Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Second Thought

Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits

By Wray Herbert

A book about heuristics. It's good to know what they are so you can be aware of them and think again before you make a rush decision because of them. According to this book, it's pretty obvious that psychology researchers like to jump to conclusions. They find tendencies in some people to do something, and immediately exclaim: "they do it because of the fear of height hueristic!" For example, the author himself identifies himself as someone with moderate fear of height. He "proves" it by overestimating the height of the porch he's standing on by a couple of inches! Then he goes on to say that all people overestimate it by a couple of inches, even those who do not think they are fearful of heights. There are many examples that don't make much sense, but I don't remember them. You will just have to read it and find out for yourselves. Because despite the rush conclusions, there seems to be some truth to all of it after all, and it is useful to be aware of all of these things that we act upon because of our ancestor's heritage. One important lesson I will take away from this book: when you put your house for sale, don't ask for an exact number!

Book link

No comments: