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Rational
You are not as
As You Think
An Insight To The Processes Behind Those Irrational Choices
That We Make All The Time...
Illustrated by
Yang Ao Wei
yangaowei@outlook.com
ADRENALINE
(Fight or Flight
Neurotransmitters)
SEROTONIN
(Mood
Neurotrans...
Imagine
this
You’re walking
along a
pathway…
Ahead, you saw this huge,
fierce-looking pit bull sitting
in the middle of the path.
How would
you react?
Would you look at the dog and
start analyzing stuff like these?
Would you look at the dog and
start analyzing stuff like these?
Most unlikely.
Instead, your mind tells
you just one thing -
The logical thing to do then,
is to get away from it.
Such decision-making process -
.
Right from the moment you saw the dog, to the
time you turned away from the pathway ahead
.
– happened in a matter
of a split-second.
In psychology, such mental ability that allows people
to decide and think rapidly without being burdened
by overwhelming i...
HEURISTICS
Heuristics are mental shortcuts or
strategies that people use to form
judgements and make decisions
without having to spen...
These rule-of-thumb strategies shorten decision-making
time and allow people to function without constantly
stopping to th...
Whether we are aware of it or
not, we apply heuristics in our
everyday life whenever we’re
trying to make a decision or to...
We so frequently and automatically
employ these efficient mental rules
because they work and serve us well
under many circ...
Unfortunately, heuristics at times, can also lead
to severe and systematic errors.
When this happens, it can result in what is known as:
Cognitive
Biases
Cognitive biases are habitual and
predictable ways of thinking that
leads to errors .
They are the innate tendencies of
the human mind to think, judge,
and behave in irrational ways.
When we are making judgments and decisions
about the world around us, we like to think
that we are objective, logical, and...
The reality is,
however, that our
judgments and
decisions are often
riddled With errors
and influenced by
a wide variety o...
Interestingly, many of us are
largely unaware of these built
-in psychological inefficiencies
despite the frequency with
w...
So… Without further
ado, let us start to
explore some of these
most common
cognitive biases.
The Anchoring Bias
You had just decided to
use your bonus to buy
yourself a new car.
You did some research online and found that the
average price of that model you wanted was
$26,000.
You then went shopping at the local car lot and the
dealer offered you the same vehicle for $25,000,
which you gladly and ...
That’s $1,000 less than what
you were expecting to pay!
$ 1,000 OFF!
Later on, you found out that another car dealer was
offering the exact same model for just $22,000!
That was a full $3,000 less than what you paid for,
and $4,000 less than the average price you found online.
-$ 3,000
-$ 4...
Afterwards, you might berate yourself for making
that quick decision to buy on the first offer and
not shopping around mor...
When people are trying
to make a decision, they
often use an “anchor” or
focal point as a reference
or starting point.
Studies have shown that people have the tendency
to rely too much on the very first piece of information
that is offered (...
In short, it means that we favor the
first bit of information we learn.
Now, back to the car buying experience
we talked about earlier.
Since your initial research indicated
that $26,000 was the average
price, the first offer you
encountered seemed like
a gr...
You overlooked further
information, such as the
possibility that other
dealers might have lower
prices, and made a
decisio...
In 1998, a group of psychologists designed a
field study to look at how setting Purchase
Quantity Limits affect buying beh...
79¢
Cans of soup were put on sale with a sign reading:
Cans of soup were put on sale with a sign reading:
Most people concluded this limit was there to
protect the store from being wiped out of the
sale item of overly-eager barg...
However, this limit served a very different purpose.
The results showed that purchase
limits can actually increase sales.
shoppers who bought soup from the display with no
limit purchased an average
of 3.3 cans of soup,
whereas buyers with
limits of 12 purchased an
average of 7 cans of soup.
shoppers who bought soup from the display with no...
The brain anchored with
the number 12 and
adjusted downward.
The anchoring effect impacts many areas of our daily
lives - way beyond financial and purchasing decisions.
The Confirmation Bias
Let’s say, you are someone who
strongly believes in astrology.
As a strong believer, you would go through the
readings of your personal horoscope every day.
Naturally, you would then look for evidence which
supports those forecasts or interpret events in
ways that align your zod...
People have the tendency to favor
information, ideas and opinions
that confirm their beliefs.
They also tend to selectively search for evidence to
support those beliefs, while discounting or ignoring
everything else ...
When people want a certain idea/concept to be
true, they simply end up believing it to be true.
Beliefs
Expectations
shape
Beliefs
Perceptions
Expectations
shape
in turn,
shape
Beliefs
Conclusions
Perceptions
Expectations
shape
in turn,
shape
Beliefs
Which then shape
Confirmation bias tells us that we don’t perceive
circumstances objectively -
Confirmation bias tells us that we don’t perceive
circumstances objectively -
We only pick out those bits of data that mak...
.
If you believe in UFOs and aliens
(or any other weird stuff) ……
.
Then, you’ll probably be spending your time trying to
search for information and evidence to prove that
they exist, so a...
The Availability Heuristic
Are there more English words that begin with the
letter R or are there more English words with R as
the 3rd letter?
Let’s try an exercise to figure that out.
Think of 10 English words that begin with the letter R.
r_________
r_________
r_________
r_________
r_________
r_________
...
This should be pretty easy, isn’t it?
rack
ribbon
rose
right
rum
rabbit
run
rather
ruby
rubbish
Now, try to think of 10 English words with R as
the 3rd letter.
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r...
Try it. Don’t cheat!
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__...
Did it take you a longer time to think of these words?
arrest
paragraph
carry
screw
cargo
correct
direct
throw
surface
air
After doing this exercise, are you now convinced
that there are more words beginning with the letter
R than there are word...
