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Here's a Better Way to Deal With Life's Risks

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https://time.com/5248868/risk-analysis-costs-benefits-expected-value/

time.com

Here's a Better Way to Deal With Life's Risks
An economist explores how we look at risk in our daily lives-from flying on airplanes to getting a flu shot.

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Expected value

We all spend time making decisions with some risk involved. We look at each situation and consider the likelihood that something will happen as well as if it would be worth it.
For example,&...

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Calculating the odds

Part of the expected value is estimating the chance or probability of the situation.

Many people have poor judgement calculating real probabilities. They overstate the chan...

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The cost or payoff

The cost or payoff is not always clear.

For example, people feel more pain from the loss of a dollar than pleasure from a dollar gained. It is called loss aversion. 

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A risky world

Risk is part of our lives and cannot always be avoided. We have to cross streets or drive in cars.

When we are faced with a risky situation, we can make a better choice when we con...

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It's a thinking mistake and it occurs when we confuse selection factors with results. 

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The sunk cost fallacy

It plays on this tendency of ours to emphasize loss over gain.

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The nudge theory

The nudge theory

Behavioral economists show that when humans make quick decisions under pressure, it is based mostly on intuition. They are unconsciously guided by biases and psychological fallacie...

A choice architect

The task of a choice architect is to organize the context in which people make decisions.

Changing the context in which people make choices can make desired behaviors easier to accept.

Intuitive and reflective thinking

  • Intuitive and automatic: This kind of thinking is quick and feels instinctive. You duck when a ball is thrown at you unexpectedly.
  • Reflective and rational: This thinking is deliberate and self-conscious. You use this system when you have to decide which route to take for a trip.

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Anchoring Bias

A common occurrence of heuristics in which we use an initial starting point as an anchor that is then adjusted to yield a final estimate or value.

Example: estimating the value of an o...

Being Too Optimistic

People who are told that the risk of something bad happening is lower than they expected, tend to adjust their predictions to match the new information. But they ignore the new information when the risk is higher.

Part of this overly optimistic outlook stems from our natural tendency to believe that bad things happen to other people, but not to us. 

You Often Make Poor Comparisons

Sometimes we make poor comparisons or the compared items are not representative or equal.

We often decide based on rapid comparisons without really thinking about our options. In order to avoid bad decisions, relying on logic and thoughtful examination of the options can sometimes be more important than relying on your immediate "gut reaction."

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