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We all believe that we are in control of most things around us, or at least that's what we aim to believe, thrive to imply and fear any opposing statements, but what if you come to understand that you are not in control as you ought to be, not only with your surrounding, but with your very own mind.
Dr. Danial Kahneman addresses the idea of how our minds work and whethere if it is biased in his book "Thinking fast and slow" which we will be exploring together in the next few ideas, whether you decide to continue reading or not, it's up to you ..... Isn't it?
So you might be thinking, I am in control, i mostly can swear that i direct my own mind to focus on certain things which are interesting to me, and hence i design my own perspective about things, i hold the brush and paint this painting, well i hate to tell you that that is what Kahneman called the systems 1 and 2
System 1: This is fast, intuitive, and automatic thinking. It's the kind of thinking we use for quick, everyday decisions and reactions.
System 2: This is slower, more deliberate, and analytical thinking. It's used for more complex cognitive tasks that require effort and concentratio n
In order to understand what is it you are in control of (System 2) we have to address system 1 first, of course both of the previously mentioned are a sort of explatory names to demonstrate the two styles of thinking our brains do, and they are non existent in real science.
So system 1 is the main decision maker in your head, it's your arms turning the driving wheel whenever your eyes see the desired U-turn, it's what comes to your head when you see the equation 2 + 2 =? it's simply the shortcuts your brain has devoloped throughout the years and does it automatically making you not in control
On the other hand, system 2 is your critical thinking ability, it's the cognitive reliance that we, it's the struggle you would go through when you encounter 13*31= ? for example, despite that the answer is 368, it did not pop up instantly in your head when you encountered it, actually it would have took you a while until you figured the answer, but yeah i guess just because your mind now knows the answer you still have a sense of doubt thinking that you might have know it if you were given simply an extra minute, well i hat to tell you you're still wrong, the answer is 403 not 368.
To understand more about the biases of our minds and the heuristics it has consider the following question:
A bat and a ball, both cost when sold together 1.10 pounds, the bat is one pound more expensive than the ball, so how much is the ball? (consider answering before proceeding)
The intuitive biased answer that would come to mind is that the ball costs 10 cents, while if you applied calculation you will see that if the bat is 1 pound more expensive than a 10 cents ball then the total would be 1.20 not 1.10 as given, so what is the right answer?
Well don't bother the correct answer is that the ball costs 5 cents, despite the simplicity of such a question, you are not alone, as only 50% of Harvard's students managed to answer it right, and that was due to a biased mind that tells is to follow the shortcuts, as we are not naturally mathematicians.
The following is a list of biases that were introduced in the book.
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, and remember information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while ignoring or discounting contradictory evidence.
If I'm already convinced that Manchester united is the best football club 'which it is' i will be always searching for information that would confirm my preconceived belief, and reject opposing ideas.
Anchoring bias occurs when people rely too heavily on the first piece of information (the "anchor") they encounter when making decisions. Subsequent information is often evaluated in relation to this anchor, leading to skewed judgments.
Example: if you're trying to convince your partner to buy you a 1000 dollars present, you could start by showing them 4000 - 6000 dollars worth of presents throughout the day, so that their mind woulf be anchored on that price range and therfore the 1000 dollars present would seem cheap and affordable.
availability heuristic is a mental shortcut where people make judgments based on the ease with which they can recall or imagine instances of an event, or the availability of certain information, as represented in the bat and the ball example when you coukd not take your eyes off the 10 cents left, If something is readily available in memory, it's often perceived as more likely or important, even if it's not necessarily accurate.
There are around 200 biases and counting, these are at least the ones we have studied so far, unfortunately we can not delete them, however these biases, as discussed in the book, highlight how our thinking can be influenced and sometimes distorted by automatic cognitive processes, and being aware of them can help us make more rational decisions.
It's harder to ask the right question than to answer a hard one
"'Thinking, Fast and Slow' by Daniel Kahneman is a profound exploration of the human mind, unraveling the intricacies of how we think, decide, and often misjudge.
Curious about different takes? Check out our Thinking, Fast and Slow Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.
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