Thanks to the availability bias, we travel through life with an incorrect risk map in our heads. Thus, we systematically overestimate the risk of being the victims of a plane crash, a car accident, or a murder. And we underestimate the risk of dying from less spectacular means, such as diabetes or stomach cancer. The chances of bomb attacks are much rarer than we think, and the chances of suffering depression are much higher. We attach too much likelihood to spectacular, flashy, or loud outcomes. Anything silent or invisible we downgrade in our minds. Our brains imagine showstopping outcomes more readily than mundane ones. We think dramatically, not quantitatively.
The Art of Thinking Clearly
We all have biases. No one is exempt. We develop them every day of our lives, watching TV and movies, surfing the internet, listening to radio and podcasts, and basically anywhere that advertising has been able to present itself in any form. We could be just hanging out with friends and listening to a conversation only to have them pop up in someone else’s story.
Does it affect you? It sure does. Rolf Dobelli’s book The Art of Thinking Clearly helps us identify these biases. He teaches us how to avoid falling into their traps. We think this is supremely important because it could save you money, wasted time in unhealthy jobs and relationships, and in the area of your health. Dobelli is a game changer and his book his right on the mark.
With simple and clear examples in all areas like marketing, business, religion, music industries, fashion, politics, entertainment and psychology, Dobelli helps you see past the illusion that others want you to buy into. You may think you are too smart for their antics, but you most likely aren’t. He explains why you shouldn’t accept a free drink and how marketing agencies (including churches and religions) prepare you to think like a follower/consumer and how you don’t even know you are one.
You can turn it around though, by learning to see the truth. Once you know this, you will be able to understand your old response and eventually learn how to think for yourself. It means, eventually, that you will know yourself, your thoughts, when you are being worked over, and how to healthily respond. This book is typically considered a business book and rightly so. But we believe it should be read by everyone.
You won’t be able to change the world but reading this will certainly help you change your own life. It will also make you smarter and that’s a darn good thing.