Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group, LLC Blog

Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Fri, Jul 5, 2013 @ 07:07 AM




"We could not abandon certainty in our lives even if we wanted to, and we should not try. All I am suggesting is that we make a realistic effort to slow our rush to judgment before all the relevant facts are in. If we could grow more comfortable with the uncertainty around us, our daily blunders would not be as great. All kinds of daily interactions would be altered if we suspended our insufficiently informed conclusions over why others act in the way they do. Maybe women would be less quick to assume that men reading the newspaper at breakfast necessarily want to shut them out. Men would be slower to interpret concern. Doctors would be more circumspect when prescribing medicines before the cause of someone's illness is clear. Policy makers would be less certain that defeated peoples will throw flowers at their feet. And voters would be less ready to accept what politicians proclaim as truth.

Embracing uncertainty does not mean that we stop searching for solutions. It only means that we remind ourselves and each other that or explanations are often based on insufficient understanding. Keeping cognizant of our own uncertainty empowers us to qualify our claims and moderate the solutions we adopt. Even more, it forces us to keep an open mind when we confront complex conditions. Open-mindedness sounds simple enough, but if we have discovered anything in this book, it is the surest sign of a limited intellect is a closed mind. Having a limited intellect does not necessarily mean that such people are stupid. It just means that they are unable to stretch toward their full potentials. It's a needlessly tragic way to live, especially when the condition is self-imposed."


Shore Z. Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions. pp 230-231. New York: Bloomsbury; 2008. 


Topics: blunder