Information and decision making - Deepstash

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You make decisions quicker and based on less information than you think

Information and decision making

The fact that we live in an age of information should allow us to make super-informed, data-driven decisions all the time.

But the widespread availability of information does not mean that we actually use it even if we have it: decades of research in psychology and behavioral science found that people readily make data-poor snap judgments in a variety of instances (when forming impressions, when shopping, when evaluating, even when voting).

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You make decisions quicker and based on less information than you think

You make decisions quicker and based on less information than you think

http://theconversation.com/you-make-decisions-quicker-and-based-on-less-information-than-you-think-108460

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

Snap judgments

Individuals fail to anticipate how little information they and others use when making decisions.

An the immediacy of human judgment generally surprises people: we are startled by how quickly we make judgments and how little information we use doing so.

Snap judgments

We fail to anticipate how little information we (and others) use when making decisions.

The immediacy of human judgment generally surprises people: we are startled by how quickly we make judgments and how little information we use doing so.

Processing information

New information doesn't stack on top of old information until some mental threshold is reached for making a decision.

In reality, the first few pieces of information are weighted much more heavily than later information.

Quick decisions

Quick decisions are not always bad. Sometimes they even are remarkably accurate and can save time.

It would be overwhelming to comb through all the available information on a topic every time a decision must be made.

Recognizing the rush to judgment

Misunderstanding how much information we actually use to make our judgments has important implications beyond making good or bad decisions.

An example could be our tendency to rely on stereotypes when judging other people: we may believe we'll consider information from all the angles, but in fact, we are more likely to consider very little information and let stereotypes creep in.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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Jumping into Conclusions
Jumping to conclusions is a common phenomenon, where people prematurely decide and finalize something, without having sufficient information or choosing not to consider it.
Jumping into Conclusions: Examples
  • Inference-observation confusion: An assumption made that may or may not be correct. Example: Concluding that a guy is rich, based on the car he drives.
  • Fortune-Telling: Assumption of knowing exactly what will happen in the future.
  • Mind Reading: Assuming based on how to have read someone's mind and concluded something which may not be true.
  • Extreme Extrapolation: Finding a minor clue and making something major out of it.
  • Overgeneralization: Copy-pasting a piece of knowledge over something that you think is related, but is not.
  • Labeling: Stereotyping a set of people based on their likes and dislikes.
Why We Jump to Conclusions

The reason people jump to conclusions is the fact that they find it easy.

Fact-checking and 100 percent accuracy on everything they see or observe consume way too much time for a normal person.

Taking mental shortcuts is the path most people choose to jump to conclusions.

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Worrying about what others think
We all worry, in our own ways, about how we’re being perceived.

The fact that we’re being judged matters much more than whether those judgments seem fair or well-informed. We also don’t tend...

Being "fairly" judged

It’s impossible to be fairly judged. Nobody will ever understand you perfectly. You will continually be both underestimated and overestimated.

Your own assessment of yourself is hardly the “right” one. We tend to either obsess over our faults or overlook them completely.  And with strangers, there’s no hope of anything approaching a fair assessment. They have zero context for what they see in you. 

How we judge strangers

Become aware of your own judgments. You’ll discover that they’re almost always categorical (good person or bad person), that they’re provoked by a single behavior, and that you rarely second-guess these judgments.

Notice what it feels like to judge a person, how absolute and uncomplicated it seems, then remember that you’re seeing this person through the keyhole of a single moment in their lives.