The British Psychological Society recently interviewed Dr. Daniel Krawczyk, Deputy Director Center for BrainHealth®, Debbie & Jim Francis Chair, The University of Texas at Dallas & University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, about his new book, Reasoning: The Neuroscience of How We Think, published by Elsevier.
We like to think in terms of cause and effect. What happens when that’s not possible?
Seeking evidence for why an event occurred is part of human nature, and it involves some of the most critical thinking processes we have. This process can allow us to determine the result of our actions based on immediate and clear feedback. Gaining insight into the world around us has resulted in numerous scientific discoveries. Engineering, medicine, and law are all fields in which clear feedback can allow us to make remarkable progress by understanding cause and effect relationships.
A medical situation can be life-threatening if the direct cause is not identified. In a searching for causes, we may look to the internet – not always the most reliable source of information on the cause of a health problem. We might be led to assume that the cause of a severe headache is a brain aneurysm when in fact it’s a migraine. Or consider stock traders… they can make a lot of money when they understand causes and effects. But many value situations are complex and uncertain. Cognitive or emotional biases enter into our thinking when we don’t have all of the relevant information. Biased evaluation of the cause can lose traders a lot of money.
Published on The British Psychological Society February 27 2018