The role of contrast and perspective A basic understanding of probabilities Recognizing the limitations inherent in our thinking and our technology An understanding of the invisible forces that influence judgment (biases) The neuroscience behind judgment processes The role of the the emotional brain in logical judgment Judgment under pressure Understanding Judgment
Logic- Normative theory of how one should reason. Formal logic. Mathematics/computer science Hard answers-precisely defined operations Not descriptive theory of how humans actually reason Does not generally consider psychology Critical Thinking- Everyday, real life reasoning. Using creativity Deals with psychology. Beliefs and recognizing biases Gray areas, complex, unclear and changing situations Reflective and independent thinking Judgment- decisions made, and conclusions reached that drive actions and behaviors in how you deal with a situation or set of facts What is Judgment?
Rational drug design The technical aspect of models for drug design are easier than the human endeavor of interpretation Placebo effect without believing in the placebo? Unconscious effects Cyclosporin A Placebo studies using the meaning response We are constantly primed- consciously and subconsciously and unconsciously Judgment: Logical and Rational thought
Judgment (Beaman et al. 1979; Diener et al., 1976) Good Judgment –Including Ethical Judgment What it is not… Whatever society accepts- If this were true, you could take a poll and you would believe whatever the result is Not science- Science deals with how people “ought to act”, not considering biases, psychology, or emotions Not the law- Laws can deviate from what is ethical, and rules have a counterintuitive effect on ethical thought processes. Intuition- We may have formed habits in thinking that bias us. Familiar habits trigger oxytocin.
Judgment (Beaman et al. 1979; Diener et al., 1976) Good Judgment-Including Ethical Judgment What it is… Endless number of models, theories, and definitions-for our purposes today we will view ethics as: Well founded standards of critical thinking of fairness and of right and wrong Understanding our own reasoning processes, thinking critically about these processes, and seeking to understand our unique biases A continuous effort to understand and develop one’s own reasoning and standards Understanding the important role the emotional brain plays in judgment and critical thinking
Judgment: Removing the Mystery (Beaman et al. 1979; Diener et al., 1976) What is judgment? Perception- Becoming aware of something through the senses Interpretation- The action of explaining the meaning of something Judgment- Forming an opinion, estimate, notion or conclusion from circumstances presented to the mind
Critical thinking skills allow us to: Understand connections between ideas and concepts Construct and evaluate arguments See inconsistencies and gaps in reasoning Assess the relevance of ideas Examine the justification of your own beliefs Critical thinking should not be confused with: Being critical or argumentative (Indeed, critical thinking plays an important role in cooperative reasoning) What is Critical Thinking?
Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment dimensions of critical thinking Argument analysis Recognizing the difference between conclusions and assumptions Seeking reasons why certain considerations would support or fail to support certain conclusions The difference between uninformed opinions and reasoned judgment Critical Thinking
Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment dimensions of critical thinking Thinking as hypothesis testing Looking at a sample and drawing conclusions and testing to see if that conclusion is reasonable Hasty generalizations from samples of behavior Not considering control conditions (The change you witnessed may have happened with or without the item you identified) Critical Thinking
Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment dimensions of critical thinking Likelihood and uncertainty A basic understanding of probabilities Likelihood of outcome in uncertain situations An extreme event is likely to be followed by a less extreme event (regression to the mean) If a coin flip results in 3 heads in a row, what is the likely outcome of the 4 th flip? Critical Thinking
Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment dimensions of critical thinking Decision making and problem solving (judgment) Decision making -Selecting from alternatives based on relevant information Problem solving -Finding solutions to a situation, requires seeing connections in data that may not appear to go together Research in judgment skills Critical Thinking
Scientific method Ask a question Do background research Construct a hypothesis Test your hypothesis with an experiment Analyze your data and draw a conclusion Communicate your results Limitations-Goal is not prove a rule but to disprove (null hypothesis) Randomly assign subjects Exactly the same treatment of subjects with no outside influences that bias the results (remove contextual differences) Judgment: Critical Thinking
Important in the scientific method: Validity-Are you actually measuring what you intended to measure? Internal and external validity. The extent to which a concept, conclusion or measurement is well founded and actually corresponds to the real world. Reliability-The ability to achieve similar results under consistent conditions. Judgment: Critical Thinking
Critical thinking Is thinking about your thinking process Analyzing the thinking process and the outcome Supporting your beliefs and actions with solid reasons A meta-thinking skill that requires Theory Understanding the rules of reasoning Laws of logic and methods of scientific reasoning Understanding what not to do (not just what to do) Knowledge of common mistakes in reasoning (biases) Judgment: Critical Thinking
Attitude Openness Willingness to be wrong Exploring biases and assumptions Accepting, even seeking criticism Preferring to figure out problems on your own so you really understand them-not handed the answer Analyzing your errors in judgment Instead of excuses, curiosity about what biases or other errors may have resulted in the incorrect judgment Critical Thinking- A meta-thinking skill that requires:
You may use: Inductive reasoning-From the bottom up approach-Seek strong evidence for the truth of a conclusion-seeks only to give probable indication of truth-not absolute-is inherently uncertain The old dictionary definition of deriving general principles from specific observations is considered out of date. Deductive reasoning-Top down approach-Start broad and work towards specific conclusion-Relies on original premise being correct. Judgment: Critical Thinking
The story of Cook County Hospital Judgment: When Less is More
Situational Awareness Attractors and Distractors The “more information is always better” bias Research shows that doctors have more confidence in their diagnoses when more data is available, even though the accuracy of their diagnoses does not improve with that additional data-Joseph Kidd -Stock market performance/weather forecasts
Judgment: When Less is More Creeping determinism After an event has occurred, we feel very sure that the outcome is what we would have predicted Research had people predict an outcome and the level of certainty of their outcome, then after the outcome occurred, they asked them again- and people gave much different answers, either changing their answers (saying they had predicted what ended up occurring, or changing their level of certainty very dramatically.
