell us about decision making? Surprising evidence for human uncertainty aversion suggests the need to step outside our comfort zone.
Do you pay too much when you pay nothing? While it is rational to minimise financial spending, people often overlook the hidden costs of seemingly "free" items.
Have you been tricked by decoy options in the past? Anticipating regret could help you make better choices in the future!
In some cases, smart people may be particularly susceptible to deception. Three tips can help avoid reasoning errors.
Eva Krockow, Ph.D., is a researcher in decision making at the University of Leicester.