All of our lives are turning around a simple assumption “If this, then that”. (The image is from IFTT)
It’s logic. We base our decisions on expected outcomes, and when things go as planned, we feel like the logic is confirmed, and expect others to be able to reproduce the same logic with the same decision.
However, there is a catch. As our perception of reality is more or less the sum of our experiences, our perception also gets biased. Our expectation of outcomes becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When others fail to reproduce the same outcome, regardless of the same starting point, we are quick to disregard the outcome as an alternative outcome… I mean if “I” can reproduce the same result over and over again, why wouldn’t it work?
The problem is that the bias doesn’t only come into play when we expect others to reproduce a chain of events that we have found working. It also applies to all kinds of advice and “how-to” lists of success in business, personal life, self improvement and other areas.
I can’t help but to think that in an age where ready step-by-step guides to anything is readily available, we are really losing focus on something very important. How about over 27 million results to how to boil water?
Actually trying to figure our the answer to a problem, without googling it, is more and more rare.
We want shortcuts to answers, and that is all fine. The only problem is that we ask the question “why” all too seldom.
Let’s do ourselves a favor, and the next time we are faced with a dilemma or problem, ask “Why?”, instead of googling “If ____, then _____”.