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Biases distort our cognitive system and prevent us from making rational decisions. The myth that we are reasonable creatures stems from the incorrect assumption that our brains are, by default, instruments of logic. Through analyzing the most common cognitive fallacies, we’re taken on a journey through the mechanics of the mind towards the root of our irrationality, which the author argues is due to motives shaping our judgment.
Scholars have discussed the mechanics of persuasion since ancient times. Persuasion encompasses every aspect of culture, with rhetoric as a crucial tool to influence every sphere of society, from mundane negotiations to big national debates. One could argue any form of communication is a form of persuasion. Whether through writing or talking, at home or at work, with friends or customers, chances are you spend a good amount of your time trying to persuade someone of something. In Rhetoric, Aristotle defines three main ways to persuade people: ethos, pathos, and logos.
I have always been fascinated by mental models. The same way scientists are looking for a theory of everything, I sometimes wonder if there is a universal theory of the mind. An all-encompassing, coherent framework that would fully explain and link together all aspects of our biology and psychology.
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