Chapter 2 Cognitive Science

2.1 Thinking Fast and Slow [Daniel Kahneman]

本书被誉为是社会思想的一部里程碑式著作,堪与亚当·斯密的《国富论》和弗洛伊德的《梦的解析》相媲美。书中解释了主宰我们思考方式的两个体系,通过很多经典有趣的行为实验,指出直觉在什么情况下不能相信,并指导我们如何在商场、职场和个人生活中作出更好的决策,以及如何运用不同技巧来避免陷入思维失误。

作者丹尼尔·卡尼曼,是摘得经济学桂冠的心理学家。2002年,他凭借着与阿莫斯·特维斯基对决策制定问题的开先河之研究,获得了诺贝尔经济学奖。他是历史上最有影响力的心理学家之一,其影响力被赞誉为仅次于佛洛依德。他的研究,超越了心理学学科本身的藩篱,打开了社会心理学、认知科学、对理性与幸福的研究以及行为经济学的新局面。

本书的价值和贡献

作者的研究观点,对经济学的著名假设之一“理性人”进行了质疑,动摇了主流经济学的基础,影响整个经济学发展的走势,并打开了“行为经济学”发展的新局面。

[知识点“理性人”:把人的决策行为看作遵循理性,遵循效用最大化。]

[知识点“行为经济学”:将行为分析理论与经济运行规律、心理学与经济科学有机结合起来,不再认为人是完全理性的,而是受到各种各样偏见、误差、情绪和心理的影响。]

本书的核心内容

  1. 大脑究竟是如何运作的?
  2. 直觉系统是如何欺骗我们的?欺骗我们的三大直觉漏洞
  3. 如何避免被直觉的漏洞所欺骗?

一、大脑的运作机制

1、大脑的运作是双核系统,有快与慢两种系统模式。

系统1:快的思考方式,即直觉系统,就像自动驾驶系统,指人类无意识的快速思考模式,依赖情感、经验和记忆来做决策判断,不怎么费脑力。

系统2:慢的思考方式,就像手动驾驶,指有意识进行的一种更慢、更严谨,需要投入更多脑力的思考模式,不容易出错但它很懒惰,经常走捷径,直接采纳系统1的直觉型判断结果。

2、误区:主导决策和判断的主角是系统2?

其实真正的主角是系统1,系统2只是配角。

因为大多数情况下都是系统1在处理,而系统1用直觉进行思考判断的速度非常快,快到往往在人们还没有意识到就将问题处理完了。而如果让系统2来处理,凡事都通过深思熟虑来做决策,实在是太耗费脑力和精力。

3、系统1和系统2的运作机制

这两个系统之间的互动,构成了大脑认知和思考的运作机制:

大多数情况下是系统1用直觉来快速处理,只有在系统1遇到解决不了的问题时,才求助于系统2,系统2才会调动注意力、分析力来思考和解决问题。

优势:这样既能节约脑力,又能解决绝大多数问题。

弊端:我们容易被系统1也就是直觉所欺骗和糊弄。

原因是这种互动的运作机制存在漏洞,即有时候系统1面对不擅长解决而需要系统2介入的问题,却非要用直觉来做判断和处理,而系统2容易怠倦就盲目相信系统1能处理,最终导致决策失误。

二、欺骗我们的三大直觉漏洞

直觉系统会对我们的观点和行为有无所不在的影响,却存在不可避免的错误和偏颇,导致我们容易被直觉糊弄和欺骗,从而过分自信和决策失误。

  1. 直觉漏洞一:简单联想

指做决定并不是深思熟虑根据分析和判断来进行,而是直觉系统启动联想效应,以联想到的相关事情来作为判断的重要依据。

启动效应

也可以说联想效应,指大脑一旦接受一个新的概念或者信息的时候,立刻启动联想这个机制,带动与此相关的其他记忆和感情。

案例一:心理学实验“投票地点对投票结果的影响”

案例二:心理学实验“图像对自助付款的监督效果对比”

案列三:心理学实验“阅读包含老人意象的词组后影响行动力变慢”

案例四:心理学实验“慢速走路后更容易发现类似老人这样的词组”

