Why do we believe things that aren't true?


It seems like we’re living in an epidemic of false belief. Clearly the other side just doesn’t have all the facts, right? Or are they really that stupid? In this fascinating and hilarious talk, cognitive scientist Philip Fernbach peels back the layers of what we really know and reveals some surprising truths about the human mind.


Philip Fernbach is a cognitive scientist and professor in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Co-author of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone, Philip’s research focuses on why we think we know more than we actually do and the implications this has on individuals and society. He lives in Boulder with his wife and two children. In his free time, he plays bluegrass music and ice hockey.

The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We’ve mastered fire, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome — yet we’re error-prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. Constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our brain: in our possessions, our environment, and the community with which we interact—usually, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. This book explains how true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the collective consciousness around us.