The Narrative Fallacy

The Narrative Fallacy

People normally create a narrative based on their past and are sure that their predictions will match the way things will work out in the future. This is not usually the case, and it leads to wrong decisions.

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Problem Solving

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Being Fooled By Data
Data can be used to prove anything.
People can be easily convinced by using data that, when analyzed closely, turns out to be dubious, without foundation or any real research.
Made Up Data
  • Data can be easily made up to serve ulterior motives, which are far from the truth.
  • Biased data finds its way out and is generally passed around as facts.
  • Some critical thinking and skepticism are required before any data is accepted for making decisions.
Bias All-Around
  • Many experiments show that people can be biased and even irrational in making decisions. 
  • While we believe that logic, facts, data go in any decision, in reality, they can be emotional and biased in invisible ways.

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RELATED IDEAS

Our brains like to fill up incomplete information based on our prejudice and confirmation bias.

As all data is inherently incomplete, we use our minds to fill the missing information, based on the existing data we have, and that can go obverse.

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IDEAS

Traits employers seek in critical thinkers
  • They read between the lines: they cross-examine evidence and logical argument;
  • They dig deeper;
  • They're skeptical: they don't jump on the first good idea they find;
  • They come prepared: they know that real problems occur and are agile enough to find ways to solve them creatively.

Narrative structure is the way forward in the modern meeting environment.

Amazon does things differently. At the start of each meeting, each participant reads a narratively-structured six-page memo. This memo doesn’t carry the writer’s name. In many cases, its creation is a team effort.

The idea is to create a study hall environment at the beginning of the meeting. Everyone sits in silence to read and absorb the ideas tucked away in the memo’s narrative. Then, they start the meeting in earnest by jumping straight into the discussion.

That’s the key difference that memo culture offers. Meetings no longer involve one person standing in front of a group and presenting a bunch of dry facts. Instead, participants extract context and meaning from the memo, as well as key data.

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