很多人利用简单联想来影响我们的行为和决策

广告商深谙简单联想的巨大威力,比如可口可乐。

我们自己因简单联想的影响而决策失误

很可能在生活中因为前一次成功的经验就会简单联想到之后也会成功。

比如:赌钱的人,赢钱了就觉得接下来还会赢。

  1. 直觉漏洞二:易得性判断

指只利用大脑能够想得起来的信息进行判断。直觉系统的这个漏洞,会给决策带来很多问题。比如:100个因素需要分析,大脑只能想到5个因素,直觉就会只用这5个因素来拼凑一个合理的结论。

故事比统计概率更能说服我们。

直觉系统,宁愿相信貌似合理的结论而不是一个可能性更高的结论。这和逻辑、统计概率相矛盾

案例一:心理学经典案列“琳达实验”

易得性原理

指直觉系统通过易得性的数据信息进行貌似合理的分析判断,而不容易得到的信息,都不会主动去思考判断,因为快思考的模式,而容易忽略重要的关键因素。

比如:因为学生的纹身而判断他成绩不好。因为领导演讲很棒,就觉得他是一个合格的好领导。

如果一件事需要对100个因素进行分析,但是大脑只能想到5个因素,直觉就会只用这5个因素来拼凑一个合理的结论,并且只相信这个结论。

  1. 直觉漏洞三:因果联系

指直觉系统习惯于用因果关系解释自己观察到的现象,否认随机性。

对随机性的误解和错觉

未经过统计学训练的人,很难相信随机性,更倾向于用虚假的因果关系去解释他们认为不随机的事件。

案例一:篮球运动中的投篮顺手观点,其实只是随机现象带来的“运气”

在随机事件上寻找因果联系会导致极大的损失

案例二:小样本带来的统计大损失——比尔盖茨基金会赞助17亿美元的无用研究

三、如何避免被直觉的漏洞所欺骗?

  1. 解决方案很简单,即在关键时候让系统二介入来处理。

难点在于:质疑直觉系统很难,会让我们有压力,不愉快,想要逃避。这也是为什么直觉系统这些漏洞发生后,我们根本意识不到的原因。

  1. 两个实用方法

引入外部意见,并结合核查清单的方法,能帮助我们在关键时刻调动系统二介入,从而避免直觉系统犯错误。

方法一:引入外部意见

指旁观者清,应当多听从外部的信息来做思考判断。

案例一:作者花费8年事件编写出版教材的失败经历

方法二:核查清单

相当于给大脑找一个外部专家,借助清单这样的外部工具,将直觉带来的错觉写进核查清单来提醒自己,在关键时刻抵制直觉系统犯错误。

案例一:查理芒格用误判清单来提醒自己在重大投资和决策的时候不要犯错。

Part One: Two Systems

Hui: 作者Daniel Kahneman因为前景理论(prospect theory)获得诺贝尔奖,主要研究人们在不确定的情况下做出决策。他是研究之前推荐的这几本书中提到的所有认知偏差的鼻祖。对人类决策感兴趣的小伙伴不能不读这本书。

belladona: 一种使人瞳孔变大的物质

这是Dan Kahneman关于他对判断和决策研究结果的书。

2.1.1 Ch1 The characters of the story

系统1: 毫不费力的直觉性思考,如识别一张愤怒的脸 系统2: 需要自我控制,如做乘法题目(自我控制的典型实验是延迟性满足,小孩和糖果的实验)

系统1是自主运行的,我们无法随意使其停止,因此认知错觉无法避免。时刻启动系统2保持警醒并不是一种好的思维方式,会让我们的生活非常枯燥乏味,也不现实。最好的方法是学会妥协:用系统1进行日常抉择,区别常会出现重大错误的情境,在风险很高的时候,尽力避免这些错误。

Hui: 自我控制需要能量,系统2使用过度会消耗过多的能量而无法自控。区分在什么事情上使用系统2非常重要。

2.1.2 Ch2 Attention and effort

在实际生活中,系统1是主角,系统2是配角。大部分情况下是由系统1接管我们的思维,系统2默认系统1的决策,在系统1遇到麻烦系统2才会出面解决。系统2是很懒的,奉行最省力原则——能不接管思维就不接管思维。当它接管思维的时候,人的注意力会集中,瞳孔放大,需要努力才能够维持注意力的集中。

