heuristic hacks

Our brain is a wondrous thing, but it's certainly not perfect. It uses mental shortcuts or heuristics to make 95% of decisions which can sometimes lead you to make erroneous choices. Heuristic hacks will help you avoid these common decision pitfalls, both at home and at work.


Incremental Decision Making
Incremental Decision Making

Do you find it easier to break down decisions into smaller steps as opposed to diving headlong into a larger commitment? If so, you are prone to the effects of incremental decision making. Hack this bias to avoid “firefighting decisions” that often focus on the immediate problem, while ignoring the most optimal solution.

Ambiguity Aversion
Ambiguity Aversion

Do you feel that fear of the unknown is holding you back from achieving your full potential in life? If yes, you might have Ambiguity Aversion and it is preventing you from being the best version of yourself. Hack your Ambiguity Aversion and learn to embrace the unknown.

Happy People, Happy Choices
Happy People, Happy Choices

Did you, as a child, wait for your parents to be in a good mood before broaching the subject of buying a new video game? If yes, then you learned the art of leveraging the "happy people, happy choices" heuristic very early on! Learn how to hack this heuristic in your daily life to minimize conflict.

Empathy Gap

Have you ever judged someone for their belief systems or silently questioned their choices? Most of us fail to put ourselves in other peoples’ shoes and that is a manifestation of our Empathy Gap. Hack this bias to avoid misjudging the emotions and behaviors of others.

Distinction Bias

Have you found yourself agonizing over the 7-grain, 12 grain, organic, low cal, thin sliced choices of bread loaves at the grocery store? This is distinction bias that makes us believe that things are more different (when compared side-by-side) than they actually are. Hack this bias to avoid making wrong choices.

Rosy Retrospection
Rosy Retrospection

“Those were the days” is a phrase most of us have been raised on. We’ve heard this from parents and grandparents as they reminisce the “good old days”. This is Rosy retrospection a cognitive bias that causes people to remember past events as being more positive than they were in reality. Hack this bias to avoid distorting your view of reality.

Status Quo
Status Quo Bias

Do you continue to stick with the same internet and cable service event though it keeps disconnecting with regularity? This is Status Quo Bias or a person’s innate preference for not doing something different from what they’re doing today. Hack this bias to avoid non-rational decisions to stay with a sub-optimal situation.

Spotlight Effect

We’ve all had bad hair days and agonized over our appearance. This is spotlight effect at work that causes people to overestimate the degree to which they are observed and noticed by others. Hack this bias to stop being self-conscious.

Frequency Illusion

Did you ever start a new diet or a fitness regimen and felt everyone you encountered was doing the same? That’s Frequency Illusion or selective attention that is making you notice it everywhere. Learn how to hack this bias to avoid falling into a cognitive trap!

Confirmation Bias

Do you find yourself often saying things like “I agree with that”, “That’s true” or “Yes, you’re spot on”? It is confirmation bias at play that is making you seek evidence to support your pre-existing beliefs. Hack this bias to avoid missing out important information!

How to improve messaging with heuristics?

Long Des