The bitterness of doing nothing

When we should really challenge our own, and other people’s omission bias

Biases (cognitive and behavioural tendencies) and heuristics (mental shortcuts) are often associated with bad decisions, but it is worth bearing in mind their evolutionary origins before we label them as unconditionally problematic. Whether we are thinking of risk aversion, confirmation bias, the representativeness heuristic, or hyperbolic discounting, there are good reasons why we have been carrying these tendencies for thousands of generations.

A family of sabre tooth tigers
A family of sabre tooth tigers
Thanks to our biases, we survived and prospered, despite these guys (image: Bear Sloan/Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
A herd of cows in a field
A herd of cows in a field
When in doubt, follow the herd (image: Cade Nicholson/Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0)

Accidental behavioural economist in search of wisdom. Uses insights from (behavioural) economics in organization development. On Twitter as @koenfucius

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