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

Laurel & Wolf — Product Friction

This post is by Ali Shadle. Product Friction is any obstacle that prevents a user from getting real, tangible value from a product. Learn the secrets to building the path of least resistance from popular web applications!

Understanding where products make me feel uncomfortable

Ali Shadle has created a way to teardown the user experience and offer solutions. Using a human-focused design mindset, Ali reacted and created actionable solutions to Laurel and Wolf’s homepage, funnel, and checkout.

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How FITology Used Running to Create an Alternate Reality Adventure

How can you engage your employees to a common Corporate Social Responsibility cause – in a fun and healthy fashion? Here’s how FITology created an alternate reality game to help an organization raise funds for charitable cause.

Running is the new craze

Running is the new craze today. Nearly every 35 – 45 year old white collar employee who wants to get started on her / his fitness journey starts by running. In most of the metropolitan cities around the world short and long runs are organized every fortnight or month. There are communities, organizations and associations which run together. Raising money for charitable causes via long-distance races has become a fairly common, BIG thing.

We wanted to work with this opportunity. We wanted to raise as much charity possible from a group of employees working for a multinational company who live and work all over the world. And we wanted to do it on the backdrop of a Marathon. The question was how do we design a gameful experience to motivate these multicultural, global employees.

We listed our limitations first – why might people not want to donate –

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Readalong: Reality is Broken, Ch 14 – Saving the Real World Together

This continues the Readalong by Erik van Mechelen of Jane McGonigal’s ‘Reality is Broken’ with insights from Yu-kai Chou’s Octalysis framework. For in-depth discussions of this book and others, join Octalysis Prime.

tl;dr By taking a long view and using game design now, we can save the real world together.

Summary

Will Wright shared that he believes one of the largest skills to be gained from playing games is a better imagination. Why? For the survival of humanity.

Survival is present in many games from the Sims to Black and White to Civilization.

World without Oil was a collaborative forecasting and problem-solving game which helped people expand their imaginations through fictional obstacles.

Superstruct Ten Year Forecast was yet another collaborative game created and run by McGonigal’s Institute for the Future, which developed 550 superstructs, or combinations of structural solutions to problems.

Analysis

This final chapter is largely example driven and uncontroversial. Essentially, it is a rallying call for Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning and Calling.

Together, we can tackle what may be the most worthwhile, most epic obstacle of all: a whole-planetary mission, to use games to raise global quality of life, to prepare ourselves for the future, and to sustain our earth for the next millennium and beyond.

What’s next?

Congratulations! You completed the Reality is Broken readalong!

Which book should we read together next?

Let me know in the comments or on Octalysis Prime‘s community (paywall).

The Great Delhi Run–How FITology used an Alternate Reality Game to Break the Ice

Adventures @ FITology | #1 – The Great Delhi Run | Alternate Reality Game

This article was written by Saamir Gupta, Founder of FITology. (See bottom of article for full bio.)

Day 1: 7:00 pm, Hotel ITC, Delhi

Imagine, you have taken a long flight to India. This is your first evening in Delhi and you are having dinner with your colleagues from all round the world. You are part of this pool of 20 senior management handpicked to start a new business model for your company. And your discussions with them, as a team start tomorrow. But instead of the work agenda for the next day, at the dinner table, you are handed this brief –

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