The cognitive algorithms we use to solve everyday problems are results of our evolutionary history. They evolved to enable us to decide quickly in situations that required immediate response. The cognitive and behavioral challenges we face today are increasingly complex and removed from the selection pressures under which said cognitive algorithms evolved. Therefore our intuition is not a very competent advisor in our everyday life today. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of human cognitive algorithms and highlight the importance to complement them with higher-level cognition, but also scientific investigations in order to avoid the most common pitfalls of relying on intuition alone.
Elisabeth is the president at Urban Human and a member of the Science Busters (Vienna, Austria). She is a behavioral biologist working in diverse areas like human-nature interaction, non-verbal communication and evolution.
(Image / Video (c) Johanna Dulnigg, FH Kärnten)