Media & Mentions

Notable Mentions

"CFAR was instrumental in the birth of the Future of Life Institute: 4 of our 5 co-founders are CFAR alumni, and seeing so many talented idealistic people motivated to make the world more rational gave me confidence that we could succeed with our audacious goals."

"It’s important for our future to have researchers and innovators with strong rationality skills, who can think about risks, and make solid plans and follow through on them. That’s why I’m sponsoring math and science Olympiad winners from my country, Estonia, to attend CFAR’s workshops."

"I’m thrilled to see an organization that teaches entrepreneurs about the many thinking errors that can kill your business. The CFAR retreat I attended was packed with useful information that I still reflect on regularly."

"Rationality training has given me more mental clarity than I knew it was possible to have."


"Most self-help appeals to us because it promises real change without much real effort, a sort of fad diet for the psyche. ("The Four-Hour Workweek," "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.") By the magical-thinking standards of the industry, then, CFAR’s focus on science and on tiresome levels of practice can seem almost radical. It has also generated a rare level of interest among data-driven tech people and entrepreneurs who see personal development as just another optimization problem, if a uniquely central one."

"Can "goal factoring" help you keep your New Year's resolution to hit the gym every day in 2014? "Goal factoring," a method of designing better plans, is one of the techniques taught by the Center for Applied Rationality, which hosts three-day workshops that teach attendees how to use science-based approaches to achieve goals. A November workshop in Ossining, N.Y., instructed 23 participants on how thinking about one's future self as a different person can help goal-setting and why building up an "emotional library" of associations can reduce procrastination. CFAR, a Berkeley, Calif.-based nonprofit, is prominent in the growing "rationality movement," which explores the science of optimized decision-making."

"A few psychological tricks that will help you best your brain and form new, more helpful habits. For advice on recrafting tempting situations into opportunities to exercise self-control, we spoke to Julia Galef, president and cofounder of the Center for Applied Rationality, and Syble Solomon, executive coach and creator of Money Habitudes, a game-like set of cards which helps start conversations about money."

"After speaking to Julia, it became clear that rationality is coming to be seen as a kind of cognitive enhancement — a likely explanation as to why so many lifehackers and futurists have started to take interest. And as we also learned, becoming more rational is not as difficult as it may sound. When it comes to clearer thinking, all we often need to do is make a minor adjustment."

"If CFAR succeeds in its mission of being able to raise the 'rationality waterline', the techniques it is developing could one day become part of mainstream education. Being able to make more rational decisions is incredibly helpful, not only for living a successful life, but also for improving society as a whole. And one great, though far-fetched, goal for the future of the human race is a time when smart people don't do stupid things."

"Ever since the Age of Enlightenment, it seems that rational thought has been a given and that people should all strive to view their problems, and the world, as objectively as possible. But we're still human, and human beings are intrinsically emotional — especially when it comes to money. Perhaps that's why there's a growing "rationality movement" that encourages people to make better decisions not by denying their emotions, but by understanding and harnessing them. Many of us have made financial resolutions for the new year, but one of the big factors that torpedoes our progress is—you guessed it—our emotions. For more insights on how to use principles of rationality to achieve resolutions, we spoke to Julia Galef, president and cofounder of the Center for Applied Rationality."

"This week Derek spends some time talking with Julia Galef, the president of the Center for Applied Rationality, (CFAR). Along with her impressive work heading up an entire think tank dedicated to rational thinking, she also is the co-host of the popular podcast, 'Rationally Speaking' along with Massimo Pigliucci. Find out more about how something like CFAR came to be, and how Julia and her group and aiming to spread critical thinking to the masses."

"Listen as Todd and Amanda talk with Julia about everything from using Harry Potter to learn about rationality to the Vulcan straw man problem! (You know you need to find out about that one.) Learn about some of the different types of rationality and where they intersect with humanism. It would be tough to hear a conversation about rationality that’s more fun and uplifting than this one!"

"One key marker of the ethical seriousness of a society is the extent to which it is trying overcome its various forms of systematic error, ignorance, and delusion. This is why when an organization like CFAR springs up, it's a cause for celebration."

"On a daily basis, CFAR staff goes through reams of cognitive science research to learn about the latest trends in the field. They also take existing techniques, drawing from sources as diverse as religious traditions and modern day self-help gurus, then subject these methods to rigorous testing."