Jane Austen and Walter Scott: Not Quite Love and Friendship: Weekend Reading

What I call Bob Rubin's Questions. They really work!: Annie Duke: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts: "In fact, questioning what you see or hear can get you eaten. For survival-essential skills, type I errors (false positives) were less costly than type II errors (false negatives). In other words, better to be safe than sorry, especially when considering whether to believe that the rustling in the grass is a lion. We didn’t develop a high degree of skepticism when our beliefs were about things we directly experienced, especially when our lives were at stake...

Surprisingly, being smart can actually make bias worse. Let me give you a different intuitive frame: the smarter you are, the better you are at constructing a narrative that supports your beliefs, rationalizing and framing the data to fit your argument or point of view. After all, people in the “spin room” in a political setting are generally pretty smart for a reason. It turns out the better you are with numbers, the better you are at spinning those numbers to conform to and support your beliefs...

Remember the order in which we form abstract beliefs: We hear something; We believe it; Only sometimes, later, if we have the time or the inclination, we think about it and vet it, determining whether or not it is true. “Wanna bet?” triggers us to engage in that third step that we only sometimes get to. Being asked if we are willing to bet money on it makes it much more likely that we will examine our information in a less biased way, be more honest with ourselves about how sure we are of our beliefs, and be more open to updating and calibrating our beliefs. The more objective we are, the more accurate our beliefs become. And the person who wins bets over the long run is the one with the more accurate beliefs...

One of our time-travel goals is to create moments... where we can interrupt an in-the-moment decision and take some time to consider the decision from the perspective of our past and future. We can then create a habit routine around these decision interrupts to encourage this perspective taking, asking ourselves a set of simple questions at the moment of the decision designed to get future-us and past-us involved. We can do this by imagining how future-us is likely to feel about the decision or by imagining how we might feel about the decision today if past-us had made it. The approaches are complementary; whether you choose to travel to the past or travel to the future depends solely on what approach you find most effective. Business journalist and author Suzy Welch developed a popular tool known as 10-10-10.... "What are the consequences of each of my options in ten minutes? In ten months? In ten years?" This set of questions triggers mental time travel that cues that accountability conversation.... We can build on Welch’s tool by asking the questions through the frame of the past: "How would I feel today if I had made this decision ten minutes ago? Ten months ago? Ten years ago?" Whichever frame we choose, we draw on our past experiences (including similar decisions we may have regretted) in answering the questions, recruiting into the decision those less-reactive brain pathways that control executive functioning...

In poker, because the decisions are all made in the moment and the consequences are big and immediate, routines like 10-10-10 are a survival skill. I recognized in poker that in the same way that I was not the best judge of how I was playing after losing a certain amount of money.... Just as we can convince ourselves we are sober enough to drive, it is easy for poker players to convince themselves that they are alert enough to keep playing after many hours of intense, intellectually taxing work. In my more rational moments, away from the tables, I knew I would be better off if I played just six to eight hours per session. When I reached that point in a session and considered continuing past that time limit, I could use a 10-10-10-like strategy to recruit my past- and future-self...

By planning ahead, we can devise a plan to respond to a negative outcome instead of just reacting to it. We can also familiarize ourselves with the likelihood of a negative outcome and how it will feel. Coming to peace with a bad outcome in advance will feel better than refusing to acknowledge it, facing it only after it has happened. After-the-fact regret can consume us. Like all emotions, regret initially feels intense but gets better with time. Time-travel strategies can help us remember that the intensity of what we feel now will subside over time...


#shouldread

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