The book "Why we are wrong. Traps thinking in action. " Excerpts part 2

    The book "Why we are wrong. Traps thinking in action. " Excerpts part 1.

    Perception and framing

    A few years ago, researchers in the UK wanted to find out if music influenced the choice of wine in the store, for this a tape recorder was installed on the upper shelf, and several bottles of French and German wine were installed on the top shelf. And after losing, then German, then French music. And of course, as you understand the music influenced, on the day when French was playing, French wine took about 40 bottles, and when German was playing around 12.

    In a survey at the outlet of the store, only 14% said that music influenced their choice.

    I don’t think it was unpredictable and so, now they’re talking about smells that are necessary, and everyone knows how to put music. Although we still do not use it.
    The framing effect (framing effect, from the English. Frame frame, framing) is a cognitive distortion in which the form of presenting information influences its perception by a person. Thus, the same statement, depending on the wording and semantic accents, can be presented both in a negative and in a positive light (“The glass is half empty or half full”), as a benefit or a loss.
    The experiments of Daniel Kaneman and Amos Tversky demonstrated the dependence of formulating the question and the answer to it.

    Two groups were offered a hypothetical task, the US is preparing for an epidemic of an unknown disease, according to forecasts, it will kill 600 people. 4 programs were developed - A B C G. Each group was given two options of action.

    The first group (rescue option):

    • if program A is adopted, we will save 200 people.
    • if program B, then by 30% we will save all 600 people and by 70% these will all die.

    The second group (death option):

    • if the program is accepted, then 400 people will die.
    • if program G, then by 30% no one will die and by 70% 600 people will die.

    Yes, it is obvious that the options differ only in the wording. And the popular answers should be doubles, A C or B G.

    But in the end it turned out that from the first group 72% preferred option A, and from the second group 78% chose option D, and not B as expected.

    The researchers concluded that in a situation where losses are assumed, people are more likely to take risks. If the focus is on loss (death), then choose a more risky path, but with a chance to save everyone, and when assessing the benefits (salvation) choose a less risky path while preserving what is. Perhaps such a choice is determined by how the person perceives the risk.
    There are two different approaches to risk analysis: an automatic, or intuitive, and more thoughtful, meaningful analysis, says Paul Slovik, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon. - Our perception of risk stems mainly from feelings and emotions, so most of the time we operate on the number one system.
    In the same way, a person assesses risks in more everyday situations, for example, when investing financially or choosing a loan.


    When a person needs to make a decision, he binds him to a number that is often irrelevant to the case, if he hears or sees this number just before the moment of making a decision.

    Experiment - people were asked to write down the first three digits of a phone number, and then asked a question, such as the date of death of a famous person or the length of a river, and the like.
    And there has always been a clear correlation between the digits of the telephone number and the intended answers. Of course, the trick here is that the person does not know the exact answer, but makes a guess.


    The environment and context help to remember the details. The experiment - the schoolchildren were taken for a walk in the park, and the next day asked to describe this walk. The quality of the details left much to be desired, but when they were brought back there, they remembered much more details. As a piece of advice, you want to immerse yourself in pleasant memories, find yourself there or gather around you more contextual things. =)

    And vice versa, out of sight, out of mind.

    Illusion of control

    Our past or current luck allows you to be sure that you are lucky. Although, of course, luck is exactly the previous figures.

    The experiment among students is a game of cards, who has the higher nominal and won, you need to predict in advance the percentage of your success. To complicate things, the first group of students played with a confident and well-dressed person (pro), and the second with an unsure of homely clothes (amateur).

    As you can guess from the context, the second group significantly overestimated their predictions for victory. After all, it is easier to beat the amateur, but we are talking about cards, the percentage of loss of which does not depend on skill.

    Another experiment is similar, the prediction of the fall of an eagle or tail (toss), one group is told that they have already guessed the first few results, and the second that they were mistaken in them.
    Here the first group was more self-confident. Although the situation is all straight and the chances are equal every time.
    More than 40% of the participants in the experiment stated that the effectiveness of the game of toss can be improved through practice.
    The conclusion is a deceptive impression that the more information we own, the more we control the situation. The illusion of control of the situation. The term “illusion of control” itself was introduced by Ellen Langer.

    Personal qualities

    In Finland, they conducted research among players on the stock exchanges, measured the activity of their portfolio every time they were issued a penalty for speeding. Each time after the fine, the stock turnover rate increased by 11%. At the same time, investors trading more actively earn less. In the 1990s, when there was a tendency to increase, the average annual yield was 17.3, and those who traded more actively earned only 11.4. I think the same "active investors" are constantly rebuilt on the road in the hope of a lane quickly. But as part of this study, it turns out that if you trade on the stock exchange and you have a lot of fines, you trade badly.

    Self-confidence of men

    The experiment itself has not been described. It is believed that men are more self-confident and take risks more easily than women. Studies have shown that men overestimate the expectation of the benefits at risk , and from this they consider the risk justified. That is, it is a matter of incorrect estimates of the final benefit, in a simple mistake, and not in confidence.


    At this I will collapse, of course, this is the whole book, there are many examples from medicine, from the military branch. But they are very tied to the mentality or state laws.

    There were also familiar fitness subscriptions to us, which are bought but not spent, because a person overestimates himself at the time of his purchase. And we have rare gift cards with discounts, which are bought as a gift and are never spent.

    The book says that it is easy to make mistakes, in some ways it is even everyday, and it is useful to stop and ask yourself why I decided this way and not otherwise.

    In programming, there is a good practice sometimes to ask yourself - “but am I doing bullshit?”. I think this question is not devoid of meaning in life.

    That's all, thanks for reading. I hope it was interesting =)

    The book "Why we are wrong. Traps thinking in action. " Excerpts part 1

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