Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Rolf Dobelli

Fallacies, Biases, Illusions, effects, trendencies, errors… and “The Art of Thinking Clear”

By Rolf Dobelli

This book is a simple guide to “less irrational” behaviors and tendencies, as we get aware of the hundreds of biases that are ingrained in our behaviors.

I have reviewed two dozen of these 99 listed biases and added my comments.

“It isn’t what we know that gets in our way. It is what we believe” Physicist  Harold Puthoff

“We’d rather be roughly right than precisely right” Lord Keynes

“Faced with the choice between changing our mind and proving there is no need to do so, everyone gets busy on the proof” (John Kenneth Galbraith)

1. Survivorship Bias

2. Swimmer’s body illusion

3. Clustering illusion

4. Social proof effect

5. Sunk cost effect

6. Reciprocity

7. Confirmation

8. Authority

9. Contrast effect

10. Availability

11. Getting worse before getting better fallacy

12. Story bias

13. In hindsight illusion

14. Overconfidence bias

15. Chauffeur knowledge

16. Illusion of control

17. Insensitive Super-Response tendency

18. Regression to mean fallacy

19. Outcome bias

20. Paradox of choice

21. Liking bias

22. Endowment effect

23. Coincidence fallacy

24. Group think effect

25. Neglect of Probability

26. Scarcity Error

27. Base-rate neglect

28. Gambler’s fallacy

29. The Anchor

30. Induction

31. Loss aversion

32. Social loafing

33. Exponential growth

34. Winner’s curse

35. Fundamental attribution error

36 False causality

37. Halo effect

38. Alternative path

39. Forecast illusion

40. Conjunction fallacy

41. Framing

42. Action bias

43. Omission bias

44. Self-serving

45. Hedonic treadmill

46. Sel-selection bia

47. Beginner’s luck

48. Cognitive dissonance

49. Hyperbolic discounting

50. Because Justification

51. Decision fatigue

52. Contagion bias

53. Problems with averages

54. Motivation crowding

55. Twaddle tendency

56. Will Roger phenomenon

57. Information bias

58. Effort justification

59. Law of small numbers

60. Expectations

61. Simple logic fallacy

62. Forer effect

63. Volunteer’s folly

64. Affect heuristic

65 Introspection illusion

66. Inability to close doors

67. Neomania

68. Sleeper effect

69. Alternative blindness

70. Social comparison

71. Primacy and recency effects

72. “Not invented here” syndrome

73. The Black Swan

74. Domain Dependence

75. False-Consensus

76. Falsification of History bias

77. In-group, out-group biases

78. Ambiguity aversion

79. Default, standard option effects

80. Fear of regret

81. Salience effect

82. House-Money effect

83. Procrastination

84. Envy vs jealousy

85. Personification

86. Illusion of paying attention

87. Planning fallacy

88. Zeigarnik effect

89. Illusion of skills

90. Feature=positive effect

91. Cherry picking tendency

92. Single cause fallacy

93 Intention to treat errors

94. News illusion

Note 1: As you read these 100 tendencies to commit errors of judgment, try to add other systematic biases to the list

Try to add a title or a short statement that succinctly describe the topic.

Note 2: The exigencies of living lead us to stick to most of our biases and fallacies. We tend to procrastinate acting on our well-intentioned decisions that could correct our ill-conceived methodology to run our life.

Note 3:  To better comprehend these types of behavioral errors or shortcomings, the best way is to try various taxonomies (categorizing) for these biases, fallacies… that lead to errors

1. You may define these terms and delimit how they differ and sort them accordingly

2. You may sort them according to cognitive, social, evolutionary perspectives

3. Sort them according to your field of interest so that you rely on a shorter list when reviewing failed projects and erasing the biases that were taken care of.

4. Group them for correlation or seemingly contradictory behaviors

 

 

 

As in any selection: Beauty and body are the main factors. The Aptitude traits

Model-like women are selected because they were born attractive and tall. It is never the cosmetics that made them attractive. All the cosmetics cannot help before or after selection.

It is the swimmer body, slim, streamlined and attractively built, that made them be selected, including big and large feet and hands for displacing more water. Swimmers were selected because they exhibited the kinds of bodies most readily performing with training.

Taking swimming as a hobby to render your body attractive will not do: Though it is a better sport to keep fit.

I’m talking of when you are young. As the years go by, it is how you take care of your health and how you keep your mind agile that aid you in your activities.

Without the illusion of confounding selection factors with results, most advertising companies would falter.

Is Harvard a good university?

Somehow, historically, the elite and rich classes sent their children to top selected universities and institutions.

These institutions could afford to have the most rigorous programs for selecting applicants according to the mental aptitude They enjoyed plenty of funding from state and private rich donors.

It is this rigorous selection process favoring students with high aptitude levels and the strength character to withstand rigorous programs that graduate top smart people.

Mind you that the IQ scores for the bottom tier of selected student in top universities are higher than the top tier students in normal university.

And yet, these bottom tier fail to graduate while the top tier in normal university become successful people: The Big Fish in Small Pond paradox.

When you are competing with highly smart people and starting to collect B minus, grades that you have never received in high school, it dawn on you to drop out and move to normal universities where effective interactions with classmates are possible.

