my inability to explain myself

Very kind of you not to point the finger at my inability to understand :-)

In any case, I think our need for (assumed) certainty is linked to the efficiency of decision making. If we constantly felt uncertain, we would have no choice but to engage our slow, deliberative, cognitive process, and that is costly, both in time and in effort. So believing we know minimizes the cognitive dissonance between jumping to a conclusion and suspecting we should have giving it more thought. It all makes sense! Of course, it can mean we’re overconfident and make mistakes, but as long as they’re not catastrophic, we live another day.

(I have downloaded your book and will read it at the first opportunity — less than 100 pages should be feasible :-)

What you describe under #3 is a sensible model for how we process information. It fits with observation, and runs along the lines of the way Daniel Kahneman describes systems 1 and 2.

My concern with such simple models is that they are too readily extrapolated. It is not because a model with two minds, as you describe, can explain how we interpret fuzzy, imprecise information and subsequently carry out complex reasoning on precise data, that you can then map other features of this model on reality, like this

This simple model has a couple of deep implications, being that the information that both minds store and process is so different that it is impossible for one mind to understand the other.

You use terms like ‘understanding’ for components of a ‘simple model’ as if they are clear and unambiguous, and readily mappable both on the theoretical construct and on the biophysical matter in our skulls.

Your implications are not necessary for your model to explain how we can produce the correct answer ‘4’ based on some pencil squiggles on a piece of paper. It is perfectly possible to hold alternative assumptions, according to which the two ‘minds’ have an ‘understanding’ of each other, in the same way that my mind has an understanding of yours, and yours of mine.

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

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