2.1.3 Ch3 The lazy controller

  • 自我控制和仔细思考会抢夺努力的有限预算。大多数人保持连贯的思维或时不时积极思考都需要自我控制力。(实验:看不见的大猩猩)
  • 心流:一种将大脑注意力毫不费力集中起来的状态,这种状态可以使人忘却时间的概念,忘掉自己,也忘掉自身问题。心流状态下,集中注意力关注吸引人的事并不要求自我控制(这时系统1接管)。
  • 人若既有认知任务在手,又同时受到诱惑的影响,就容易屈从于诱惑,更有可能作出自私的选择,会用带有性别歧视的字眼,并在社交场合作出肤浅的评判。喝几杯酒,或者一夜没睡会产生同样的结果。过度关注自己完成一项任务的结果,就会给其短时记忆增加毫无意义的思想负担,进而影响其整体表现。
  • Ego depletion: 如果你必须强迫自己去做某件事,而此时这件事又面临一个新的挑战,你就会很不情愿或是根本无法自我控制。如果有强大动力抑制Ego depletion,是可以做到的。
  • 神经系统消耗的葡萄糖比身体其他部位消耗的都要多。我们可以通过吃甜食来补充自我控制的消耗。
  • 聪明不仅是指推理能力,也指在记忆中搜寻相关信息和在必要时调动注意力的能力。

2.1.4 Ch4 The associative machine

启动效应

  • 系统1编了一个故事,系统2相信了这个故事。
  • Bananas Vomit
  • 思维影响行动:想到老的概念,行动会变慢。
  • 行动影响思维:“我让自己微笑,这样做我也的确感觉好多了!”

2.1.5 Ch5 Cognitive ease

  • 反复的体验、清楚的示范、预知的想法、好心情会带来认知放松
  • 认知放松会带来熟悉感,真实感,好感,不费力感
  • 熟悉了,就会喜欢(曝光效应)
  • 认知放松会导致系统2变得更懒,更容易被骗。
  • 于是,通过不断重复,人们分不清熟悉感和真相。(营销的大技能)

2.1.6 Ch6 Norms, surprises and causes

  • 系统1负责维护常态下的思维模式:从第一次的惊喜到第二次的习以为常。当事态发展不符合常态,会趋向于进行因果上的解释,虽然有时候只是强加因果(简的钱包是怎么丢的呢? Page 59)

2.1.7 Ch7 A machine for jumping to conclusions

  • 不信任和质疑是系统2的工作,但是系统2很懒,累了的时候就更加懒,所以容易因为联想机制带来的“确认偏误”而产生偏见(山姆友好吗 vs 山姆是不是很不友好)
  • 光环效应,看你顺眼,就看你做什么都顺眼(“她对这个人的管理技能一无所知。之所以对他印象很好,是因为曾经听他作过一次精彩的报告。”)
  • 群体的智慧的前提是,群体的观察需要独立以排除系统性偏差。(“在讨论之前大家先独自考虑一下这个问题,这样可以避免观点的相互干扰,这样更利于集思广益。”)
  • 眼见为实(WYSIATI——“What you see is all there is”):判决时候,听了一方的陈述,觉得很赞成,听了双方意见,反而整个人都不好了- -。(“他们并不想了解更多信息,因为那样可能会破坏整个故事情节。他们更愿意相信眼见即为事实。”)

2.1.8 Ch8 How judgement happen

  • 系统1足够通过一瞥以判定某人的吸引力(看照片预测竞选胜出者准确率高达70%)
  • 系统1擅长估算,能够快速一瞥以得到一段线段长度的均值,而不能马上得到总长度。
  • 系统1通过与强度等级进行联想匹配来进行快速的比较
  • 系统1偏爱思维的发散,用一个简单的问题来替换到当前回答的较为复杂的问题(后面还会提到)

2.1.9 Ch9 Answering an easier question

  • 替代指的是系统1遇到复杂问题(目标问题)时候,用简单问题(启发性问题)来绕开原问题的“偷懒”做法。(“别人问我们的问题是这位候选人是否会成功,但我们要回答的问题似乎是她是否能成功应对采访。咱们还是别顾左右而言他了。” )
  • 立体启发法:近大远小
  • 情感启发式:因为喜欢,所以认同(感觉类似上文提到的光环效应)。样例:“他喜欢这个项目,因此他认为该项目投入少、回报高。这是情感启发式的一个典型案例。”

