Our Irrational Vulnerabilities

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Your decision-making is more vulnerable to irrational thought than you’re probably willing to admit, according to scientists. Dr. Ariely describes experiments showing “anchoring,” in which an unrelated piece of information, just by being received first in a decision-making sequence, influences our decisions. For example, he had students write down the last 2 digits of their social security number (SSN) next to a list of items. He then asked them to write how much they would pay for the items. Those with lower SSNs bid much lower than those with higher SSNs.

When geese are born, they will become attached to and start following the 1st moving animal they see, usually their mother. A scientist studying them found that they became attached to him instead of their mother if he was their 1st encounter. This is like anchoring.

In order to escape from becoming a cooked goose, we need to constantly challenge our assumptions. Recognize when you’re anchoring & consider the opportunity cost of following that impulse versus choosing something else.

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