The Cognitive Biases That Convince You the World Is Falling Apart

The mind is a powerful thing, but it can play tricks on you.

It can be too easy to slip into “declinism” and to believe that things are getting worse, things will never be as good as they once were.

This article explores the cognitive biases (ingrained ways of thinking) that drive us to think that the world is deteriorating, when in fact by universal standards, our quality of life is the greatest it’s been in the history of mankind.

 

We’re Drawn to the Negative In the Present

We forget sometimes that we mighty humans, conquerors of the planet, are just stupid animals concerned with our own survival. This evolutionary drive to live led our brains to always be on the lookout for threats, overestimate dangers, and not dwell on positive things for too long to avoid becoming complacent (which at one time would mean starving or becoming something else’s lunch). That instinct is what we now call the “negativity bias,” which basically means that we put a lot more focus on the bad things than we do good things.

 

Full post here.