Part Two: Heuristics and biases

2.1.10 Ch10 The law of small numbers

轻信小样本,人为给事件强加因果

  • 系统1能够自动且毫不费力地给事件之间建立因果联系,即使不存在因果关系,它依然会这样认为
  • 系统1不擅长处理“纯统计学”——因为数字可以改变概率,但是不能直接改变结果的发生(受过统计学训练的人能够一定程度上客服这个问题,但是不可能完全克服,所以完全理性的经济人是不存在的)
  • 系统1不擅长质疑,如果一个信息没有因为太离谱而被否认掉,那么它就会启动联想效应,系统1就会把其中的因果串联起来,并且忽略掉那些不明确的信息(往往是统计数字,样本是30还是300往往被忽略),而导致了严重的偏见。
  • 对随机事件做出因果解释,必然是错的(经典案例,“根本不存在投篮顺手的球员”)
  • 关于大数法则:
    • 大样本比小样本更精确
    • 小样本比大样本产生极端结果的概率大
    • 上面两句话是同一个意思

2.1.11 Ch11 Anchors

  • 典型案例:幸运轮盘+非洲比例
  • 锚定效应跟系统1和系统2都有关系,前者是启动效应,后者是调整不足。
  • 暗示(启动效应):144岁的甘地
  • 系统2的失误——调整不足:下高速了进入城市街道,虽然减速了,但是速度依然还是很快。被投诉音乐声音太大,根据要求调节到了自己认为合适的音量,但是对于他人来说,依然很吵。
  • 容易被利用:抬高售价以制造高锚定,法官判决的锚定系数有50%,限购以拉动消费 (Black peal example in Predictable Irrational)
  • 对抗方法,看到可能带有锚定效应的数字,主动激活系统2,“有意地为对方着想” Page 108 “给判决设定上限” Page 108

2.1.12 Ch12 The science of avaliability

  • 是一种替代:实际需要估测的是某一范畴的大小或者某一事件的发生频率,却很容易转变成了衡量自己想到相关实例的轻松程度。
  • 以下因素容易导致我们使用可得性启发法
    • 自己注意的突出事件,比如娱乐圈丑闻
    • 大事件,飞机失事
    • 亲身经历 > 别人的事,生动图片鲜活例子 > 统计数据
  • 意识到自己的偏见有助于夫妻和睦和团队融洽——认识到自己的贡献没有想象中大,对方的贡献没有想象中小
  • 可得性偏见影响我们对自己或者他人的看法:“那些列举了12件事的人认为和只列举了6件事的人相比,自己不够果断。而且,列举出自己表现不够果断的12件事的那些受试者最终却认为自己非常果断!如果无法轻松地想起懦弱的事例,你可能就会说自己一点也不懦弱。自我评估是由事件呈现在脑海中的轻松度来衡量的。轻松地想起某件事的体验比想起事情的数量更重要。”
  • 可得性偏见主要是由系统1产生,系统2的参与能够降低其偏见,而且过度自信也容易导致偏见(“这位执行总裁连续多次成功,因此失败不会轻易在她的脑海中出现。可得性偏见使得她过于自信。”)

2.1.13 Ch13 Availability, emotion and risk

对抗效应层叠 - 这里提到了情感启发式和可得性效应的关系:不同寻常的事件(尤其在经过媒体的熏染之后)容易导致强烈的情感,让我们对其印象深刻,于是更加容易想到(可得性),于是导致了我们高估了其发生的概率。 - 效用层叠,集体信念形成的自我增强过程:比如媒体报道,大V转发,然后群众互相传播。(最极致的效用层叠:恐怖主义) - 试图抑制效用层叠产生的恐怖反而会有“欲盖弥彰”的嫌疑 - 本质上,是因为我们的大脑对于小风险,要么完全忽视,要么过于重视,没有中间地带。 - 由于效用层叠是跟系统1紧密联系,所以几乎无法对其进行忽视。

