Hi, I’m Maarten!

In cognitive psychology, I write about how people deal with information and how biased our reasoning actually is. Indeed, contrary to a popular narrative, I think most demonstrations of our biases don’t support the inference that we’re irrational reasoners. One of my goals is to rectify this skewed interpretation of psychological research, because how we see ourselves influences how we organize society.

I also study what new insights about how human cognition works mean for how we can best offer them information in educational environments. I argue that learning is a misunderstood concept, current designs for information transfer such as books are ineffective and we should teach students way better knowledge management skills. I’m very interested in the question of how tools like Roam Research, Notion, Evernote and Obsidian can be used to build collective intelligence and extended to collaborative reasoning, allowing organizations to build shared mental maps and make faster and better-informed decisions. (I also coach people in Roam Research and writing.)

Finally, my research looks at our so-called post-truth age, how the internet influences what we believe and how each of us come to accept something as true and how societies come to some kind of public understanding about truth. How can we apply insights from cognitive science and social epistemology to everyday opinion-forming in the digitla age? How can we best make our digitized information landscape truth-friendly. Right now I think that making the online world truth-friendly is difficult but doable, and I would love to contribute to this.

Every week, I publish a new essay here. Please subscribe below! You can browse previous articles here to get a sense of what I write about.

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