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An engaging explanation of the science behind Malcolm Gladwells bestselling Blink'
Gerd Gigerenzer is one of the researchers of behavioral intuition responsible for the science behind Malcolm Gladwells bestseller Blink. Gladwell showed us how snap decisions often yield better results than careful analysis. Now, Gigerenzer explains why our intuition is such a powerful decision-making tool. Drawing on a decade of research at the Max Plank Institute, Gigerenzer demonstrates that our gut feelings are actually the result of unconscious mental processesprocesses that apply rules of thumb that weve derived from our environment and prior experiences. The value of these unconscious rules lies precisely in their difference from rational analysisthey take into account only the most useful bits of information rather than attempting to evaluate all possible factors. By examining various decisions we makehow we choose a spouse, a stock, a medical procedure, or the…[more]
At the beginning of the twentieth century, H. G. Wells predicted that statistical thinking would be as necessary for citizenship in a technological world as the ability to read and write. But in the twenty-first century, we are often overwhelmed by a baffling array of percentages and probabilities as we try to navigate in a world dominated by statistics.
Cognitive scientist Gerd Gigerenzer says that because we haven’t learned statistical thinking, we don’t understand risk and uncertainty. In order to assess risk—everything from the risk of an automobile accident to the certainty or uncertainty of some common medical screening tests—we need a basic understanding of statistics.
Astonishingly, doctors and lawyers don’t understand risk any better than anyone else. Gigerenzer reports a study in which doctors were told the results of breast cancer screenings and then were asked to explain the risks of contracting breast cancer…[more]