December 3, 2022




Russell Conjugation, Perfect Solution Fallacy, The Petrie Multiplier & More

At a glance

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This Week: 7 mental models that will make you smarter

Russell Conjugation

When someone chooses different words to describe something, depending on how favourable they want to be to what they’re describing.

When reading or listening to others, ask:

“Am I forming my opinion based on facts, or the opinion of the writer/speaker?”

Perfect Solution Fallacy

We reject something because it compares poorly to an ideal that in reality is unattainable.

We assume there is a perfect solution to every problem.

Reality is more complicated and trade-offs exist.

Take the option with the most bearable trade-offs.

The Petrie Multiplier

Statistically, in a large group, it’s easy for the majority to avoid identity slurs, while members of the minority group receive an underestimated amount of harassment.

This occurs because there are more potential givers than receivers of harassment.

Introspection Illusion

We think we understand our motivations and desires, our likes and dislikes.

We believe we know ourselves and why we are the way we are.

In reality, when asked to explain our emotional states, we typically make something up.

Dig deeper, reflect more.

Causal Reductionism

Falsely attributing an outcome to a single cause when there were actually several.

John: I crashed my car because a Cat ran in front of it.

Policeman: So it wasn’t because you were texting your girlfriend & driving drunk?

Remember the full context.

Prototype Theory

We take things around us and compare them to pre-existing mental ”Prototypes” for likeness to reduce our processing load.

Sadly, this blocks new information & forces us to focus on pre-existing ideas.

Remember: Be open and flexible to new interpretations.

False Dichotomy

A persuasion tactic involving presenting only two options or possibilities when more exist.

The presenter makes the audience believe the options are black or white—not something in between.

Always ask: “Do more choices exist?” when presented binary choices.

There you have it, 7 mental models that will make you smarter. 

I hope you enjoyed them!


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🔗 Favourite links of the week 🔗

  1. Decision Making Frameworks
  2. Advanced tips for every internet tool — Dickie Bush
  3. Buffet Focus — James Clear

See you again next week!

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