Jun 21, 2019
We are getting near the end of
our eight week series on all the biases. There is just one more to
go after this one, which is about how our brains are biased toward
novelty and stories. The first six episodes in the series, which
are linked in the show notes, were on personal biases, how we are
biased toward others (both individuals and groups), memory, present
versus future, selective attention, and last week was all about how
math is hard. Turns out we aren’t so good with money, value,
numbers, games and probabilities.
So, why do we take shortcuts or
accept something as a fact without actually doing the investigative
work behind it? It all has to do with our lazy brain. The truth is
we have the power to use our brains however we want. Learning some
of the lazy brain biases will help us use our brain more
efficiently in our life and our businesses - or at least help us
understand the science behind some of our choices.
- [04:58] The
which was covered in
episode 20 and again in
episode 38 as part of the series on nudges. We humans are
most likely to choose a default option when we are provided one,
whether it is in our best interest or not.
- [05:39] Due to the
decoy effect someone’s preference for a choice or product
will change based on the options that are presented.
- [08:05] We have an
which leads us to have an excessive dependence on automated
systems, this can create a situation where those automated
decisions override the choices of individuals that would be more
correct and accurate.
- [08:43] There are lots of
things automation can’t do properly, so it is important to be
thoughtful and take a look under the hood every now and
- [09:08] The law
of the instrument, where
we are overly reliant on a familiar tool. The old adage to explain
this is, “If all you have is a hammer...everything looks like a
Functional fixedness is where someone is limited to using an object
only in the way it is traditionally designed or expected to be
- [09:49] Our businesses would be
best served if we could look at a problem in a new way, from a new
angle, and find a new approach.
- [10:49] A great example
featuring the Apollo XIII story.
- [11:54] Our brains are looking
for the easiest answer and solution most of the time, the way the
information is presented – or the frame – can determine what
actions we take.
- [12:44] When I talk
about anchoring and pricing I always recommend to start with
the highest price first.
- [13:00] The
contrast effect makes it so different stimuli are viewed
differently based on what was seen just before it.
Interoceptive bias is when we believe that input from our senses
are used to influence our external decisions.
- [15:22] The
ambiguity effect is when we avoid options and choices where we
don’t know the odds or likelihood of the outcome in advance, and we
would rather choose an option with bad odds that we happen to know,
than go down the unknown path.
- [15:55] Action
bias is where we take an
action to feel like we are in control of something.
- [17:38] There are two versions
of illicit transference. The fallacy of
composition is when you
assume things about a group because of one person you have
interacted with. The fallacy of division
is where you determine each
individual must be like the whole group.
- [20:59] When we are presented
with tasks that are particularly daunting, we may become a victim
of Parkinson's law of triviality,
which is also known as
is when trivial issues are given way too much weight and we can get
stuck on the small stuff to avoid fixing the big stuff.
- [23:03] Lag
effect is how we learn
better if our studying is spread out over time instead of trying to
cram it all in during one session. The levels of
processing effect is where
not all methods of putting information into our memory have the
same level of effectiveness
- [24:07] The list
length effect is where we
can remember more items when given a longer list. Our brains are
only as lazy as we allow them to be.
- [24:56] Take a limiting belief
that you have and push the limits.
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