#30in30 – Hot to Cold or Cold to Hot?

People generally underestimate how their body (or more precisely: their visceral drives, including hunger, thirst, drug cravings, physical pain and mere emotions) is influencing their behavior and decision-making. The legal profession is prone to this bias as much as anyone, as we will discover in the following. While workings of this bias within our private…

#30in30 – Unveil your blind Eyes

An individual has been described by a neighbor as follows: “Steve is very shy and withdrawn, invariably helpful but with little interest in people or in the world of reality. A meek and tidy soul, he has a need for order and structure […], and a passion for detail.” Is Steve more likely to be…

#30in30 – Two Bags of Marbles

You are presented two bags. One contains 700 red chips and 300 blue chips, while the other one is opposite with 700 blue chips and 300 red ones. You are given the choice between the bags. Take one and begin to sample with replacement. In twelve samples, you get 8 reds and 4 blues. What…

#30in30 – Burying our Heads in the Sand

I am not sure whether the saying “to bury one’s head in the sand” is known worldwide. In Germany it is associated with ostriches, allegedly burying their head to avoid danger. Of course, this is a mere fairy tale. But from the image in our mind, we can draw interesting conclusions – for our personal…

#30in30 – Use their Mood to win the Game

(Reading time: 3 min read)

Long before starting to study brain behavior and beginning to understand a little bit about how we make certain decisions, I – as a litigation lawyer – had to try to convince judges to rule according to my client’s claim. To reach my objectives, of course I did my part of the job: I understood the case, went through the documents, made all the legal research, and tried to write the facts in a clear and coherent way. As much as I believed in the case, however, I could never know for sure what to expect from another human’s mind. That is why my lucky amulet and my special prayer for a “judge’s good mood” were always there before a hearing or the submission of an important motion.

#30in30 – Fooled by Fundamentals

(Reading time: 2 Min read)

The Base Rate Fallacy is a formal fallacy. It occurs when too little weight is placed on the probability base rate of an event. People are succumbing to the base rate fallacy when erroneously judging the likelihood of an event without taking into account all the relevant data. The underlying mechanism is an overt focus on new information without acknowledging how this impacts the original assumptions. Old information is still evaluated and taken into account, however the newer pieces of information are given too much weight.