Thinking in Bets - Deepstash
What Is Opportunity Cost

Learn more about leadershipandmanagement with this collection

The impact of opportunity cost on personal and professional life

Evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of different choices

Understanding the concept of opportunity cost

What Is Opportunity Cost

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“In most of our decisions, we are not betting against another person. Rather, we are betting against all the future versions of ourselves that we are not choosing.”



2.17K reads


“Improving decision quality is about increasing our chances of good outcomes, not guaranteeing them.”



1.68K reads


“Thinking in bets starts with recognizing that there are exactly two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck. Learning to recognize the difference between the two is what thinking in bets is all about.”



1.43K reads


Resulting means judging the quality of a decision based on the quality of the result.

Our tendency is to equate the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome. The prevents us from accurately assessing the quality of our decisions and the role of luck in the outcomes we achieve.


1.23K reads

Life is Poker, Not Chess

Life is Poker, Not Chess

Life is not like chess. Chess contains no hidden information and very little luck.

Life is more like poker. You could make the smartest, most careful decision and still have it blow up in your face.


1.27K reads

All Decisions Are Bets

A bet is a decision about an uncertain future. Thus, most of the decisions in your life – switching jobs, choosing a partner, selecting your field of study, not doing something – are bets.

They’re choices that you make in the face of an uncertain future.


1.18K reads


“What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process, and that process must include an attempt to accurately represent our own state of knowledge. That state of knowledge, in turn, is some variation of ‘I’m not sure.’”



1.08K reads

How We Form Our Beliefs

How We Form Our Beliefs

This is how we think we form our beliefs:

  • We hear something
  • We think about it and then determine whether if it is true or false
  • We form our belief

This is how we actually form our beliefs:

  • We hear something
  • We believe it to be true
  • Only sometime later, if we have the time or the inclination, we think about it and then determine whether it is true or false

Our pre-existing beliefs influence the way we see the world and the way we make decisions.


981 reads

Blind-Spot Bias

People are better at recognizing biased reasoning in others but are blind to bias in themselves. 

  • Being smart can actually make bias worse. Blind-spot bias is worse the smarter you are.
  • Being smart and aware of your capacity for irrationality alone doesn’t help you refrain from biased reasoning.


960 reads

The Rashomon Effect

The Rashomon Effect

Even when people experience the same event at the same time, if you ask them about it, you will often get two very different accounts about what happened.

That’s because the way we interpret the world is not only a function of the objective experience but includes how we see and choose to understand the world.


906 reads

Thinking In Bets: The Buddy System

It is important to have a go-to group of people with a common interest in thinking in bets.

The characteristics of a good group to practice truth-seeking with:

  • A focus on accuracy (over confirmation), which includes rewarding truth-seeking, objectivity, and open-mindedness within the group
  • Accountability for which members have advance notice
  • Openness to a variety of ideas

Once we are a part of a group that regularly reinforces exploratory thought, the routine becomes reflexive, running on its own.


878 reads

How To Engage In Truth-Seeking

  • Express uncertainty: If we start by making clear our uncertainty, our audience is more likely to understand that the discussion held does not always have to be about right or wrong but about openness to different perspectives.
  • Lead with assent: Everyone likes to be affirmed. Avoid the language of no. Use ‘and’ more than you use ‘but’ in an expression of possibly polarizing ideas
  • Ask for temporary agreement: Whenever one is offloading emotion to us, we can ask them if they are looking to vent or if they are looking for advice
  • Focus on the future,  rather than rehearsing what has happened.


857 reads

Scenario Planning

Scenario Planning

Scenario planning is a productive skill to develop in decision making because:

  • It reminds us that the future is uncertain, giving a more realistic view of the world
  • It prepares us for how to respond to different outcomes that might respond from our initial decisions
  • Anticipating the range of outcomes keeps us from unproductivity regret
  • By mapping out potential outcomes & probabilities, we are less likely to fall prey to resulting or hindsight bias.


824 reads




Curious about different takes? Check out our Thinking in Bets Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.


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