The inner talk show host distorts simple thought with chatter

Thursday, 19 August, 2010

Our (inherent?) tendency to over-analyse a situation can impede our ability to make simple – instinctive – judgements on just about anything, from preferences in varieties of jam, to the choice of which apartment or house to buy.

So here’s my new metaphor for human reason: our rational faculty isn’t a scientist – it’s a talk radio host. That voice in your head spewing out eloquent reasons to do this or do that doesn’t actually know what’s going on, and it’s not particularly adept at getting you nearer to reality. Instead, it only cares about finding reasons that sound good, even if the reasons are actually irrelevant or false. (Put another way, we’re not being rational – we’re rationalizing.)

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