Some misc. things today…..
1- I read a short story about decision making yesterday:
A psychologist gathered up 8 professional horse handicappers and told them he wanted to see how well they could predict the winners of horse races.
Their test was to predict 40 horse races in four rounds.
In round 1:
Each gambler would get the 5 pieces of information he wanted most about the upcoming race. (Could vary for each gambler- whatever they most wanted to know. Could be knowing about certain accomplishments of the horse, or years of experience of the jockey, whatever.)
The handicapper had to predict not only the winner, but also had to state how confident he was in his prediction.
Based on 10 horses in each race, we might expect that by blind chance, each handicapper would be right about 10 percent of the time, or their confidence with a blind guess would be 10 percent, with no information.
The results from Round 1, with their 5 pieces of info, was 17 percent accuracy- not bad, really, since that’s 70% better than the 10 percent chance they started with (blind luck). Their confidence score was 19%.
In Round 2:
They received 10 pieces of information.
In Round 3:
They got 20 pieces of information.
And in Round 4:
They got 40 pieces of information about the horses/ jockeys/ race conditions/ etc. (i.e. A LOT more than the 5 pieces they started with.)
Their accuracy actually flatlined at 17 percent. They were no more accurate with the 35 additional pieces of information than they were with just 5 pieces.
The most interesting part?!
With all the extra information, they ranked their confidence in their bets at double their original confidence- 34%!
Meaning…. the additional information made them no more accurate, but a whole lot more confident.
Beyond a certain minimal amount, additional information really only feeds “confirmation bias”. (Not to even mention though the cost of acquiring that extra information.) After those first pieces of information, we mostly have our mind made up, subconsciously. Any new contradictory information that comes in we conveniently ignore or dismiss, while any information that confirms our original decision makes us more certain that our conclusion was correct.
I found this whole experiment to be so interesting!! I tend to be someone who is not naturally very decisive, but this makes a good case for not needing to over-think and over-analyze everything. Yes, gathering some information is good and very important. But if the outcome is the same with 5 key pieces of information versus 40, well, it’s a lot simpler to stop at the 5.
*This story was originally directed at investors and the counter-intuitive world of investing. Apparently accumulating too much information could actually hurt your investment results! (Too much info = overconfidence= losing money)
2- My aunt shared a link yesterday to this “autumn” page on Facebook.
I started following it, and it’s so cute!! They post all sorts of adorable and festive autumn themed things, much of it sort of old-fashioned or nostalgia- inducing. It’s called “Cozinest Hollow Vintage”, if anyone is on FB and wants to indulge in some fall stuff.
3- I saw this, too, and I felt it in my soul. 🤣
4- A quote I loved:
“Life will present you with unexpected opportunities, and you won’t always know in advance which are the important moments. Above all, it’s the quality of your relationships that will determine the quality of your life. Invest in your connections, even those that seem inconsequential.”
5- One more:
“Each day contains 86,000 seconds, so we have countless opportunities to reset, recover our balance, and continue rehearsing our best selves.”
Happy Friday/ Happy First Fall Weekend!!!!
I am grateful for the morning local news anchors who get up so early every day. I really enjoy hearing local updates, weather reports, and just general happenings on the TV while we putter about in the kitchen getting ready for school.