Now, let’s take a look at these
heuristics in action a little bit more
and we’re goingto look at the
impact that it can have.
So in terms of logic and
So humans are not
We do things, and you’ve
done it, I’ve done it.
You know people around you have
done it, and you’re saying,
well, that kind of
doesn’t make sense.
How did you come to that point?
Well, heuristics are the shortcuts
that we mentioned and these actually
increase the efficiency in decision-making
but can lead to errors in judgment.
Because you’re following that shortcut
and the shortcut is just that,
you’re skipping steps,
you’re introducing error.
And it also, if you’re following
a heuristical approach,
you are following these shortcuts, you can
actually make some mistakes in terms of
choosing the inappropriate heuristic, and
so we call that an error in judgment.
So representativeness heuristic is a
tendency to judge the likelihood of an
event occurring based on our typical
mental representation of those events.
So, again, if you already know the
outcome or you think you know the
outcome and you have a representation
of that outcome, of that shortcut,
then that’s going to determine sort of
what you believe and what you think.
So let’s go through an example so
this makes a little more sense.
I’m going to present
these three things here.
So, what is more likely
to happen to you?
Right now, I’m asking you,
getting crushed by
a vending machine,
getting killed by a shark,
or getting killed by a tornado?
So, is it A, is it B, is it C?
Is it the Coke machine, is
it Jaws, or is it a twister?
Now, your inkling might be, say,
well, yeah, shark attack because
sharks are crazy and they’re
killers and they’re everywhere and
they’re going to attack me, and
part of that is, you know, we’re --
I don’t want to say we’re inundated with
it, but you hear about it all the time.
Another shark attack and you
go swimming in the ocean.
Sometimes you’re thinking, oh my God,
maybe a shark is going to get me.
The actual answer is
a vending machine.
So the chances of a Coke machine
falling on you are higher
than an actual shark
attack or tornado.
Now, we’re generalizing
because if you live
right by the ocean and you’re
a surfer and you’re going
swimming every day, maybe your
chances are a little bit higher.
But the average person, the chances of getting
killed by a vending machine are higher.
And the reason that’s happened is our
representative heuristic of shark attacks and
tornadoes is more prevalent and is -- is
more biased versus a vending machine.
You probably haven’t even thought
of dying by a vending machine,
and you do and have thought of
dying by a shark or tornado.
And so we have a
heuristic for that,
for shark attack or tornado,
and so that supersedes
and is more biased than that
for a vending machine because
we either don’t have one
or it’s very, very weak.
availability heuristic is a
tendency to make judgments based
on how readily available
information is in our memories.
And, again, this can come back to
the heuristic we just mentioned.
If you have no idea about
a vending machine,
well, that’s going to
obviously influence it.
And if you have a heuristic
that’s very common, you hear or
interact with all the time, that’s
going to have a huge impact.
So more recently presented information
tends to hold more weight or prevalence.
If you just watched a movie, a
huge documentary on shark attacks,
that’s going to carry
more weight than,
you even considering a vending
machine falling on you.
So what did you watch
on the news today?
Did you see something
about a terrorist attack?
Did you see something
about a shark attack?
Well, that’s going to have more
prevalence for you right now.
That’s right in your
face and it’s very, very
current, it’s going
to carry more weight.
Now a belief bias is the tendency to
judge the strength of arguments based
on what one believes about their
conclusions rather than on sound logic.
So, we’ll write that
down into English.
What we’re saying here is
if you believe in something
and that judgment has
already been made,
you’re more concerned about that than
the actual logic that refutes that.
So, you know, in this
diagram that we have here,
the world is flat.
If you believe in that and people keep
coming to you with information that
the world is actually not flat,
you’re still going to carry more
weight on your arguments and the data
that you have rather on sound logic
that they’re presenting to you
saying, “Well, no, listen. I actually
just flew around the world,” or
“I just sailed around the world and
I’m pretty sure it’s not flat.”
“Well, that’s wrong. Maybe
you just went in a circle
and you didn’t actually
go all the way around.”
And they’re going to refute
because of their beliefs.
So, we call that belief bias.
Belief perseverance is when pre-existing
beliefs come resistant to change.
Now, once you have used this belief
bias and you have a belief system,
it’s going to persist.
And in simple English, it’s very difficult
to change somebody’s view on something.
It’s very difficult to
change their belief.
Those beliefs persist.
That’s why we say
so, really, really hard, very,
very resistant to change.
Intuitive heuristics and
a tendency to confirm
preconceived beliefs can
lead to over-confidence.
So, again, if you know in your mind
something to be true, and that’s a belief,
and it has been
then, you have this over-confidence
that it’s absolutely
right and there’s nothing
that can refute that.
And, again, that’s not
So we know that there are so many times
that a heuristic is not accurate
and should change and can change, but
your over-confidence will skew that.
And then, lastly, is
in the packaging.
Individuals are also influenced
by how information is framed,
and by framing we mean how
is it presented to you?
So, say for example
we’re looking at some of the food today and
there’s a whole drive to have less salt.
So, this is kind of a local regional
example that I have from Canada.
And there, the government got involved
and said, “Listen, you need to
reduce the amount of salt in your
prepackaged soups and your cans of soup.”
And so, the government implemented a law
and said, “You have within five years.
You need to reduce the amount of sodium or
salt in your prepackaged soups by 20%.”
And so, that’s been mandated.
Now, the soup company decided,
“So, why don’t we actually change
how this is framed to benefit us?
And what we’ll do is,” they came out with
this whole ad campaign and it showed
them being a caring partner in your
health and they said, you know,
Company X -- so I
won’t say the name.
But Company X has decided
that we will reduce amount of
sodium by 20% within the next
three years because we care.
And then in the commercial they showed
the amount of salt that’s being reduced
and you’re just like, “You know what?
What a great company.
They care about me and they’re
reducing the amount of salt.”
Now, the reality is they had to. They had
no choice. They’re being mandated to.
But in how they framed the
message is how it impacts you.
So we can do that for so
many different things.
A lot of marketing and a lot
of what’s presented to you
is dependent on how it’s framed.
And this can apply to when you’re trying
to interact with say your children.
How are you framing
Are you telling them you have
to go to bed now or do you say,
“Well, you know what? All
the different prince,
all the princesses tend to go
to sleep around this time.”
Like, “What? Really? If
that’s when they go to bed,
I want to be a princess. I am a princess.
I should go to bed too.”
How did you frame that?
Did you tell them or did you frame it in a
way where they feel like they have a choice
and it aligns with the