🌻20 Mental Errors That We Make All The Time ( VERY DEEP)


And how we can deal with them. Part 1 of 2.

As the human mind developed, we’ve been able to uncover a wide array of mental errors in our lives. These are lapses in judgement and cause us to befall on more harm to ourselves or those around us.


In a world where we are trying to optimize things in our lives, self-help gurus and hustlers have encouraged us to just keep going at it. With pretty speeches, we get into the idea that with enough persistence or grit we can get through these things.

Failure is just another learning opportunity after all.

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But what if that mistake we made was due to a mental error? Can we simply overcome those kinds of things?

Probably not.

After all, Sahil Bloom, a managing partner of SRB Ventures and creator of Curiosity Chronicles, outlines 20 mental errors that we make and ties them in with examples here and there. Through that, he shows how tricky it can be to overcome these kinds of mental errors. He outlines them as such.

Read also: 5 tips to reduce environmental stress

Also considering the amount, I’m dividing this into two parts.

1. The Curse of Knowledge

Intelligent people make the assumption that the people they are talking to have the same background and understanding of a topic as they do.

As Sahil explains, it prompts people to not teach or lead for those who are lagging behind. It’s particularly prominent though in self-help as we offer all kinds of advice to those who are willing to read about it. All the while context isn’t fully provided.

To me, this mental error results not only in assumptions but omittence of knowledge. It’s positioned as helpful as the expert or intelligent person is willing to indulge in some discussion. But it creates this one -sided gain that the industry unfortunately has for many of the top earners.

2. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy

We set an expectation that we’ll be rewarded and praised for the hard work and sacrifice we’ve gone through one day.

The reality: highly unlikely. In fact, a lot of that hard work and sacrifice goes unnoticed. Whenever we pursue external affirmation, it only strengthens resentment and it can lead to resentment towards ourselves, others, or how we’re pursuing that affirmation.

It’s similar to the idea of people being against validation. I can understand why it’s better to not pursue that because it allows you to lose your sense of self and pursue things others think you should do more or less. Trying to get affirmation from other people or other external sources feels similar.

3. Survivorship Bias

History is written by those who are victorious.

One of my favourite songs is “Wonderful” in the musical Wicked. It has some lines that go like this

Elphaba we believe all sorts of things that aren’t true

We call it history

A man’s called a traitor, or liberator

A rich man’s a thief, or philanthropist

Is one a crusader? Or ruthless invader?

It’s all in the label that is able to persist

What these lines reveal is that history is flawed but we also lack the bigger picture in other areas outside of that. A good example is all of those success stories that are pushed every day. A lot of those rag to riches stories are inspiring but it also distorts how we view success.

We never see the people who try at something, utterly fail, and never get back up again to try once more.

This mental error results in big distortions in our conclusions

4. Fundamental Attribution Error

We cut ourselves some slack, while holding other people accountable for their actions.

This could lay the groundwork for whataboutism. We look at one misdeed of someone else, while thinking we are without fault in a situation. Whataboutism is all about misdirection and ensuring no one takes the moral high ground.

5. Spotlight Effect

We overestimate just how much people are noticing or observing our appearance or actions.

This mental error tends to create this irrational fear or worry that we’re going to be judged. For example, over the summer I attended an event at the local drama center and my dad insisted that I wear something nice.

No jeans. No t-shirt. Has to be dress shoes, dress pants, and dress shirt.

Considering it’s been a few years since I wore these shirts, I managed to find some that fit me. But when I went to get picked up, my dad was wearing his usual outfit — plaid long-sleeve shirt and some jeans.

Furthermore, the first person that we saw that went into the drama center for the event was a guy sporting a t-shirt, shorts, sandals, and a baseball cap.

Point is, I didn’t need to be dressed nice, but my dad thought if I had jeans and a t-shirt, I’d stick out like a sore thumb at this event.

This also feeds a little into those extravagant lifestyles that people want as well. Those ideas that people need to have big houses or cars and they go all in for that because they want to impress people. It’s kind of a reverse spotlight effect.

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6. Entrenchment Effect

We place more value in being right than discovering the truth.

We become entrenched in our beliefs and we double down on those things whenever they are put into question. Religion plays on this a lot. A good example is recently Andrew Tate has decided it was a good idea to convert himself to be Muslim.

I’ll admit I don’t have an understanding of the religion itself or what it entails to become one (aside from a video that I’d presume is Muslim’s version of baptism), but many people in that religion believe this absolves him of some of the things he has said and done.

Most notably is Muslims calling those who still criticize Tate as a hypocrite.

7. Availability Bias

We evaluate situations similarly to what data we’ve got available.

The pandemic is a prime example. COVID-19 continues to ravage places, but since the beginning we were comparing it to the flu or cold virus. The reason that caught on is because, as some pointed out, the last deadly virus that plagued us was the Spanish flu…. Hundreds of years ago.

Another prime example is the news. We are more likely to think the world is dark or doomed if we watch news cycles all the time. There are always problems and the news keeps those problems in rotation the whole time.

8. Loss Aversion

Between avoiding losses and achieving gains, we’ll go for avoiding loss most of the time.

Debit and by extension credit cards caught on so quickly because we never see money leaving our wallet. This fuels us to continue to spend money and never worry about whether we’ve got enough or not.

It’s why in some budgeting articles, they encourage people to start using cash for things. Or at the very least aggressively check your bank account.

Beyond that, we tend to overvalue what we’ve already got and can explain a few other behaviours. Such as why some of us are more reluctant to change. Or maybe why gratitude strategies work when we begin by being grateful for what we already have.

9. Naïve Realism

Whenever it comes to us, we’re always the best.

This also means what we do in the world and how we see the world is perfect. Whenever people attempt to shatter it, we go through the entrenchment effect.

We double down. We call people ignorant, uninformed, or biased.

This is the problem with a lot of big societal problems. Take climate change. Some people think it’s divine intervention and we should continue business as usual. Others are throwing liquid potatoes, tomato soup, and other liquids over paintings and saying the planet is more important than art.

Depending on which camp you’re in you’ll see those instances in different lights based on this.

Read also: How to stay consistent on your goal

10. Groupthink

People strive to “fit in” with the group.

This is how cliques are formed. This is how silos in businesses are formed. This is how religions, cults, mobs, massive organizations are formed.

And depending on the kinds of beliefs and principles that these groups adopt, these can be good or really bad. Often in these scenarios people are forced to adopt whatever is being pushed or else face the consequences.

Opposition to these is often done in silence and steering the group and making good decisions will be hindered as well.

A good example is looking at the Republican party in America right now.


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