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The Clear Thinking Blog

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June 23, 2020

One of the most important skill sets for thinking rationally is resisting binary dichotomies on important, complex topics. We’ve succinctly categorised three types of binary thinking that are easy to fall into, and paired them with the three kinds of nuanced thinking that can be used as an antidote to these rationality traps. If you want to think more clearly, these simple skills are some of the most valuable you can learn.
 
Our brains, too...

June 10, 2020

Now more than ever, we’re seeing articles on our favorite news sites accompanied by eye-catching graphics, making it easier to understand the reality behind the numbers. But data can be used to mislead just like it can be used to inform. How can we tell when information that we’re presented with is reliable? Below you’ll find our guide to many of the manipulations, mistakes, and omissions you’ll often find in data. We think that this guide w...

May 28, 2020

Your brain is your most valuable tool — you use it every day to solve problems, make decisions, and navigate our complex world. But how well do you really know your own mind? And what kind of thinker are you?

This free, fun quiz will teach you a lot about your own thought patterns. It uses your responses to 21 brain-teasing questions to create a detailed report on your mental characteristics, including:

  • Which of 16 reasoning styles you use...

May 20, 2020

Let’s talk fact-checking.​​


At Clearer Thinking, we share interactive activities to help people incorporate important insights from psychology into their own lives. 


That’s why we were interested in Skeptoid, an educational podcast about science literacy and skepticism that helps you question popular beliefs. Skeptoid’s goal is to correct common misinformation, especially when it comes to beliefs that contradict science, and it does this in...

April 30, 2020

Many of us have had our lives dramatically affected over the last few months by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re wondering when and how things are going to get back to “normal,” you’re not alone! We’ve been researching these questions and have put together for you the information that we’ve found. This post will cover the six major unknowns that impact how and when governments will get society back to “normal” and the four strategies that th...

April 28, 2020

As you might imagine, anxiety and unhappiness have spiked sharply during lockdown. Good data is hard to come by, so we were very impressed to discover that the UK Office of National Statistics’ long-run study of well-being has now started doing almost-weekly surveys specifically during the pandemic, giving us all a remarkable picture of anxiety and unhappiness during lockdown. The picture, unfortunately is not good:

For the last nine years, a...

April 15, 2020

We’re trying something a little different. Are you interested in improving the world using concepts from psychology, behavioural economics, math, or social science? Can you come up with ideas for teaching a skill, framework, or behaviour change strategy that would work well in an interactive, digital format? 

We’re inviting our users to take part in our new Clearer Thinking Micro Grants program! We are offering up to $595 to people who propos...

April 8, 2020

Do you know what your most important values are? Even those of us who have thought carefully about what matters to us might not be aware of all the things we personally believe are valuable. Our free program, the Intrinsic Values Test, gets right to the heart of these questions, helping you to discover your own unique intrinsic values and what they say about you - check it out here!

Some of our regular users might have noticed that this progr...

March 19, 2020

In the coming weeks and months, the COVID-19 pandemic may cause you to spend a lot more time at home than you are used to. It can be challenging to spend so much time at home, and to avoid being physically close to others, especially if you’re experiencing more anxiety than usual or if you can’t stick to your regular work routine. So what meaningful things can you do during that time?
 
Here's our list of 40 meaningful activities you can do...

March 3, 2020

How worried should you be about COVID-19 (also known as the "novel coronavirus disease" or "2019-nCov"), and should you start preparing for a potential pandemic?

I do not want to be alarmist. At the time of this writing – Tuesday, February 25 – the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend taking specific steps towards preparing for widespread coronavirus outbreaks in the United States. (Click here for a list of the...

Reality can sometimes be scary. Do you find yourself in a frequent state of worry about the world? Or are there elements in your work or personal life that cause you substantial anxiety? Below you will find a set of questions we created to help you determine useful responses to your anxious thoughts, with the goal of helping you cope with stressful situations.

Image source: Atlas of Emotions 

Some psychologists class anxiety as a kind of fear...

January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! The past year has been our busiest yet at ClearerThinking, with lots of new, valuable programs for you to use. In case you missed any of it, we’ve compiled a quick summary of the free tests and tools we released this year. They are designed to help you better understand yourself, become happier, improve your critical thinking, and better detect misleading information. Keep reading to try out the newest programs that might hav...

December 23, 2019

Chances are that you have a few positive habits you’d like to form. Maybe you’d like to start  exercising daily. Or, perhaps you want to spend a little time each day learning something new and useful. While our lives can improve if we form positive habits like these, it can be hard to make them stick.

There are plenty of techniques out there that may improve your chances for having a habit stick. But it’s not clear which of these work, if any...

December 18, 2019

News organizations, companies, and politicians are constantly making arguments about what they think you should or shouldn't believe. But can you tell which of these arguments are strong, and which arguments are worth ignoring? To find out, try our new "Can You Detect Weak Arguments?" quiz that we've just launched. It checks your ability to cut through misleading rhetoric and combat your own biases.

Do you properly vet arguments you’re presen...

December 4, 2019

Are you deciding on a new career path, or reflecting on your current career and where it's headed? Sometimes we make career decisions based on guesses or gut feeling, and we’re actually lacking important information about whether a specific career path or job opportunity is right for us. With that in mind, we’ve combed through 80,000 Hours' new career guide to pull out some of the information that’s most valuable when making decisions about...

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