2.1.14 Ch14 Tom W’s specialty

  • 典型性(stereotype)会让我们忽略了事情的基础比率(base rate, Prior probability in Bayes),事例:汤姆的专业是什么?
  • 用典型性来判断概率有着重要的优点——比乱猜一气要精确,不过它有两宗罪:
    • 过于喜爱预测不可能发生(低基础比率)的事件。(在纽约地铁上读纽约时报的是博士还是没有大学文凭的人?)
    • 对证据的质量不够敏感——眼见为实(“对人冷淡,缺乏同情心”等主观性描述通常不可信 Page 134)
    • 使用贝叶斯法则能够约束直觉:“例如,如果你相信有3%的研究生是被计算机科学专业录取的(基础比率),你还相信汤姆是该领域研究生的可能性是其他领域的4倍,贝叶斯定理就会认为,你必须相信汤姆是计算机科学家的概率是11%。此外,如果基础比率是80%,那你眼中的新概率就应该是94.1%,以此类推。” \[11%=\frac{80% \times 3%}{80% \times 3%+20% \times 97%}\] Calculate 94.1 similarly.
  • “草坪修整得很好,接待员看起来很能干,家具也十分抢眼,但这并不意味着这是一家经营状况良好的公司。我希望董事会不要依照典型性启示作出判断。”
  • “这家新成立的企业看起来好像不会倒闭,但是这个行业的成功基础比率非常之低。我们又怎么能知道这家企业就是个特例(一定能成功)呢?”
  • “他们一直在重复犯同样的错误:用并不充分的证据来预测罕见的事件。当证据不充分时,我们应该以基础比率作为判断依据。”
  • “我知道这份报告绝对是具有毁灭性意义的,也许它的证据十分确凿,但我们凭什么相信呢?我们必须在做计划时保持一定的怀疑态度才行。”

2.1.15 Ch15 Linda: less is more

琳达问题是一个合取谬误: 琳达,31岁,单身,一位直率又聪明的女士,主修哲学。在学生时代,她就对歧视问题和社会公正问题较为关心,还参加了反核示威游行。 20世纪80年代听到这个描述的人常常会笑出声来,因为他们马上就知道琳达曾在加州大学伯克利分校上过学,因为这个学校以有一批热衷政治的激进学生而著称。

琳达是银行出纳。 琳达是银行出纳,还积极参与女权运动。 结果是大部分的人,包括研究生等高学历,都会偏向认为第二项比较有可能——典型性偏见打败了逻辑。 对情节加以详述会使其更加可信,却(从概率和逻辑上来说)更不可能成为事实。(加利福利亚的地震) 少即是多:做单一评估的时候,把普通的商品加入到贵重的商品当中后,人们对商品的估计反而降低了。——系统1取的是平均值,而不是累计值。(可以用来解释琳达问题) 系统2的惰性也是导致判断失误的部分原因

2.1.16 Ch16 Cause trump statistics

  • 在出租车司机的例子中,当人们不知道怎么运用基础比率(统计学信息)时候,就会忽略它。如果故意突出基础比率并且形成了思维定式的时候,人们反而会“正确”地使用基础比率。
  • 统计学基础比率普遍受到轻视,当人们手头有于该事件相关的具体信息是,有时还会完全忽略这一比率。
  • 因果关系基础比率被视为个别事件的信息,人们很容易将这一比率与其他具体事件的信息结合起来考虑问题
  • “我们并没有自己想的那样乐于助人”里面,说明了教学时候“令人惊讶的统计学事实”被学生忽略掉(“默默地将自己,以及他们的朋友和熟人,排除在外”)而学不到东西,学生惊讶于个体案例时,反而能够学到知识。

2.1.17 Ch17 Regression to the mean

  • 之前表现很差,那么之后的表现很有可能会进步,之前表现得很好,那么之后的表现很有可能会变差。这是回归平均值现象,是一种(因为运气而带来的)随机的波动,但是同样人们依然爱使用因果对其进行解释(飞行员)
  • 相关性和回归平均值是从不同视角对于同一个概念做出的阐释:只要两个数值之间的相关度不高,就会出现回归平均值的情况。例子:“聪明的- 女人常常会嫁给不如他们聪明的男人”的原因之一是“夫妻二人的智商之间的相关性并不是绝对的”。
  • 回归平均值虽然正确,但也无聊,人们依然趋向于使用因果性来解释事件具有很强的偏见。
  • 回归效应能够用来解释现象,却无法找到原因
  • 用因果性来解释回归效应,都是不对的,因为回归效应带有随机性。

