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December 19, 2018

Season's greetings!

December has more to offer than family reunions and reflections on the year that was – it's also a popular time for charity. (One 2014 study found that over 30% of online charitable giving occurred in December alone!) But how do you make sure your donations help as much as possible? Our programs can help – starting with What Causes Match Your Values?, a new free tool for choosing the right cause to support.

It can be daunti...

September 26, 2018

Do you wish you could adopt a healthier or more productive lifestyle with less strain and stress? We've got a study we'd like you to join!

ClearerThinking is currently developing a new tool designed to help you improve your daily habits — the routine ways you work, eat, sleep, and spend your free hours. These patterns make up a large percentage of our waking hours, and adjusting them can have dramatic positive effects over time. Our aim is...

August 29, 2018

ClearerThinking founder Spencer Greenberg recently made his second appearance on the 80,000 Hours podcast. In this episode, Spencer and host Robert Wiblin engage in a wide-ranging discussion about many of the practical rationality concepts that we focus on here at ClearerThinking and how to best make use of them. If you'd like to get a better sense of how to apply techniques like the Question of Evidence, reference class forecasting, and con...

August 10, 2018

The author and humorist Douglas Adams once wrote that "nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special rules." It's easy to find the inspiration for Adams's quip in today's media, which often seem to exclusively cover grim portents. Stormclouds like international strife, climate change, and runaway technology have become such fixtures on the news horizon that it's hard to im...

March 28, 2018

Shortly after Election Day 2016, ClearerThinking took part in organizing a novel research project. Inspired by our longstanding interest in making more accurate predictions, we collaborated with affiliates to set up a long-term experiment: how accurately could different groups of people predict the political events of the coming years? Our findings from the first year of the Trump presidency demonstrate the intriguing power of group forecast...

September 28, 2017

We just launched a new free mini-program that lets you see if you're susceptible to a certain numerical bias! To try it out, click here.

We're all called on to make numerical estimates on occasion. But are your guesses truly independent? Or is it possible that you're being manipulated by irrelevant information — or even disinformation — without your knowledge?

This program provides a quick, clear self-assessment for this paradoxical quest...

August 15, 2017

Cooperation and trust are two of the most important elements of any successful human endeavor — people need to work together to accomplish big things, and mutual trust helps to avoid squabbling and backstabbing. Despite their self-evident value, of course, these social bonds between individuals and groups break down all the time in practice. This basic fact of human relationships raises an important question: how can we create social conditi...

July 13, 2017

The last several decades have seen sweeping changes to the kinds of technology available to consumers. It's easy to forget, as we fiddle with our smartphones and buy cheap drones for recreational flight, how quickly these shifts have taken place. For example: the television, one of the most standard-issue examples of consumer electronics, started to become popular about 70 years ago; many living people have firsthand memories of the pre-TV e...

June 7, 2017

As we've mentioned in a few recent newsletters, the ClearerThinking team is currently hard at work on a new tool designed to help users change their daily habits for the better. As a result, we've been reviewing the existing academic literature around behavior formation and behavior change, which principally comes from psychology. Some form of behavior change strategy is an important component of virtually every established form of therapy —...

May 3, 2017

Over the past year or so, we've occasionally discussed 80,000 Hours — a charitable organization that aims to help people find careers that are both personally meaningful and beneficial to the world. 80,000 Hours shares ClearerThinking's interest in finding evidence-based solutions for everyday problems, and we wanted to pass along a particularly useful resource in that vein that they recently released: a compilation of evidence-based advice...

April 25, 2017

Since 1972, the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center has conducted a massive biennial survey of American attitudes called the General Social Survey. The GSS tracks hundreds of different trends in a conveniently visual format. Today we'll be discussing one of the stranger trends that has emerged from the GSS's findings over the decades. Specifically: why has American happiness failed to improve during this period?

The GSS g...

April 10, 2017

We've occasionally mentioned in recent updates that ClearerThinking is developing a free tool designed to help users change their daily habits or form new ones. As a result, we've been thinking in great detail about the process of changing one's behavior. Today, we thought we'd share some useful observations about the nature of behavior change that we've arrived at during this process. Specifically: changing your behavior successfully is act...

March 14, 2017

We've occasionally mentioned in recent updates that ClearerThinking is currently developing a free tool designed to help users change their daily habits or form new ones. As a result, we've been digging deep into the scientific literature on behavior and habit change, looking for proven but simple tactics to incorporate into the tool. We wanted to share one of the most thoroughly tested of these tactics with you today so that you can try it...

March 1, 2017

This post is part of an occasional ongoing series about the forces driving political partisanship in the United States, based on original research conducted by ClearerThinking.

The state and direction of the economy plays a major role in any American presidential campaign. Typically, the debate revolves around how to maintain momentum in flush times, or how to kickstart the economy if it's moving sluggishly or in recession. The 2016...

January 18, 2017

Modern life is so busy that it can be hard to keep track of time. We spend so much of our days running from responsibility to responsibility that it's easy to lose sight of how we actually allocate the precious waking hours we have available to us. As a result, it can be tough to think concretely about how we might improve the way we distribute that time among our various obligations and interests.

That's why ClearerThinking created this free...

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