Complicated-Many different moving parts that all fit together like a puzzle (An engine) Complex-Many similar parts that interact in ways that are not fully predictable (A group of people). What happens is a mystery. Does this distinction matter? Absolutely-it changes the way we search for data Judgment: Complex or Complicated- Understanding the true nature of your problem
Choice Complexity and Professional Judgment Study on bias in professional decision-making using Doctors Decision to send patient-a 67 year old farmer for hip replacement surgery First group of doctors told they forgot to try one drug-Ibuprofen. Would they call patient back from surgery to try the drug? 50% said pull then back Second group of doctors told they forgot two drugs-Ibuprofen & Piroxicam. Would they call patient back from surgery? 72% let patient go on to surgery Why? Choice complexity increases chance of going with default option Redelmeier & Shafir (1995)
Puzzles Source dependent (data) Clear conclusion Every piece of new information makes answer clearer Search will fall in the normal curve Mysteries Receiver dependent (interpretation skills) Answer does not become clearer with additional piece of information Making sense of the information we already have makes answer clearer Making judgments about situations that are uncertain Search is open-may be outlier data, or uncorrelated Judgment: Puzzle or Mystery
Judgment: Choke or Panic Choke- Thinking too much-When you are thinking about the steps and should just be on autopilot Panic- Thinking too little, when you should be following the steps that you learned
Choking vs. Panic The part of the brain that handles new learning is different than the part of the brain that handles memory and memorized activities. -Memorized tasks-Cerebrum-automatic and extremely fast -New learning- cerebellum handles motor learning, parts of temporal lobe handle other types of learning-slower Time Management
Judgment: Research Techniques Quantitative- Relies on strict assumptions (normal distribution, no outliers, variables are mutually exclusive), data driven- complicated-what the data is Qualitative- Recognize assumptions may be biased, except for underlying assumption that people can perceive the world differently-complex-what the data means
Big Data and Judgment What makes “BIG” data different from the data we’ve always used? Has a different direction Usually we have a problem and form a hypothesis and then gather data In big data-we have this pile of data and want to see what there is to learn
Judgment What is the nature of your data? Understanding the nature of the data requires different perspectives One or a few things -middle- Many things
Is the problem you face one of logic, or one of insight? Insight- Understanding the hidden nature of something. Requires a new perspective to achieve a solution Judgment: Insight
There are ten bags, each containing ten weights, all of which look identical. In nine of the bags each weight is 16 ounces, but in one of the bags the weights are actually 17 ounces each. How is it possible, in a single weighing on an accurate weighing scale, to determine which bag contains the 17-ounce weights? Judgment: Insight
How is it possible, in a single weighing on an accurate weighing scale, to determine which bag contains the 17-ounce weights? Take 1 from the 1 st bag, 2 from the 2 nd, 3 from the 3 rd etc. Then weigh all those coins. If all the bags weigh 16 ounces you will have 55 ounces (10+9+8+7+6+5+4+3+2+1). Any amount in excess of the 55 ounces will determine which bag contains the 17 ounces (two ounces over = bag 2,if it is 7 ounces over = bag 7 etc) Judgment: Insight
Insight-Spatial Three cards lie face down on a table, arranged in a row from left to right. We have the following information about them. a. The Jack is to the left of the Queen b. The Diamond is to the left of the Spade c. The King is to the right of the Heart d. The Spade is to the right of the King. Which card - by face and suit - occupies each position?
Insight Jack and hearts, King of Diamonds, Queen of Spades
Think of a stranger you saw today, perhaps the person who served you coffee-anyone. -Picture that person -Now write a description of that persons face -You would now have more difficulty picking that person out of a lineup Judgment: Insight
Dissecting something-breaking it down into pieces, damages insight. It loses meaning as a whole. Judgment: Insight
Judgment: Insight-Removing barriers to Rapid Cognition Rules of Improv Improvisers get a suggestion of a location, object, or relationship Make up everything on the spot But…guided by basic rules
Judgment: Insight-Removing barriers to Rapid Cognition Rules of Improv Rule #1 Yes and… This is the holy grail of improv-this allows scenes to be created out of nothing. This rule says we must agree with the reality created by the other actor and add to it which is agreed to in turn. Disagreeing “blocks” the scene and this is the end of the scene- nothing but frustration comes from this disagreement.