Well, according to Quora, there are 22,809
English words that have R as the third letter,
but only 8,955 words that begin ...
The availability heuristic is a useful mental shortcut
that aids us in determining the frequency and
probability of someth...
It is the ease with which
instances come to mind.
When we are trying
to make a decision,
a number of related
events or situations
would immediately
spring to our mind.
And because those events are more readily available
in our memories, we tend to assume that those
situations happen more f...
We then make our decisions and choices
based on those assumptions, often, without
even considering other alternatives.
Things that come to mind with more ease
are believed to be far more common and
more accurate reflections of the real world.
Also, under the influence of availability heuristic, people
have the tendency to heavily weigh their judgments
toward more...
Many of us simply love thriller
movies featuring terrifying
man-eating sharks.
It has been observed that at
times when such blockbusters
were being screened, the news
media often joined the hype by
mak...
Regularly flashing and exposing news and media
about a certain topic (e.g. shark attacks) to people
can lead them to belie...
Breaking News
WOMANBRUTALLYATTACKEDANDKILLEDBYSHARK
According to National Geographic, the chance of
you, or anyone being killed by a shark is 1 in
3,700,000.
By the way, do you know that
you are far, far more likely to
die from a flu or from a fall?
According to statistics…
This is the chance of you dying from
a flu or from a fall in your lifetime:
1 in 63
According to statistics……
This is the chance of you dying from
a flu or from a fall in your lifetime:
1 in 63
1 in 218
According to statistics……
This is the chance of you dying from
a flu or from a fall in your lifetime:
The Gambler’s Fallacy
Let’s say if you toss a coin……
and you got tails up
for 6 times in a row.
How is that likely to affect your
prediction for the next toss?
Most of us would be very
tempted to assume that a
head up is more likely in the
next toss, don’t we?
But just how
likely is that?
The truth is, regardless of the past 6 results,
the chance of getting either one in the next
toss remains exactly the same...
The truth is, regardless of the past 6 results,
the chance of getting either one in the next
toss remains exactly the same...
The gambler’s fallacy is the
tendency to expect outcomes
to “even out” over the short
run for random events.
It is the mistaken belief that, for random
independent events, the lower the frequency
of an outcome in the recent past, t...
The belief is false because it is based on the
assumption that chance is “self-correcting”,
so that a shift in one directi...
It springs out of our misinterpretation of random
events because our perception of how random
things ought to be, is just ...
Way back in the Year 1913,
at the Monte Carlo Casino……
People were running to this particular table of roulette
where 16 blacks had come out in a row.
Everyone was trying to put a
Red bet down because it was
“supposed to” due for one.
17, 18, 19, 20…….
It went up to 26 blacks in a row and the casino
made millions of dollars in those few minutes!
The Planning Fallacy
You have just received
a new project.
You looked at the resources you
currently have, made a list of
those that you lack but needed,
and calculated all the poss...
Then, you estimated that it would probably take
you 30 to 40 days to complete the project.
It turned out that you took more than 60 days
to complete it, and at a cost nearly twice that
of what you had originally i...
The planning fallacy is the tendency for
people to underestimate the time that it
will take to complete an upcoming task.
It is a form of
optimistic bias and
happens despite people
knowing that similar
tasks had taken longer
to complete in the ...
According to cognitive
explanations, the bias
results from the kinds
of information that
people consider.
When making a task-completion prediction, people’s natural
inclination is to plan out the specific steps that they will
ta...
The problem with this approach
is that events don’t usually
unfold exactly as planned.
Given the vast amount of potential obstacles,
there is a great likelihood that people will encounter
unexpected problems, ...
The people who built the Sydney Opera House
were expecting that it would be completed in
the Year 1963.
However, it was only until 10 years later - in
1973 - that a scaled-down version finally opened.
The original cost was estimated
at $7 million.
But its delayed completion led to a cost of $102 million;
14.5x more than that which was planned.
The Sunk Cost Fallacy
You’d just bought a pair of tickets to a concert
which you were really excited about.
Unfortunately, on the actual day
of the event, you fell sick.
Although you were unwell and
most definitely wouldn’t enjoy
it, you still went anyway.
You didn’t want to
“waste your money”,
so you rather went
and suffered.
A sunk cost is any past cost
that has already been paid
and cannot be recovered.
The sunk cost may not necessarily be a precise quantity,
but an economic term for a sum paid, in the past, that
is no long...
The sunk cost fallacy is the tendency of people to
irrationally follow through on an activity that is
not meeting their ex...
It arises out of aversion to
loss and describes how a
past decision can influence
a present or future decision.
It involves an individual
making a decision about a
current situation based on
what they have previously
invested in the s...
Sunk cost fallacy makes
you finish the meal when
you are already full.
It makes you hold on to investments
that are underperforming.
It makes you sit through a sucky movie
which could bore you to death.
It fills your home with things you no longer want or use.
Main ideas
Heuristics
Cognitive biases
The anchoring Bias
The confirmation Bias
The Availability Heuristic
The Gambler’s F...
The term “heuristic reasoning” is popularized by the most
influential psychologists working in the area of Human
Judgment ...
Kahneman, an Israeli-
American psychologist who
originally studied attention,
became world famous when
he published (1970)...
They also developed a theory of decision making
under uncertainty, which at key points deviates
from prevailing economic m...
For these works,
Kahneman won
the Nobel Prize in
Economics in 2002.
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
Now, try to think of
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Now, try to think of 10 English words with R as
the 3rd letter.
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______
__r_______

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