The Art of Streetplay

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Take-Aways from Blink

-That initial gut reaction we have when making decisions is a very real phenomenon which merits thought. We tend to not always trust our hunches for a few reasons, one of which is that we've been taught to value caution and thoroughness to avoid making hasty mistakes-- how could it be that we gain more insight from our 2 second initial hunch than the following month's worth of rigorous analysis? The second reason I can think of is the fact that even if we believe in our ability to come to very insightful conclusions through nothign more than a hunch, it can be difficult if not impossible to know whether our hunch is a good one or a bad one-- that split second hunch can be decomposed into good analysis and bad biases, and it can be very, very difficult to differentiate one from the other. There is a partial solution to this. (1) Premeditatively create an environment for yourself miniizing the probability that you'll be reinforcing any biases you may have-- and make sure you only trust your hunches when you are in the proper environment (remember policemen in car chases; high heart rate --> change of psyche). (2) Refine and hone very specific processes-- when situations arise which are a direct application of those processes, it's far more likely that you'll respond with a "good blink." (Remember bodyguards training their reactions to vicious dogs and getting shot-- these are situations in which you can train yourself to remain in control).
-To be truly the best, it may be of value to refine and practice a particular process or drill to the point that it becomes a part of your second nature-- so that when you need do perform or make a decision which requires that skillset, you will be able to rise to the challenge.
-It is very important to classify the decisions you make on the job or elsewhere into how time dependent those decisions need to be. Take for example a cop or a soldier. They don't know if or when they will get tied up in a life or death situation they don't want to be involved in; what they do know is that in that very short time interval, they won't have the time to think things over. One may contrast that to a professional historian or philosopher-- while this sort of person will also have those majorly time dependent situations as well, it isn't nearly as crucial. Another comparison could be made between a quant trader and a cash trader/market maker. Identify those very time dependent situations and hone yourself to perform if/when they arise.
-Make your best attempt to identify your subconscious biases so that you can fix them-- the deeper they are, the harder they will be to identify.
-Many times, insightful analysis comes not from being an expert at already established techniques, but from adopting a whole new schema altogether. Gladwell brought up a couple cool examples of this, like the marriage inspector and the face readers. These are people making inferences based on very off the beaten path, subtle things. Just imagine how helpful it could be to read a person's face when in a face-to-face interview with them!
Face Reading 101:
Paul Ekman: Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage
Fritz Strack: Inhibiting and Facilitating Conditions of the Human Smile: A Nonobtrusive Test of the Facial Feedback Hypothesis, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Robert Schultz: Abnormal Ventral Temporal Cortical Activity During Face Discrimination Among Individuals with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, Archives of General Psychiatry
Nancy L. Etcoff and Paul Ekman: Lie Detection and Language Comprehension, Nature 405
Simply Google Paul Ekman and Silvan Tompkins
Silvan Tompkins: Affect, Imagery, and Consciousness


Post a Comment

<< Home