deepstash

Beta

Distinction Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices

Distinction bias

Is the tendency to over-value the effect of small quantitative differences when comparing options.

For example: we think a 1,200 square foot home will make us happier than a 1,000 square foot home. We think earning $70,000 a year will make us happier than earning $60,000 a year.

Mostly encountered in when we are in the situations of buying something new.

34 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Distinction Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices

Distinction Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices

https://www.nirandfar.com/distinction-bias/

nirandfar.com

2

Key Ideas

Distinction bias

Is the tendency to over-value the effect of small quantitative differences when comparing options.

For example: we think a 1,200 square foot home will make us happier than a 1,000 square foot home. We think earning $70,000 a year will make us happier than earning $60,000 a year.

Mostly encountered in when we are in the situations of buying something new.

Overcome distinction bias

  • Don’t compare options side by side: In comparison mode, we end up spending too much time playing “spot the difference.” Instead, evaluate each choice individually and on their own merit.
  • Know your “Must-Haves” before you look for something to buy: that way, you won't get suckered into features you don’t really need.
  • Optimize for things you can’t get used to: your happiness will adjust back to anything that is stable and certain like your income, the size of your house, or the quality of your TV.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Default choices
Default choices

90% of your daily decisions happen automatically, many shaped by your environment. Thus, most decisions are a habit, not a deliberate choice.

To make smarter choices, design smarter...

Designing your life

Design your life like a choice architect:

  • Encourage smarter decisions you want to do by making them more accessible.
  • Add friction to habits you want to quit, making them less accessible, or remove the option to perform them completely.
Richard Thaler
Richard Thaler

“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.” 

5 more ideas

The peak-end rule
The peak-end rule

Is a cognitive bias that impacts how people remember past events. 

We don’t remember experiences accurately. Rather, we tend to recall the highlights and how things end. This appl...

Taking advantage of the Peak-end rule
  • End on a high note: to make better memories, always consider how you will end an experience.
  • More peaks, more memories: getting out there, even if it hurts, can create lasting memories if it leads to an intense payoff. 
  • Small bursts will do: we don’t need an experience to be long to make a positive memory.
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."

one more idea