November 15, 2020

It’s officially twelve days since Election Day. And here we are. What the election told us was simple: we’re divided.

I’m not here to talk about winners or losers, Democrats or Republicans, or who’s right or who’s wrong.

The number one threat to this country is our cognitive biases. Point blank. You could argue that we’re living in a time where polarization has never been higher. It’s impossible to compute or back up with hard numbers, but it certainly feels as if the divide is growing every day.

We live in a world where there is one stream of fact and truth. Sure, there’s room for deviation dependent on the context, but to keep things simple, there tends to be a singular truth in everything. Today, there are two sides with the defiant belief that they’re the ones that hold that truth. We’re playing tug-of-war with an invisible rope.

It comes down to our naturally occuring cognitive biases. There’s groupthink bias, in-group bias, belief bias, confirmation bias, framing, sunk-cost fallacy, and the barnum effect, all at play. And you and I aren’t exempt.

When you read those, you can almost immediately start to see them in play with politics. Or maybe even yourself.