TFS: How to Jump to a Better Conclusion
February 18, 2013
As Daniel Kahneman explains in Thinking, Fast and Slow, our brain is "a machine for jumping to conclusions." We derive many benefits from this fact.
"Snap judgments are usually reliable and always efficient."
We need to understand the hazards, and when we feel the urge to jump, try to PAUSE.
When the situation is unfamiliar, when the stakes and high, and when we feel confident that we've nothing more to learn, we should check our decision for these dangers:
- Are we ignoring ambiguity and suppressing doubts? If evidence is capable of two or more interpretations, System 1 will select the most coherent and suppress doubt.
- Confirmation bias: understanding is initiated by an attempt to believe. Instead, be a scientist and try to disprove your own hypothesis.
- The likelihood of improbable events is exaggerated with an attitude of 'It could happen.' This error is called base-rate neglect. Can you afford to lose such a long shot?
- Familiarity breeds liking, acceptance and a feeling of satisfying coherence. Decorelate the evidence by checking independent sources and keeping them separate.
- Remember that knowing less is convenient and comfortable. "System 1 is radically insensitive to both the quality and the quantity of the information that gives rise to impressions and intuitions."