Irrationalities in our behaviours have been observed to be essential aspects of our nature. Most of the irrationalities have their origin in the adaptive strategies developed by millions of years of evolution to cope with the environmental harsh conditions of our ancient past. Consequently, we developed quick response systems to meet successfully the challenges of our ancestral environment. They were essential for our survival, but a few have now become redundant in the modern conditions, and are looked down as ridiculous biases. Some irrationalities have actually been found to be essential and beneficial for the well being and growth of our species. During the last few thousand years of our development we additionally acquired a large number of belief systems, superstitions and faiths. Some of these beliefs are not quite rational and reasonable. They mould our personality by affecteting our opinions, decisions, actions and behaviours. We are what we believe. When you hold beliefs without ascertaining their validity, you start losing your ability to doubt and question your beliefs. Fortunately, along with these developments we also created a reservoir of verifiable knowledge by using rational methods during the last few hundred years of our existence. We have a responsibility to familiarise ourselves with these techniques to avoid pitfalls of assuming all beliefs to be true. This book discusses how these irrationalities affect our lives, and how to cope with them.
Wing Commander M. A. Alam is a retired Indian Air Force officer. He holds the degrees of M.A., M.Ed., and Ph.D. While in service, he served on instructional and administrative duties. He was also on Directing Staff at College of Defence Management, and Chief Instructor, Defence Institute of Work Study.