Confirmation bias = hunting for information that confirms our initial assumptions (which are often self-serving).
An expert doesn’t have to be a heavily credentialed authority…The bar is actually far lower than that: An expert is simply someone who has more experience than you.
…this is what’s slightly terrifying about the confirmation bias: When we want something to be true, we will spotlight the things that support it, and then, when we draw conclusions from those spotlighted scenes, we’ll congratulate ourselves on a reasoned decision. Oops.
Focusing is great for analyzing alternatives but terrible for spotting them. Think about the visual analogy— when we focus we sacrifice peripheral vision. And there’s no natural corrective for this; life won’t interrupt our focus to draw our attention to all of our options.
From the perspective of our brains, we are unique. Our challenges and opportunities feel particular to us. From the perspective of the universe, though, we are utterly typical.
With so little proof that interviews work, why do we rely on them so much? Because we all think we’re good at interviewing. …The psychologist Richard Nisbett calls this the “interview illusion”: our certainty that we’re learning more in an interview than we really are.
…the simple act of surfacing another option— even if we ultimately decide against it— helps us to make better choices.
The confirmation bias leads us to hunt for information that flatters our existing beliefs.
Sometimes we think we’re gathering information when we’re actually fishing for support.
Managers need to push for legitimate alternatives, not sham options. To diagnose whether your colleagues have created real or sham options, poll them for their preferences. If there’s disagreement, that’s a great sign that you have real options. An easy consensus may be a red flag.
Sometimes we are given the advice to trust our guts when we make important decisions. Unfortunately, our guts are full of questionable advice.
To brak out of a narrow frame, we need options, and one of the most basic ways to generate new options is to find someone else who’s solved your problem.