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No One Understands You and What to Do About It by Heidi Halvorson

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Chapter 2

Your Observers Are Cognitive Misers (and So Are You)

In the 1980s, psychologists Susan Fiske and Shelly Taylor were looking for a way to describe what research was showing to be a ubiquitous tendency among humans: to think only as much as they feel they need to, and no more. And so the metaphor of the cognitive miser was born, with each of us an Ebenezer Scrooge—except instead of sitting on piles of money and refusing to pay for an extra lump of coal to keep the house warm, we sit on reserves of mental energy and processing capacity, unwilling to spend much of it unless we really have to. We rely on simple, efficient thought processes to get the job done—not so much out of laziness (though there is some of that, too), but out of necessity. ...

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