Here's a Better Way to Deal With Life's Risks
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 consider the odds as well as the payoff.
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We surround ourselves with it: We tend to like people who think like us; if we agree with someone's beliefs, we're more likely to be friends with them.
This makes sense, but it means that we subconsciously begin to ignore or dismiss anything that threatens our world views
It's a thinking mistake and it occurs when we confuse selection factors with results.
Professional swimmers don't have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques.
It plays on this tendency of ours to emphasize loss over gain.
The term sunk cost refers to any cost that has been paid already and cannot be recovered. The reason we can't ignore the cost, even though it's already been paid, is that we're wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain.
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 fallacies.
The nudge theory suggests making subtle interventions to nudge people to make certain choices without restricting them. Putting the fruit at eye level counts as a nudge.
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.
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 object based on the common price of similar objects.
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.
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."