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Mind Illusions

These puzzles are not easy. Many of the answers just feel wrong. Puzzles with counterintuitive solutions are traditionally called “veridical paradoxes”, but I like to call them “mind illusions.”
What are Mind Illusions?

We’re all familiar with optical illusions. These are images that demonstrate that our eyes can fool us. Mind illusions are puzzles or brainteasers that demonstrate that our minds can fool us.

Our intuition is excellent at making fast judgments, but not always for making correct ones. When we make judgments quickly, we can get things wrong. When we have the luxury of time, it is worth thinking about things slowly and carefully before making decisions or drawing conclusions.

Just like we might need a ruler or some other tool to make correct judgments when faced with an optical illusion, we need slow, careful thought to make correct judgments when faced with mind illusions.

These puzzles are ranked in order of difficulty (from easiest in yellow to hardest in blue), but even adults frequently get even the easiest ones wrong.


Courses

Fallacy Detectors Part 1

Develop the skills to tackle logical fallacies through a series of 10 science-fiction videos with activities. Recommended for ages 8-12.

US$15

Symbolic Logic for Teens Part 1

Learn how to make sense of complicated arguments with 14 video lessons and activities. Recommended for ages 13 and up.

US$15

Worksheets

Symbolic Logic Worksheets icon

Symbolic Logic Worksheets

Worksheets covering the basics of symbolic logic for children ages 12 and up.

US$5

Elementary School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Elementary School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 2-5 about superstitions, different perspectives, facts and opinions, the false dilemma fallacy, and probability.

US$10

Middle School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Middle School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 5-8 about false memories, confirmation bias, Occam's razor, the strawman fallacy, and pareidolia.

US$10

High School Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

High School Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 8-12 about critical thinking, the appeal to nature fallacy, correlation versus causation, the placebo effect, and weasel words.

US$10

Statistical Shenanigans Worksheets and Lesson Plans icon

Statistical Shenanigans Worksheets and Lesson Plans

These lesson plans and worksheets teach students in grades 9 and up the statistical principles they need to analyze data rationally.

US$10