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We have a tendency to stubbornly hold on to a number once we hear it and gauge all other numbers based on the initial number, even if the information is not that relevant.

For example, if customers are limited to 'four per customer' they are more likely to buy four, even if they did not initially intend to do so.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

People don't like to rethink their beliefs once they are formed. 

We would rather ignore information that would challenge our ideas than engage with threatening new information. This is called "confirmation bias".

Our brain likes to take shortcuts to solve a problem when normal methods are too slow to find a solution. 

The problem with this approach is that frightening events are easier to recall than every-day events. We should be aware that alarmist news broadcasts don't help in an accurate sense of events.

Our brains like shortcuts and ideas that are consistent. 

When someone makes a good first impression during an interview, their professional accomplishments are more likely to be viewed as similarly positive later.

The idea is once we are invested in something, we become less likely to abandon it, even if it is clear that it will ultimately fail.

We frequently lose more if we don't make the hard decision to cut our losses.

We are more likely to listen to success stories than failures. The result is that we often over-estimate the likelihood of success in risky ventures.

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RELATED IDEAS

The Sunk Cost Fallacy

“Sunk costs” are money, time, or effort we’ve already spent and can’t get back.

Cultivate a habit of admitting your mistakes. Ask yourself: If the past didn’t exist and you’re just starting out now, what would you do?”

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IDEAS

6 of the largest decision-making blunders
  1. Sunk-cost fallacy. Present yourself with the new options at hand -- without considering the sunk cost.

  2. Narrow framing. When we're in situations that will repeat themselves over time, we should take a step back and play a game of averages.

  3. Emotionally driven decisions. Hold off on making important decisions when you are in a bad mood.

  4.  Confirmation bias. Always look for conflicting evidence and then make judgments based on more well-rounded information.

  5. Ego depletion. When we're drained, physically or mentally, we're less likely to think critically.

  6. The halo effect says that once we like somebody, we're more likely to look for his or her positive characteristics and avoid the negative ones. Realize your biases toward certain people and do what you can to eliminate them.

Is why we get attached to things when we had a hand in creating them. 

It echoes the sunk cost fallacy: We're not prioritizing the object/project as much as we are the resources we've put into it.

The IKEA effect is easy to put to good use at work. You can do it for yourself by getting deeper in the weeds of the project you're a part of.