Thinking, Fast and Slow

Author: Daniel Kahneman
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by BrusqueWillis   2019-01-13

>no one tried to tell my that my thinking is wrong

It's a difficult task, because the way our brains work makes personal experience supersede external information that contradict it, even when scientifically, objectively, our experience is... not "wrong" per se, but so incomplete that it veers into "wrong" teritory. I teach people how to get along with people, which is mainly applied psichology and neurology (specifically social neurology), so I come against this feature (it's not a bug, it's a feature) every time. For reference: Daniel Kahnemann's work . For reference: Chris Niebauer's book .

Your brain dupes you (it meakes you wrong, giving you the impression you're right) in several key areas relevant to our discussion here:

  1. What You See Is All There Is: our brains operate on the assupmtion they have all the info needed to make good decisions and reach true conclusions, neglecting that there are swathes of information that might be / are relevant and that finally change the outlook completely.
  2. Our Left-Brain Intepreter has the task to keep the story in our heads logically consistent, not correct. As such, it will gladly add to reality, or substract from it, only to keep the story. Please see this and this.
  3. To accomplish this task, the LBI resorts to cognitive biases like overgeneralization, personalization, confirmation bias etc.
  4. Its work is so powerful and so well hidden from conscience that most people, when confronted with science, will readily deny science ("well, that might be true but not for me") than accepting our thinking might be flawed.

In your case, in order to examine what biases are in play and what is their result, I'd start questioning the hidden meaning of your use of notions like "chad", "betabux" and such. It speaks to overgeneralization (with a heavy serving of dehumanization) and confirmation bias.

Humans are unique. There are, of course, trends (sociology doesn't exist for nothing) but so far no human being looks and act exactly like another human being always and in all aspects; more, humans change over time: experience, opinions, world views and behavior shift as time passes. That would be the first step I'd take if I were you: stop working with archetypes and start looking for tiny differences. The world will get extremely rich if you do that.

TL;DR: you're wrong, but your brains won't let you see that and you have to voluntarily challenge it to improve your life quality.

Edited to add: and I didn't even touch the issue of cultural and social norms and conditioning, learned helplesness and many other phenomena that interfere and change all the stuff above.

by nyct0phile   2019-01-13

Humans are not intuitively good at probability and statistics, because of numerous cognitive biases. -Thinking: Fast & Slow

by buckeyevol28   2018-11-10

Also reading through your posts I see you think Columbus traffic is unusually bad, even though we have some of the lowest congestion and commute times of any major metro.

I also see that you think we've reach essentially unprecedented levels of violence, when though it's much lower here and most everywhere else as there is been a steady decline for decades.

Both of the above (definitely) and the development discussion (possibly) are examples of the availability heuristic, a natural tendency to use mental shortcuts to draw conclusions based in the most readily accessible and available information.

Media and crime is the prime example. For example, crime deceased by 40% in 90's but media coverage quadrupled so people thought crime was increasing.

So it seems with traffic, crime, and development, you're drawing incorrect conclusions from things that are immediately available (stuck in traffic, crime in the news, the HQ2 proposal).

Availability Heuristic

Since one of my favorite books, Thinking, Fast and Slow is about this and other cognitive heuristics and biases plus how to avoid them. And it's by one of the Nobel Economist (technically psychologists but Nobel in Economics) who first discovered these, I thought it may be useful to advertise the book and point out something you may find beneficial.

This post looks a bit condescending after writing it out, but I don't mean it that way. And I would recommend the book to everybody since it's useful and we're all prone to these things.

by Klownd   2018-11-10

Hi Keatz01, it sounds like you already have a pretty cool background, so I'll limit these recommendations to what might be useful for you now.

The Lean Startup : Eric Ries (2011), is an easy read and I have found it useful to be familiar with the terminology/practical tips that it mentions. His 2017 extension has not been quite so well received.

Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick : Bradley, Hirt and Smit (2018), is also accessible (albeit labored at times), and offers a few suggestions for new ways to think about quantifying the value of innovation (economic profit, in a nutshell). Despite being a McKinsey special, I felt like the explanation of their methodologies was lacking.

Thinking Fast and Slow : Daniel Kahneman (2013), is one of my favorite books, and discusses the way people think. It offers an excellent insight to behavioral economics and better develops on what you might find in Gladwell's Blink (2007).

Games People Play : Eric Berne (1966), is a fun read, not much more, and can give insight to typical behavioral patterns.

Harvard Business Review: I'm sure you know it, but some of these articles can be really insightful. Look for articles that are contextualized against data and/or case studies.

The McKinsey Quarterly: Tends to be more 'hit' than 'miss', but their introduction of the 'Five Fifty' section (where you take five minutes to decide whether investing close on an hour would be useful) has been nice.

Case in Point : Marc Cosentino (2018), is probably my highest recommendation for a casing primer. The skills are useful to have so that you can efficiently consider a problem.

Hopefully something in there proves useful. Beyond that, it's more a case of staying up-to-date. Stay abreast of emergent technology so that you know whether it's useful, take time to reassess current solutions now and then, etc etc. The next one on my reading list is /u/eliteregos' recommendation for The Trusted Advisor .

All the best!

by LeeroyEleven   2018-11-10

Also check out a book called Thinking Fast and Slow

by rdar1999   2018-11-10

I find game theory far more interesting than pure economics (even to understand economics), there's plenty of material online about it, but the basic games with historical context you can find here:'s_dilemma

Review of the book:

It is a biography of Von Neumann but full of game theoretic exerts.

People always recommend me another book, about decision making (closed related to economics):

This one I never read, plan to.

by player_03   2018-11-10

I've personally spent a lot of time on Less Wrong, but... I do have to admit that it's kind of an insular place using their own made-up jargon to promote strange ideas. Overall I approve of it and don't put much stock in the usual criticisms, but I wouldn't direct people to it if I wanted to convince them of anything.

Instead, I'd direct them to the book Thinking, Fast and Slow . It's just as accessible as Less Wrong's better-written posts, it covers a lot of the same stuff, and it's written by someone with the credentials to back up their claims.

And best of all, it includes regular examples that demonstrate your own biases to you. Examples like this, where you can actually catch your own brain making a mistake, are more likely to get through to someone who doesn't believe in, say, racial or gender bias.

by prometheus1123   2018-11-10

Further reading for anyone who is interested in chance and psychology...

Fooled By Randomness

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

The Improbability Principle

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Survivorship Bias - You Are Not So Smart

by neagrigore   2018-11-10

Nu le-am citit pe cele de sus, dar din ce zici, seamănă cu Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow .