Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition

Some notes and quotes from Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition:

Harvard’s Law states, “Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume humidity, and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.” – p2

Planning fallacy: people consistently and dramatically underestimate how much something will cost and how long it will take. However, this does not apply to people’s judgments about others’ projects. – p10-11

“When asked why doctors generally shun checklists, Joseph Britto, a former doctor, quipped, ‘Unlike pilots, doctors don’t go down with their planes.'” – p69

More than forty years ago, Daniel Kahneman was asked to help flight instructors in the Israeli air force sharpen their training skills. After watching the instructors hurl obscenities at the trainees, Kahneman told the instructors about research with pigeons that demonstrated how positive feedback can motivate batter than castigation. One instructor retorted, ‘With all due respect, sir, what you’re saying is for the birds.’ The agitated instructor went on to explain that pilots almost always did worse on their next flight after praise and consistently did better after a tongue lashing. Initially taken aback, Kahneman soon realized that the instructor was committing our third mistake. The instructor believes that his insults caused the pilots to fly better. In reality, their performance was simply reverting to the mean.” – p128

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1 Comment

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One response to “Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition

  1. I am a firm believer in Harvard’s law as stated above.

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