Thursday, 28 April 2016

10 Cognitive Biases That Shape Our (Genealogical) Thinking

Bandwagon effect, availability heuristic and confirmation bias are just three of the traps I've seen in action in the genealogy community, including in my own genealogical research. They are covered in some books I've been reading: Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard Nisbett; Superforecasting: the Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner, and Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Not enough time to read those! Canadian librarian-blogger Stephen Abram, executive director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries, features a simple graphic which highlights some of the key messages into ten biases to which we all succumb.

Check it out at


Debbie Kennett said...

You might also enjoy "Irrationality: the enemy within" by Stuart Sutherland and "Bad Science" by Ben Goldacre. I highly recommend both books.

Celia Lewis said...

A friend of mine (scientist) loves to state that 95% of the time, people think they think.
They don't.

And "we" are those "they" - whether or not we think so. :)

Great books, John & Debbie.
- Celia