We do many amazing things with our brains. Some of those things seem at first to be amazingly dumb. For example, we believe things that "feel" correct, even when we have plenty of evidence to the contrary. We are terrified of shark attacks, but the risk they pose is actually tiny. Equipped with such large, powerful brains, how do we go so wrong?
These errors aren't stupid. As we explore in this issue, they're systematic — the product of cognitive strategies that help us evade danger, find food, and perform other feats essential for survival. In this special issue of Discover, the neuroscience that reveals why we jump to conclusions, fail to consider evidence, or resort to bias and conjecture instead of sticking to the facts.