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Back in 1870s, The British Government was troubled by the growing cobra population in and around Delhi. To solve that problem as they started a reward program for every indian that bought a dead snake back to officials.
Though the strategy seemed to work initially however, in the desire to get maximum rewards, breeding of cobras proliferated among the enterprising people of India.
The British Government thus ended up with more problems the results of their actions could have unintended consequences or Second Order Effects.
Second order thinking is a type of advanced critical thinking that involves thinking about one’s own thought processes.
It is the ability to look beyond the intended results of our actions and focusing on the unintended consequences of those results.
Following pointers can help adopt Second order thinking for your decision-making process.
1. Results of First Order thinking becomes a problem for second order thinking. It requires one to be observant.
2. Think about the range of likely feature outcomes and evaluate your thought processes and assumptions.
Ask yourself questions: Some examples of questions you might ask yourself include What I am assuming ? or then what? or What evidence do I have to support this?
We all have biases, and they can influence our thinking and decision making without us even realizing it.
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Most of us think and care about only the immediate implications of our decisions/actions don't consider that our actions could have unintended consequences or Second Order Effects.
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