Presentation on theme: "Biases, Brains, and Decision Making. Lawyers are Lousy Decision-Makers."— Presentation transcript:
Biases, Brains, and Decision Making
Lawyers are Lousy Decision-Makers
Wrong 50% of the time -$75,000
Wrong 30% of the time -$1,400,000
What’s Going On?
The human brain evolved to solve problems while highly mobile in extreme weather conditions and in a dangerous environment The modern human brain is unchanged from 150,000 years ago.
Two Decision Making Systems System 1 System 2 Effortless Impulsive Intuitive Automatic Pre-conscious Effortful, painful Resists impulsivity Capable of reasoning Cautious Conscious
17 x 24 408
The mere conjunction of two words creates a reality Most associative processing is unconscious
– primes individualism – reduces cooperation – reluctance to be with others.
Jumping off the cliff of conclusions
Linda is thirty-one years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in antinuclear demonstrations.
What is most likely? Linda is a bank teller Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement
System 2 is effortful and for many people...
At bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets? In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half the lake?
System 2 is easily derailed
Loss of self control can be caused by: – avoiding thought of white bears – inhibiting the emotional response to a stirring film – making a series of choices that involve conflict – trying to impress others – responding kindly to a partner's bad behavior Mental depletion can be caused by: – deviating from a diet – overspending on impulsive purchases – reacting aggressively to provocation – performing poorly in cognitive tasks and logical decision-making
What is a cognitive bias?
It’s a decision-making short cut It is a System 1 process It’s typically habitual It has emotional salience It operates outside of consciousness It is extremely useful It has a very dark side
The following three numbers conform to some rule: 2, 4, 6 Your job is to figure out the rule.
8, 10, 12
22, 24, 26
100, 102, 104
What is the rule?
Increasing integers divisible by 2?
The correct answer was: “Any three increasing integers.”
This is a classic example of the confirmation bias. 2, 4, 6 8, 10, 12 22, 24, 26 100, 102, 104 All we did is seek out confirmation for what we already believed.
Is Sam friendly?Is Sam unfriendly?
What is the difference between : We will win this lawsuit.We will defend this lawsuit.
We will win this lawsuit. What does this statement mean if it were true? Do we choose to believe or unbelieve it? System 1 assumes the statement is true and looks for information to confirm it—easy and effortless. Unbelieving is an operation of System 2, which is effortful and painful.
“They are negotiating in bad faith”
Step 1 Label the emotion.
You might say “You are frustrated.” “You are angry.” “You feel disrespected.”
Step 2 Ask a motivational question.
You might ask “What were your expectations?” “What is the other side thinking?”“What can we do to elicit a different response?”