THE INTELLIGENT SINGAPOREAN

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Archive for May 17th, 2007

Today’s Reads (May 18)

Posted by intellisg on May 17, 2007

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Why Do Intelligent People Make Dumb Decisions? – Human Psychology and Decision Making

Posted by intellisg on May 17, 2007

dumb1.jpgTHE SKY is falling!

No wait it’s just another dumb mistake. I am of course talking about how intelligent people typically make stupid decisions: I know because I am one of them – the stupid who may even appear intelligent, till of course you engage me to map out your financial retirement plan.

Indeed, from Bhopal to Chernobyl—and in ninety nine out of one hundred accidents in the air, road and sea—human error has accounted for vastly more fatalities than mechanical failure. Yes, we the stupid people of this world are a destructive lot. We make stupid mistakes all the time like drilling our sleeves into walls. Good design takes out some of the edge of course, but if all fails. We the stupid can always blame those intelligent manuals for being too complicated to take stock of our limitations.

Stupid people can’t spell. That probably accounts for why firms like Google have a nifty function which if it thinks we have misspelled a word, suggests the correct spelling. Apart from being good design – they too have to pay homage to us, the stupid people. After all, we pride ourselves on being the statistical significant – there will always be more stupid people than our highly intelligent counterparts.

All of us have either seen or heard about it; seemingly well-educated, balanced and intelligent people, making bad decisions – if you need some prompting just cast your mind back to the dot.com boom during the helium filled days. Or if you missed the white elephant in the living room like I usually do, just switch on the telly – I am sure there is always something intelligently stupid about the war in Iraq.

It simply begs the question why does this happen? How do apparently intelligent people take up positions that defy any reasonable logic? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Science, Sociology | 8 Comments »