The human mind is subject to predictable mental errors in evaluating other people, personal interactions, and the risks of different courses of action. Psychologists call these errors biases, and have identified a good number of them. I’ve learned enough about some of these biases to make me a bit wary of my own reactions to some situations, and to think that one of the big problems facing thinking meat is the necessity to recognize and overcome our built-in shortcomings in judgement (and memory for that matter, but that’s another story). In this article in Foreign Policy, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and doctoral student Jonathan Renshon describe how these biases favor hawks over doves in political situations. It’s not that hawks are always wrong, but because of these mental errors that we’re prone to, hard-nosed arguments that advocate the use of force to resolve a situation tend to have more weight than arguments in favor of negotiation or political solutions. The applications to current and past wars are thought-provoking, and this makes me even more inclined to believe that we need to figure out how to recognize our inborn propensities to misjudge situations and learn how to get a clearer picture of our adversaries as well as ourselves.