Turning cognitive science into cognitive practice.

Ever made a mistake? Missed an opportunity? Of course; but what’s interesting is how cognitive scientists have found even highly educated and successful people make predictable errors in judgement, and just knowing about these experiments often isn’t enough to prevent these mistakes. It actually takes practice to form new mental habits. At our workshops, you can learn about newly discovered failure patterns in human decision-making, and begin training to overcome them…

Our Clients:

When we make decisions about the things we really care about — like our health, our families, our jobs, or the world at large — we tell ourselves, “I really thought this through. I did the best I could, right?”

But careful thinking just isn’t enough to understand our minds’ hidden failures. Over the past fifty years, science has discovered common human error patterns — cognitive biases — whereby people of all levels of education and intelligence will misjudge reality, fail to achieve their goals, and make all kinds of self-defeating mistakes. And these biases are so basic and pervasive to human thinking that we’re all making these mistakes every day without even noticing. So what can be done?

Thankfully, careful thinking is no longer the best we can do. By taking lessons from science about the very foundations of human intuition, we can begin patching the problems and find new ways to engage our strengths. We can do better.

And that’s why CFAR exists: to translate research into practice, turn cognitive science into cognitive technology, and bring the fruits of experimental psychology to bear for individuals and the world. We turn mathematical and empirical insights about the human mind into mental exercises that train the everyday skills of making accurate predictions, avoiding self-deception, and getting your motivation where your arithmetic says it should be. And we select and improve our exercises through rapidly iterated testing sessions, through our workshops, and through long-term follow-ups we’re conducting on training with randomized admissions.

Read more about our vision, who we are, and what we do… or, book a phone or video-chat appointment with one of our staff.

Julia Galef

Julia is a writer, blogger, and public speaker focusing on science and rationality […]

President and Cofounder

Anna Salamon

Anna has previously done machine learning research for NASA and applied mathematics research […]

Executive Director and Cofounder

Michael Smith

Michael has extensive experience with teaching and curriculum design […]

Curriculum Developer, CFO, and Cofounder

Andrew Critch

Andrew just received his PhD in mathematics at UC Berkeley […]

Curriculum Developer and Cofounder

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Eliezer has written extensively on rationality, including the most-reviewed […]

Curriculum Consultant

Paul Christiano

Paul Christiano recently finished an undergraduate degree in mathematics at MIT […]

SPARC Program Manager

Yan Zhang

Yan is a Morrey Visiting Assistant Professor in mathematics at UC Berkeley […]

Curriculum Consultant and SPARC Instructor

Kenzi Amodei

Kenzi has worked as a professional stage manager throughout the SF Bay Area. […]

Operations Manager and Instructor

Dan Keys

Dan has conducted research on the psychology of judgment and decision making […]

Research Associate

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Upcoming Events
Date/Time Event
May 18, 2016 – May 22, 2016 Applied Rationality Workshop in San Francisco

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Keith Stanovich

Keith E. Stanovich is
Professor of Applied
Psychology and Human
Development at the
University of Toronto.


Paul Slovic

Dr. Slovic is a past
President of the Society
for Risk Analysis and in
1991 received its
Contribution Award.


Liron Shapira

Liron Shapira is
at Quixey, an
intelligent all-platform
functional search engine
for apps.


“The optimal moment to address the question of how to improve human decision making has arrived.”

— Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2010