2.1.18 Ch18 Taming intuitive predictions

  • 问题:“朱莉现在是一名州立大学4年级的学生。她4岁就能流畅地进行阅读。她的平均绩点(GPA)是多少?” 对于上述类型的问题,人们解答的时候通常会用到替代和强度匹配,最后的结果就是偏离了平均值(也可以说是忽略了基础比率)
  • How to get unbiased estimated:
    1. Start with an estimate of average GPA.
    2. Determine the GPA that matches your impression of the evidence.
    3. Estimate the correlation between your evidence and GPA.
    4. If the correlation is .30, move 30% of the distance from the average to the matching GPA The apprach to prediction is general. You can apply it whenever you need to predict a quantitative variable. The approach builds on your intuition, but it moderates it, regresses it toward the mean.
  • 都包含一种基准线预测,如果你对手头这个案例的情况一无所知,便会作出这种预测。在绝对的情况下,这个基准线是基础比率;在有数字的情况下,这个基准线就是相关结果的平均值。
  • 都包含一种直觉预测,无论是可能性或是平均绩点,这种预测会将呈现在大脑中的数值通通表达出来。
  • 在上述两种情况中,你的目的都是要作出一种预测,这种预测可在基础比率和直觉性反应之间充当媒介。在没有什么有价值的信息的情况下,你会坚守基准线。在其他极端情况下,你还会坚守自己最初的预测。当然,只有在对支持自己最初预测的证据进行过严格验证之后,你才会信心十足地坚持那个预测。在大多数情况下,你会发现自己有理由怀疑自己的直觉判断和真理之间的关联其实并不完美,而你最终会给出介于两者之间的判断。第三部分 过度自信与决策错误 总结归纳

Part Three: Overconfidence

2.1.19 Ch19 The illusion of understanding

  • Narrative fallacy: (The Black Swan) Flawed stories of the past shape our views of the world and our expectations for the future due to our continuous attempt to make sense of the world. The explanatory stories that people find compelling are simple; are concrete rather than abstract; assign a larger role to talent, stupidity, and intentions than to luck [吸引人们眼球需要的是一个通俗的好故事。夸张了个人的天资,忽略了运气成分。]; and focus on a few striking events that happened rather than on the countless events that failed to happen. Any recent salient event is a candidate to become the kernel of a causal narrative.
  • 光环效应带来的错觉:希特勒怎么会喜欢狗和小鸡呢?
  • 眼见为实:最大程度忽略自己的无知,根据可得信息构建不错的故事,然后相信它。
  • 后见之明:如果一个事件发生了,人们会夸大自己之前预测的可能性;如果一个事件没有发生,人们会说自己之前也觉得不太可能发生。(“我早知道了。。。”)

这导致了决策者变得保守——与其事后被骂玩忽职守,还不如一开始就不要冒险了。如果领导人敢于冒险而且足够幸运,那么他就会带上了有远见、英勇果敢的耀眼光环。企业长青的秘诀?作者认为是是没有的。公司成功和执行总裁之间的相关系数是0.3左右,换句话说,还有很大程度上是运气因素,于是会出现回归均值的现象。然而读者需要的是好的故事,是企业成功和失败的某些要素。于是相关书籍还是很畅销的。

2.1.20 Ch20 The illusion of validity

  • Illusion of Validity
    • 一种替代问题的典型实例:“我们的预测是完全不能回归的,我们仅仅根据非常薄弱的证据就推测失败或者大获全胜,没有给自己留一点余地”
    • Subjective confidence in a judgment is not a reasoned evaluation of the probability that this judgment is correct. Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously, but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.
    • We knew as a general fact that our predictions were little better than random guesses, but we continued to feel and act as if each of our specific predictions was valid.
  • Illusion of stock-picking skill
    • “金融专家也是在仔细研读每份晚报之后才对当天的大事做出令人信服的解释的”
  • What support the illusion of skill and validity?
    • Professional culture
    • People can maintain an unshakable faith in any proposition when they are sustained by a community of like-minded beievers.
  • “我可是很努力才成为专家的啊,我的预测怎么可能还比不上瞎猜的猴子呢?”(因为猴子能够平均无偏地对待每种可能)
  • “问题不在于这些专家是否训练有素,而在于他们的世界是否可预测的”

