Take this simple test that you can do quickly in your mind and you will see if you are intellectually lazy.

Do not try to solve it but listen to your intuition: A bat and ball cost $ 1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

A number came to your mind. The number, of course, is 10: 10 ¢. The distinctive mark of this easy puzzle is that it evokes an answer that is intuitive, appealing, and wrong. Do the math, and you will see. If the ball costs 10 ¢, then the total cost will be $ 1.20 (10 ¢ for the ball and $ 1.10 for the bat), not $ 1.10. The correct answer is 5 ¢.

Now let’s look at a logical argument— two premises and a conclusion. Try to determine, as quickly as you can, if the argument is logically valid. Does the conclusion follow from the premises?

All roses are flowers. Some flowers fade quickly. Therefore some roses fade quickly.

This argument is flawed, because it is possible that there are no roses among the flowers that fade quickly. Just as in the bat-and-ball problem, a plausible answer comes to mind immediately. Overriding it requires hard work— the insistent idea that “it’s true, it’s true!” makes it difficult to check the logic, and most people do not take the trouble to think through the problem.

Now lets look at the illistration below and quickly identify which horizontal line is longer.

More than likely you selected line (a) the fact is they are both the same length.

Intelligence is not only the ability to reason; it is also the ability to find relevant material in memory and to deploy attention when needed.

Failing these minitests appears to be, at least to some extent, a matter of insufficient motivation, not trying hard enough. Our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events.

Those who avoid the sin of intellectual sloth could be called “engaged.” They are more alert, more intellectually active, less willing to be satisfied with superficially attractive answers, more skeptical about their intuitions. The psychologist Keith Stanovich would call them more rational.

Conflict between an automatic reaction and an intention to control it is common in our lives.

The reason for this is because our brain operates on two levels

The distinction between fast and slow thinking has been explored by many psychologists over the last twenty-five years. Psychologist refer to this as System 1 and System 2, which respectively produce fast and slow thinking.

System 1 (fast thinking) is more influential than your experience tells you, and it is the secret author of many of the choices and judgments you make. It also operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control.

System 2 (slow thinking) allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. The operations of System 2 are often associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration. System 2 takes over, overruling the freewheeling impulses and associations of System 1.

An important note here is, if you are intellectually lazy you are more susceptible to marketing and sales tricks that play on the fact that 80% of folks are susceptible.

There are two takeaways from this as I see it. One being the obvious “think through your next purchase before you buy” and the other is the less obvious “if you’re a internet marketer and can put together a sales funnel that only engages the the fast thinking part of one’s mind you stand to create a powerful tool that can become irresistible to the majority.

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Thanks for reading and by-all-means leave a comment. I would love to hear your take-away…