The Art of Thinking Clearly - Deepstash
The Art of Thinking Clearly

The Art of Thinking Clearly

Rolf Dobelli

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Survivorship Bias

We tend to overestimate the chances of success because success stories are more likely to be reported, while failure stories do not.

"Behind every popular author you can find a hundred other writers whose books never sell."

How to elude the survivorship bias?

  • Do the digging yourself.
  • Many successful individuals or teams share "success factors" with other winners and likewise, many failed individuals or teams share the same characteristics and traits as those who succeeds.
  • Guard against survivorship bias by visiting the graves of once-promising projects, investments, and careers.

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Swimmer's Body Illusion

Swimmer's body illusion is whenever we confuse selection factors with results.

Some people are born with selection factors that makes them eligible for the success that they have now achieved. For example a swimmer might not have a perfect body because he swims, but because he was genetically equipped with the appropriate physique.

So before deciding to take on the plunge to emulate another person's actions or choices, hoping for the same end result, look in the mirror -- and be honest about what you see.

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Clustering Illusion

When you start seeing a pattern in something, always consider the possibility that the occurence is simply by chance.

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Social Proof

We are genetically programmed with herd instinct -- to follow the crowd. However, it does not always mean that when the crowd does something, that action of choice is correct.

"If fifty million people sat something foolish, it is still foolish" - W. Somerset Maugham

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The Art of Thinking Clearly

The Art of Thinking Clearly

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The Art of Thinking Clearly

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