  • Lessons:
  1. Errors of prediction are inevitable because the world is unpredictable
  2. High subjective confidence is not to be trusted as an indicator of accuracy

2.1.21 Ch21 Intuitions vs. Formulas

  • Each of these domains entails a significant degree of uncertainty and unpredictability. We describe them as “low-validity environments”. In every case, the accuracy of experts was matched or exceeded by a simple algorithm. [当一个领域有很强的不确定性和不可预见性,也就是“有效性低的环境”时,公式运算比人工判断往往会更加有效]
    • Medical: longevity of cancer patients; length of hospital stays; diagnosis of cardiac disease; susceptibility of babies to sudden infant death syndrome
    • Economic: prospects of success for new businesses; evaluation of credit risks by banks; future career satisfaction of workers
    • Government agency: assessments of the suitability of foster parents; odds of recidivism among juvenile offenders; likelihood of other forms of violent behavior
    • Others: evaluation of scientific presentations; winners of football games; future prices of Bordeaux wine

Why? 1. Experts try to be clever, think outside the box, and consider complex combinations of features in making their predictions. Complexity may work in the odd case, but more often than not it reduces validity. 1. Humans are incorrigibly inconsistent in making summary judgements of complex information. When asked to evaluate the same information twice, they frequently give different answers.

  • To maximize predictive accuracy, final decisions should be left to formulas, especially in low-validity environments.

  • The aversion to algorithms making decisions that affect humans is rooted in the strong preference that many people have for the natural over the synthetic or artificial…The prejudice against algorithms is magnified when the decisions are consequential…for most people, the cause of a mistake matters. [人们更多的是关注因果,公式的因果解释往往比不上直觉的因果解释。]

作者想告诉我们的事:不要简单相信直觉判断,无论是自己的还是他人的,但是也不要万全抛开它。我们可以做“闭眼决策”

2.1.22 Ch22 Expert Intuition: When can we trust it?

  • 专家型什么时候是可信的?
    • When both of the conditions are satisfied, intuitions are likely to be skilled [环境有规律可循时,直觉才可信。]:
    1. An environment that is sufficiently regular to be predictable [一个可预测、有足够规律可循的环境]
    2. An opportunity to learn these regularities through prolonged practice [一次通过长期训练学习这些规律的机会]
    • Differnt environments;
    1. Regular: chess, bridge, poker
    2. Zero-validity: stick, politics
    3. Worse than irregular: learn wrong lessons from experience [ex. Lewis Thomas, physician in early 19C, typhoid(伤寒), palpate the patient’s tongue]

情感是可以快速习得的,比如巴甫洛夫的狗——习得的希望;路过斜坡想起被骂——习得的恐惧。而且通常恐惧更加容易习得。 情感习得很快,但是专业技能习得可能很慢(专家的一万小时定律)

在环境缺乏牢固的规律时候,不要相信直觉 临床心理学家、股票投资者以及经济学这都掌握了各自领域的直觉性技能,但是他们无法鉴别因直觉导致错误的情景跟任务,这是他们预测环境的局限性,所以他们对技能的过分自信是不合理的,他们的预测不会有他们想象的那么准确(当然,用公式运算出来的结果也不会强多少,因为环境是“低效度”的)

  • People’s confidence in a belief was traced to two related impressions: cognitive ease and coherence. We are confident when the story we tell ourselves comes easily to mind, with no contradiction and no competing scenario. But ease and coherence do not guarantees that a belief held with confidence is true. The associative machine is set to suppress doubt and to evoke ideas and information that are compatible with the currently dominant story.

  • Our conclusion was that for the most part it is possible to distinguish intuitions that are likely to be valid from those that are likely to be bogus. If the environment is sufficiently regular and if the judge has had a chance to learn its regularities, the associative machinery will recognize situations and generate quick and accurate predictions and decisions. you can trust someone’s intuitions if these conditions are met.

