Overcome Your Cognitive Biases: Expert Analysis of ‘Super Forecasting’

Read and written by Erik van Mechelen

Wake up to your cognitive biases and you will see more

There are many ways to learn about your cognitive biases. You might start by reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, or the scientific paper he wrote in 1974 with his friend and colleague Amos Tversky, Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases’, where the pair shared their observations and experiments across a number of biases humans all share.

Judgment under uncertainty.

You could also notice these biases in action.

Humans are goal-oriented. We develop an aim. In Octalysis speak, this is our Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment putting a fire under us, sparking us into motion. (Other Core Drives of Octalysis will play into our emotions, too, of course.)

But our belief in how successful we will be in achieving our goal comes  down to a matter of prediction under uncertainty. Here enter several key biases, among them recency bias, overconfidence, and what Philip E. Tetlock calls ‘tip of the nose thinking.’

Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner have written about a unique way to practice getting over our cognitive biases in prediction, through Super Forecasting. In their story about a small group of super forecasters who defeated IARPAs own government-backed researchers in an extended game of geopolitical forecasting, the authors provide an architect’s blueprint for starting one’s own journey of forecasting. Because life is full of prediction. And wouldn’t it be better if you could improve your ability to do so?

As Kahneman said, what you see is all there is.

Wake up. Try to see more.

Here’s a bonus cognitive bias. (Many more to follow as we go through the book, Super Forecasting.)

Your eyes follow the symbols in this sentence. You can’t help making meaning out of them. Why are you trying to make meaning out of them? This sentence is just a pattern of symbols.

Step back even more. What are you bringing to this reading. Why are you so eager for answers?

Stay tuned for chapter by chapter analysis of ‘Super Forecasting’ by Philip E Tetlock and Gardner.

This and other expert analysis on the top research in psychology and behavior can be found at OctalysisPrime.com