That guy Murphy…what he shows us about how we think.

Written by John Kuder

Table Of Contents

We’re having fun here today. Ah, it’s, yeah. What day is it? This is a Monday. Oh, it is, but it may not be when you’re watching this. So cool. Happy, whatever day it is. Did you know that? Oh, no. I don’t know that. Murphy’s Law is a Oh yeah. Wonderful example of a cognitive bias and it is a live and well in my life.

Yeah. So we’ve been talking about cognitive biases and, and they are basically systemic errors that we make in our thinking. In other words, systemic meaning just automatic errors that we make. , they’re shortcuts. And we have these struggles that we deal with; too much information, not enough meaning, and not enough time.

And we take shortcuts to save the energy that, you know, for other things. Yeah, cuz I did learn that the body takes 20% of your energy. Yeah. No, that’s our brain. Our brain consumes 20% of our total energy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we, we are hardwired to save it wherever possible. , and that’s how we get, that’s how we get in trouble,

And that’s when the fight started. . So the, you know, Murphy’s Law, just to remind you, is mm-hmm. , “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. Mm-hmm. . Okay. And, and that’s, Kind of a pessimistic warning that life is unpredictable, right? That, that we’re, things can, things are, we, we can make our best plans, we can do our best, but, but stuff’s gonna come up that we can’t expect, oh, that stuff’s gonna happen.

Okay. And, and so, okay. That’s, that’s cute that way. And we, you know, it’s obvious, but it also is a great example of this cognitive bias called appeal to probability. Appeal as an a p appeal, A P P E A L. Okay. Like it, it appeals. Okay. It’s a, it’s a, mm-hmm. . Okay. I don’t know another way to say it. Well, it could also be like a, a lawyer talk, you know, appeal and things.

Well, yeah. They vague, they make appeals, so it’s, yeah. It in that way it’s, so, it is a it is a way that we shortcut mental math. We simplify mental. By taking these shortcuts. Okay. Okay. So with, with the appeal to probability, we confuse likelihood with certainty. In other words, okay. If we think something and, and it’s, it’s these little jumps that we make.

So if we think something’s possible, if we recognize that something’s possible, then we’ll make the jump to thinking it’s probable. It’s like, . We go from possible to likely, and then we go. We also, if so, if we start with likely we go from likely to almost certain. Whether we have any facts or anything’s changed, just no, nothing’s changed.

It’s just, we just make that leap to, it’s, it’s a leap towards creating certainty in, in my opinion. Hmm. Okay. Okay. We’re, we’re, we’re looking for probability. We’re looking for, so we’re looking for predictability in life and, and with these shortcuts, you know, and so Okay. If it’s, and, and there’s a degree of self protection in this too.

Okay. So not that I can agree with. We’ve covered that in other mm-hmm. , other videos that we’ve done about, mm-hmm. Cognitive biases that, you know, in, in a lot of ways we’re, especially when we’re assessing risk, we tend to assess we risk aversion. Right? Right. It was loss, the loss aversion bias. You get that one.

Mm-hmm. , we overestimate risk to avoid taking a loss. Mm-hmm. , this is very related in my opinion because it’s, it’s, we’re saying that if something’s probable, well then it’s, it’s almost. . Okay. And so if it’s something we’re trying to avoid, then we make that leap and say, and then rule it out. I’m not gonna do that, or I’m not going there.

Okay. Oh yeah. Oh, now that’s starting to hit home. Yeah. Okay. So here’s an example. If we’re afraid of something, some danger that we’re, we are gonna perceive it as more likely than it is. That’s kind of summarizing what I just said, right? Okay. Think about somebody who’s afraid of flying. Okay? Okay. Now they, because of their perceived fear, they’re, they’re afraid.

They’ve heard of, they’ve, you know, a, a thing. It’s possible. That an airplane might crash. Okay. And, and, but like, how many flights are there a, a day, a day in the world? And how many flights and how many crashes are there, right. In a, in a year? It, it, so it, the. , the likelihood is extremely, extremely, extremely small, right?

I mean, it’s, it’s, you’re much safer riding in a commercial airliner than you are riding in your own car. Oh, that much safer or, or just walking That’s in a metropolitan area or just walking outside. You could get struck by lightning. Probably more likely than, than yeah, we’re in Florida. That happens.

So, That’s, that’s an one example. Okay. Now, I, I also, I also think that we are prone to make assumptions about other people the same way with true, you know, again, too little evidence. So we’re, we’re trying to add more meaning, so. Mm-hmm. , think about the when somebody has a they have no expression on their face.

They have just the resting face. Mm-hmm. , we have a, there’s a RBF as a, a preview. I need to get more to frame here. Yeah, you do. So r. Um, is is one of those things where somebody has just an their express. When they don’t, aren’t making an expression is it’s poker face. It’s, it’s kind of a poker face, but it, it’s, it’s not a smiling or a pleasant face to, to people perceive it as unpleasant or Right.

And so they’re easily misunderstood for being angry or disapproving. I went to? Well, when I was in a class with a guy, he was, the instructor was, you know, he said, he warned us, you know, this is, this is my face, . Smart boy, smart boy. So he said, I’m not mad at you and I’m not, you know, it’s, it’s just my face.

And so he was very aware of it and he, he took steps to, to overcome that. But think about, so again, the, the probab possibility, probability, if, if, if we say something to, to someone that we. Maybe they’re not gonna like, then we’re gonna take the slightest little hint of evidence that we see that, that we’re right and blow it up and, oh, well, you’re mad at me, or you’re, you’re this or that, and accuse them of it.

Or, or then behave. So, so it’s another example of, again, being a little self-protective, but, but jumping, jumping ahead from possibility to prob. . Okay, cool. What else, baby? Well, so this, this does get used in marketing. Oh, I’m sure. I don’t have, I, I didn’t find a, what I felt like as a really great example.

Okay. But the, it’s, it’s that the idea that something, when a product is presented sometimes, a lot of times they don’t have a. Evidence or proof that it really works. But, you know, they’ll present it in a, in, they’ll frame it in terms of it, it might or it can. And, those with the, with the idea that, that, we’re gonna jump to it.

Oh, it does. Yeah. Okay. . So when you’re the, the way to avoid being, avoid this cognitive bias influencing us. Mm-hmm. too much is, is again, there, there’s times when it doesn’t matter. Sure. Okay. When we’re making tiny little decisions, but if we’re making an important decision, we need to remember.

That we can be biased this way. So again, looking kind of like we did with the loss aversion, looking at the positive side first. Okay. You know, looking and, and, and trying to look at the whole picture. Yeah. Rather than just focusing on that, that little piece. Right. That, that, you know, might go wrong again, like driving the car or flying airplane.

What’s more, what are we not looking at? Right. Okay. What’s the, the whole story. Okay. Okay. So, and, and just for, for those that are following this a little more studiously, we have we have the, the three problems. I, I mentioned them before and the cognitive biases that the guy named Buster Benson did a great job of, of breaking things down into these three main problems that we have.

And that one is too much information. So we filter, yeah. Okay. This is not from that group. Okay. But then after. Once we’ve filtered and we don’t have enough. . Still then we, there’s not enough meaning and so we make stuff up or we fill in gaps, supposition, and so, yeah. One of the ways that we fill in gaps is by simplifying mental math from, from something that’s, you know, like probability, something that’s kind of hard to, to measure and grasp.

We’ll, we’ll collapse it into something that’s real easy. Oh, okay. And and so this is, this is coming out of that. Okay, cool. So this has been a relatively short cognitive bias and we’ll see you in another video. Thanks for spending a few minutes with us. Bye-Bye.

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