Generally, the MBA graduates from the top institutions exhibit a wide gap in earning income compared to non-graduates. This gap has nothing to do with the MBA programs or what students learn:

Those who insist on investing big to attend an MBA program are already the achievers who could have made it anyway.

Cheerfulness, a trait shared by people who see a half full glass, is largely a personality trait that remains constant throughout life.

Try to be happy is as futile as trying to be taller

Do you know of an unhappy person writing a “self help” book? (About their failures and unhappiness?)

Can you be honest about what you see in the mirror?

Would what you see be “selection material”?

Best, rely on outside observers to tell you what you are blind to,

More probably, it is the reaction of other people that give you the proper hints about you aptitudes.

If not a selection material, forget selection tests and tedious processes that are meant to humiliate, and plug on with what life best offers to you.

Read: “The Art of Thinking Clear” by Rolf Dobelli

 

 

Is your volunteering work plainly a folly?

Suppose you are a professional and earning $300 per hour doing your work.

For example, a consultant of some kind, a photographer, a lawyer, a physician…

If you are a celebrity, showing up to a fund raising event that you are passionate about, your volunteering of time is a great move for publicity.

Otherwise, why volunteer your “precious time” to build birdhouses for endangered species if you have no carpentry skills?

With what you earn per hour, you can easily hire 6 professional carpenters who will produce dozens of well built birdhouses, instead of the lousy one you might be able to pull through

If you feel like volunteering time and effort, consider the jobs as a break in your routine life-style, from the tedious demands in your profession, a day of vacation to relax…

Volunteer folly does not correspond to volunteer work that may increase your skills and enlarge the sphere of your contacts…

Just don’t fall for these follies that corporate abuse new graduates to exploit their skills and talents for peanuts.

Many young people keep volunteering their time with Red Cross, Scout movement… way after they graduated instead of focusing on their career.

I guess this impulse of staying in close contact with the “tribe” is a mighty factor: we are unable to break free from our emotions and feeling secure.

Note: Read Rolf Dobelli’s (The Art of thinking clear)

Do read your personality traits:

“1. You have a need for other people to like and admire you

2. You have this tendency to be critical of yourself

3. You have unused capacity, which you have not turned to your advantage

4. You have a few personality weakness, but you are able to compensate for them

5. Your sexual adjustment has presented problem for you

6. You are disciplined and have self-control on the outside, but you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside

7. Occasionally, you have serious doubts that you made the right decisions or done the right thing

8. You prefer a certain amount of change and varieties

9. You become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations

10. You pride yourself as an independent thinker

11. More often than not, you do not accept others’ statement without satisfactory proof

12. You realized that it is unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to other on many occasions

13. There are periods and times when you feel to be an extrovert, affable and sociable

14 other times, you feel an introvert, wary and reserved

15. A few of your aspirations are pretty unrealistic

16. Security is very high on your list of goals in life”

On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being highly accurate, you rated my evaluation as a 4 or 5.

 

You are not one of the rare people to rank what you read as a 5. Everyone ranked this text as 4 or 5. Why?

1, The statements are general in nature. No specificity involved.

2. Many statements are flattering

3. No negative statement in the text: This is the “feature-positive effect” at play

4. We accept whatever corresponds to our self-image and filter out everything else: this is the “confirmation bias” effect

 

Astrology, astro-therapy, handwriting analysis, biorhythm analysis, palmistry, tarot card readings, sessions with the dead, reading coffee grinds…

All these charlatan of pseudosciences that work well by applying the 4 behaviors common to us all, ingrained in our unconscious and permitting us to function in our daily life.

 

Note: The text was crafted by psychologist Bertram Forer in 1948 and used to coin the Forer Effect or Barnum Effect.

A chapter in Rolf Dobelli “The Art of thinking clearly”

“Social Proof Bias”? How this bias still stand for our survival?

Even a couple centuries ago, it was a survival instinct to cling to the masses: this social instinct gave comfort of being safe from “attacking” enemy or climatic upheavals.

It was safety that made people conglomerate in communities, way before the added values in production and trading goods.

Following the crowd is becoming a dangerous reaction inheritance. What of frequent stampede accidents.

Except for famine plagued regions where it is of great importance to follow the fleeing hordes to UN camps?

Or when in a foreign city and have tickets for a stadium event.

Somerset Maugham wrote: “If 50 million people say something foolish, it is still foolish”

In capitalist systems and uncontrolled financial companies in the hands of the few 1% elite class, social proof bias is the evil behind bubbles and stock market panic.

Social proof bias exists in fashion, management techniques, hobbies, religion and diets, to mention a few fields.

It can paralyze entire cultures in times of upheaval and periods of uncertainty, (such as sects committing collective suicide, or extremist religious movements, Fukushima nuclear melt down…)

Peer pressure warps common sense, a reaction to a survival strategy.

Suppose the fire alarm goes off. How the crowd will exit? Would they select the exit closest to the alarm or the opposite exit?

Logically, the fire sensor detect the closest point of fire. And yet, people would rush toward the exit of the alarm.

This social proof bias was mentioned and explained in “The Art of thinking clear” by Rolf Dobelli


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adonis49

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