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The Knowledge Illusion

Dec 7, 2017

In the 1980’s a psychologist at Bell Labs named Thomas Landauer set out to estimate how much knowledge an individual stores in bytes, the same scale used to measure computer memories. What he found may shock you. His estimate was somewhere on the order of 1 gigabyte, much less than fits on a thumb drive.

Human beings are just not made to store a lot of information. What we excel at is pursuing complex goals in teams where each individual contributes a little bit of expertise to help the group succeed. Unfortunately, we often evaluate performance and success through an individualistic lens.

No matter how good you or your team are at what you do, you probably are making decisions based on a combination of data and your experiences. At FinNext, I will be presenting cutting edge research from cognitive science that provides new perspectives on how the mind works. We will grapple with questions like why we so often think we understand things better than we do, and why false beliefs can be so difficult to overturn. I will focus on how you can leverage these insights to grow as a leader, team member and communicator.  Once you know a few tricks on how best to do this, it will become a new standard for how you work.

Learn more about Phil's featured keynote session here.


Phil Fernbach
Professor of Marketing
University of Colorado Leeds School of Business