Why do we make mistakes, misjudgments, errors of decision?
- Bad Data: we start working with erroneous "facts", and as the acronym says, "GIGO" --- "Garbage In, Garbage Out".
- Reliance on Authority: we take somebody else's word too seriously. This is particularly risky if a topic is associated with strong emotions or involves large sums of money --- when self-appointed "experts" tend to stand up and claim greater knowledge than they actually have.
- Proof by Numbers: Taking a poll, counting noses on each side of an issue, can scarcely derive truth --- though if 99 out of 100 people agree, we often stop questioning.
- Shoddy Mental Models: we take the right inputs but fail to put them together properly; alternatively, we apply a woefully incomplete description of the relationships among inputs, ignoring critical factors.
- Logical Errors: we simply make a mistake in the course of a complex or lengthy chain of reasoning.
- Misinterpretation of Results: we take good data, reason correctly, and then fail to understand the answers that emerge.
- Falling Prey to Prejudice: if our cherished beliefs are involved, we ignore all else and leap to the conclusion that agrees with our bias.
Thursday, May 27, 1999 at 21:32:40 (EDT) = Datetag19990527
(correlates: FreshwaterForgiveness, BeingThere, BigNames, ...)