Judgment: Insight-Removing barriers to Rapid Cognition Rules of Improv Rule #2 Act/React- Everyone on stage should be making an effort to contribute to the scene-take responsibility and confront fear. Put an idea out there and trust that your fellow actors will make the best of it. No holding back-be bold! If other actors are on a roll-let them keep going, but be ready as soon as the scene allows. When everyone doesn’t pull their weight – the scene dies.
Judgment: Insight-Removing barriers to Rapid Cognition Rules of Improv Rule #3 Make someone else look good and you look good- Everyone is a supporting actor and instead of looking out for yourself, look out for the other actors. This builds trust, acceptance, responsibility and commitment. Have the other actors back. Never, ever put someone else on the spot to get yourself out of one. Don’t block, don’t say something “standard” that stalls the scene.
Judgment: Insight-Removing barriers to Rapid Cognition Rules of Improv Rule #4 Be Vulnerable and Honest- Don’t try too hard to be funny, it will feel forced. Be as natural as possible, this is always most interesting and moves the scene forward. Don’t hide behind standard answers and responses-be authentic!
Judgment: Insight-Removing barriers to Rapid Cognition Rules of Improv Rule #5 There Are No Mistakes- Everyone is doing the best they can- no matter what happens, everything is used-a bad joke, someone’s frustration, etc. This shows that the reward that comes with the risk outweighs staying safe.
Judgment: Insight-Removing barriers to Rapid Cognition Rules of Improv This basic structure frees you up to think openly, like the doctors at Cook County hospital when they used the Goldman Algorithm
(Dan Ariely, Duke University) Search for level of certainty that doesn’t exist We subconsciously assign tremendous weight to our assumed outcomes and automatic character assessments This assessment causes profound biases our perceptions Colors our judgment Results in automatic assumptions and predictions Causes subliminal susceptibility to seek subliminal information Emotional Need for Certainty
Negotiation Research in Auditing The more ambiguous the accounting issue, auditor likely to accept clients preferred treatment. The more important/increased pressure surrounding the accounting issue, auditor more likely to concede The greater number of possible alternative treatments, the less likely the auditor was to insist on their judgment Clients perceive they are more likely to persuade auditors if firm has short tenure Auditors are much more likely to waive smaller adjustments that aggregate to a material amount than those that are individually material ( Small Steps Phenomenon ) Brown & Wright (2008)
Take a “Mental” Walk The importance of taking breaks Heavy concentration causes fatigue Fatigue results in diminished attentional control Give your mind an easier task every 20-30 minutes for a few minutes Take a longer break every 2-3 hours Improves control and judgment Can allow elusive answers to appear Our mind will force the breaks if you don’t take them voluntarily -Research shows that we spend 30%-47% of our waking hours daydreaming We benefit from taking a walk-even if it is a “Mental Walk” –spurs those spatial parts of our brain. Judgment and Pressure
Task Type: Creative vs. Logical Creative Tasks Suffer more from pressures- limitations, distractions, and structure/rules Logical tasks Can improve under low pressure but suffer increasingly as pressure increases into moderate/extreme Physical tasks Can improve under moderate pressure but suffer under extreme pressure Judgment and Pressure
The Effect of Rules and Sanctions Narrows our thinking processes Control the tendency to act only in our self interest (Self protection-Good Samaritan laws) The tendency to focus on the letter of the rule rather than the spirit. Is tendency to interpret rules narrowly due to the characteristics of the rules themselves? Principles versus Rules based accounting standards CFO’s less likely to make aggressive accounting choices under “Principles” based system (Agoglia, 2009) CFO’s came to more similar conclusions under principles than rules based system U.S. accounting standards have become so precise as to invite opportunistic interpretation by corporate executives (Agoglia, 2009) The mention of sanctions gives a different frame
Mood and Professional Judgment (Beaman et al. 1979; Diener et al., 1976) Can something as simple as mood affect professional judgment? Study: Auditors in a “good” mood state found inventory values to be an average of about 5% less than the client valuation Auditors in a “poor” mood state found inventory values to be an average of about 8% less than the client valuation
Recognizing Biases Confirmation Bias- The tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. Studies show we tend to seek information that confirms rather than properly tests the validity of what we are told Selective Perception-A cognitive bias wherein individuals are subconsciously attracted to stimuli that falls in their range of reasonable expectation and are oblivious to other stimuli. Belief Perseverance- Our tendency to seek information that is consistent with our pre-existing beliefs. Biased Processing of Disconfirming Information- The subconscious bias towards being more critical of evidence that disconfirms our initial beliefs than evidence that confirms it.
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