Study how the human mind processes and uses information, its limits and biases. Study how your own mind processes and uses information, its limits and biases. Study how individuals, groups, systems, and tools work. Note and illustrate these. Devise checklists and contingency plans to reduce errors.

What we think of as “reason” may in fact be confirmation bias: an evolved tendency to prefer persuasion to truth and to devise conclusions first and arguments later [Mercier and Sperber]. Secondly, your experience is insufficient preparation for unexpected events and situations [Munger, Norman]. Thirdly, in the field—”with missing information, time constraints, vague goals, and changing conditions”—experts don’t reason; they “satisfice“, or choose the first reasonable option [Klein]. Finally, use checklists for processes; even among experts checklists have been shown to dramatically reduce error [Gawande].

References and further reading:

Peter Bevelin. 2007. Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Atul Gawande. 2009. The Checklist Manifesto. Metropolitan Books

Daniel Kahneman. 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus

Gary Klein. 1998. Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. MIT

Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber. 2011. Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. Cambridge

Donald A Norman. 2002. The Design of Everyday Things. Basic

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