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Bounded Irrationality

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Apr. 30th, 2007 | 12:01 am

Ambient Findability contained a brief list of some common human decision making traps.

being unduly influenced by the first information found
"Through selective search and perception, we subconsciously seek data that supports our existing point of view, and avoid contradictory evidence."
overly influenced by recent, dramatic events, or by constant repetition from multiple sources (sucks that the Echo Chamber works so well on our limited brains)
Status quo
"we look for reasons to do nothing"
Sunk cost
Unwillingness to admit past mistakes, means that we continue to make decisions in ways that justifies past choices. (Scientology seems well designed to take advantage of this).

We ask the wrong questions and trust the wrong sources. We substitute optimism for data. and we are influenced by peer pressure and groupthink. Decisions shape our lives, and yet they're often made in the dark, beneath the comforting veneer of rationality.

(the definitions were paraphrased (and commented upon) from page 157, the blockquote was a direct quote of the following paragraph.

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Comments {3}


Being contentious

from: rubicantoto
date: Apr. 30th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)

I would say that Confirmation is stated too specifically. I'd say the trap is really that data supporting our existing point of view is the data we are readily able to absorb, whereas other data may either ring as untrue (and thus be ignored) or simply go in one ear and out the other.

The given definition implies this bad habit is fueled by intent, whereas I think it is much more like a trap or bad habit.

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Diane Trout

Re: Being contentious

from: alienghic
date: Apr. 30th, 2007 08:12 am (UTC)

Good point, I went ahead and copied in the full definition as written in ambient findability, which I think is more congruent with your observation.

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Marvin Spencer

(no subject)

from: marvinalone
date: Apr. 30th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)

I'm wondering if having these is not as bad as people think. I think that if you can rid yourself of biases, unsubstantiated beliefs and other quirks that cloud your mind, you can live an above-average life. But I also think that to be extremely successful, you need to believe in your idea(s) to a degree that isn't supported by facts. And for that, the list above might come in really handy.

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