Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Nature Video

Less is more: Why our brains struggle to subtract

When solving problems, humans tend to think about adding something before they think of taking something away — even when subtracting is the better solution. Experiments show that this newly discovered psychological phenomenon applies across a range of situations from improving a physical design to solving an abstract puzzle. People think about what they can add before they think about what they can take away.

Read the full paper.

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00930-2

Subjects

Nature Careers

Jobs

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing

Search

Quick links