The Misconception: You take randomness into account when determining cause and effect.
The Truth: You tend to ignore random chance when the results seem meaningful or when you want a random event to have a meaningful cause.
~ David McRaney, from The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
The Misconception: If you stop engaging in a bad habit, the habit will gradually diminish until it disappears from your life.
The Truth: Any time you quit something cold turkey, your brain will make a last-ditch effort to return you to your old ways.
~ David McRaney, from Extinction Burst
If you are thinking about buying a new car, you suddenly see people driving them all over the roads. If you just ended a long-time relationship, every song you hear seems to be written about love. If you are having a baby, you start to see them everywhere.
Confirmation bias is seeing the world through a filter, thinking selectively.
The examples above are a sort of passive version of the phenomenon. The real trouble begins when confirmation bias distorts your active pursuit of facts.
~ David McRaney, from Confirmation Bias
If you think you can buy your way to individuality, well, you are not so smart.
Since the 1940s, when capitalism and marketing married psychology and public relations, the market has been getting much better and more efficient at offering you something to purchase no matter your taste.
~ David McRaney, from Selling Out
Self-perception theory says you observe your own behavior and then, after the fact, make up a story to explain it. That story is sometimes close to the truth, and sometimes it is just something nice that makes you feel better about being a person.
~ David McRaney, from The Overjustification Effect