Mind the Gap: A primer on Biases and Mental Models (slide deck)

Here’s an annotated and somewhat abbreviated version of a talk I did back in May for Hyper Island’s Learning Lab in New York City, focused on biases, decision making and mental models.

It wasn’t my initial intention to do this as a talk; I’d just collected a few snippets around the topic for my own learning purposes and had begun adding a few metaphors and examples to help build my understanding.

The area of biases and mental models is something I’ve long understood, but only to a very rudimentary level. Up until recently I’d never thought properly about what a confirmation bias actually is (or what it means), how Occam’s Razor can be used to help make a decision, or why we overly focus on the victors in business, sports, arts and life.

So when Hyper Island asked if I’d like to join their event series as a speaker, this was the first topic that came to mind. They liked the idea, and suddenly I found myself with a week or two to repackage a collection of low res images and scratchy similes  into something far more coherent and engaging.

After the talk I didn’t think to do anything more with it, but upon meeting someone else with an interest in this subject matter I realised there may be some value in sharing the contents of this talk as there’s still a relatively small amount of non-technical information out there.

My ‘slide craft’ and broader ability in presenting and teaching has come on a lot since May, and so posting this online feels a little cringeworthy, but hopefully there are some nice nuggets for you to take away regardless.

Perhaps I’ll do a full video version of this soon to bring the deck to life, and add my full repertoire of bad jokes – you’ve been warned.

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