Concepts change the way we think. Before we knew about evolution, we couldn’t explain much of what was going on around us; for example, how there came to be such a diversity of species on earth. We’ve collated a list of some concepts that have changed the way we think about the world that might be useful additions to your cognitive toolkit.
Julian Rotter, one of the most influential academic psychologists of the 20th century, suggested that people tend to fall somewhere on the scale between having what he called an internal locus (‘internals’) and having an external locus (‘externals’). What does this mean, and what are the implications?
Why do some discussions involving smart and reasonable people generate such emotive responses and so often go nowhere? Why does this happen more often for politics and religion than for discussing, say, preferred sock colours? In Paul Graham’s essay Keep Your Identity Small, he suggests that these topics are often too close to our identities which can obscure the truth: