The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Do Smart People Make Dumb Decisions?

Smart people make stupid decisions when they are in denial that their decisions are filtered through their emotions. They stay in the realm of pure data, which can be clear and predictable as an equation, without working through the emotional swamp of our child and animal natures. It is like building a palace atop a cesspool. To understand that we act from our animal survival/sexual/power instincts, or from our emotions, gives us the responsibility to heal, and the power to change ourselves and the world. Everyone is just exactly smart enough to construct a trap from which the mind cannot escape. Everyone feels alone and afraid. The only question is: what do you do with your loneliness and fear?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


Marty S said...

While all the biases in the article exist and we have probably all been guilty of them at sometime or other, I think the author of the article suffers from confirmation bias. I guess The author would say I suffer from over confidence bias in believing that most of my decisions are good ones for me even those that don't work out.

Dan Moran said...

Smart people don't make dumb decisions ... in the areas where they're smart. The idea that any of us are smart in all areas of our lives seems unlikely, or at least rare.

Steven Barnes said...

Marty--good in the sense that you made the best decision you could, given the resources and information you had at the time?

Steven Barnes said...

I think that there are people who are smart in every arena in which they choose to engage. If they aren't good at something, they don't do it. I think that's shallow, but am pretty sure such folks exist.

Marty S said...

Good in the sense of the best decision given the information available at the time, but in particular recognizing that one type of information we are always lacking are random events that are one can't anticipate. For example, when I took my first job working on the Apollo/LEM project I had no way of knowing that there would be a fire in the Apollo capsule that would result in my layoff after six months.

Paulina said...

Oh my god, there is really much useful information here!