2.1.23 Ch23 The Outside View

  • Inside view: we focus on our specific circumstances and searched for evidence in our own experiences. We fail to allow for “unknown unknowns”. There are many ways for any plan to fail, and although most of them are too improbable to be anticipated, the likelihood that something will go go wrong in a big project is high.

  • Planning fallacy: overly optimistic forecasts of the outcome [Contractors of kitchen renovations and of weapon systems readily admit that they routinely make most of their profit on additions to the original plan.]

The prevalent tendency to underweight or ignore distributional information is perhaps the major source of error in forecasting. Planners should therefore make every effort to frame the forecasting problem so as to facilitate utilizing all the distributional in formation that is available. [Bent Flyvbjerg, Danish planning expert]

  • The cure to the planning fallacy: using such distributional information from other ventures similar to that being forecasted [i.e taking an “outside view”], also known as: Reference class forecasting

The practices recommended for overcoming base-rate neglect: 1. Identify an appropriate reference class 2. Obtain the statistics of the reference class. Use the statistics to generate a baseline prediction. 3. Use specific information about the case to adjust the baseline prediction, if there are particular reasons to expect the optimistic bias to be more or less pronounced in this project than in others of the same type

2.1.24 Ch24 The Engine of Capitalism

  • The planning fallacy is only one of the manifestations of a pervasive optimistic bias. Most of us view the world as more benign than it really is, our own attributes as more favorable than they truly are, and the goals we adopt as more achievable than they are likely to be. We also tend to exaggerate our ability to forecast the future, which fosters optimistic overconfidence. The optimistic bias may well be the most significant of the cognitive biases. It can be both a blessing and a risk.

  • An optimistic attitude is largely inherited, and it is part of a general disposition for well-being, which may also include a preference for seeing the bright side of everything.

  • Optimistic individuals play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives.

  • Hypothesis: the people who have the greatest influence on the lives of others are likely to be optimistic and overconfident, and to take more risks than they realize.

Part Four: Choices

Question: What rules govern people’s choices between different simple gambles and between gambles and sure things?

2.1.25 Ch25 Bernoulli’s error

  • We are not Econs but Humans
    • To a psychologist, it is self-evident that people are neither fully rational nor completely selfish, and that their tastes are anything but stable. Their view of the world is limited by the information that is available at a given moment.
    • 经济人(Econs) vs人类(Humans):前者是理性且自私的,倾向性没有发生变化。而后者拥有系统1。
    • Expected utility theory was not intended as a psychological model; it was a logic of choice, based on elementary rules (axioms) of rationality. (期待效用理论:假设了人类是完全理性的,是根据自己(或者纯概率上)的期待来进行选择。)
  • Psychophysics was founded and named by the German psychologist and mystic Gustav Fechner [1801-1887]. Fechner was obsessed with the relation of mind and matter. On one side there is a physical quantity that can vary, such as the energy of a light, the frequency of a tone, or an amount of money. On the other side there is a subjective experience of brightness, pitch, or value. Mysteriously, variations of the physical quantity cause variations in the intensity of quality of the subjective experience. Fechner’s project was to find the psychological laws that relate the subjective quantity in the observer’s mind to the objective quantity in the material.
  • Bernoulli proposed that the diminishing marginal value of wealth is what explains risk aversion – the common preference that people generally show for a sure thing over a favorable gamble of equal or slightly higher expected value. Bernoulli’s insight was that a decision maker with diminishing marginal utility for wealth will be risk averse. [伯努利的财富效用理论:认为人们的选择不是基于金钱价值,而是心理价值——即“效用”,而财富和效用之间是对数关系的亦即,财富的边际价值递减现象,穷人买保险,富人卖保险]
  • Theory-induced blindness: once you have accepted a theory and used it as a tool in your thinking, it is extraordinarily difficult to notice its flaws.
  • This theory is seriously wrong because it ignores the fact that utility depends on the history of one’s wealth, not only on present wealth. [但伯努利的理论还有缺陷——忽略了参考值带来的的效应。]

2.1.26 Ch26 Prospect Theory

前景理论想说明,我们是趋向避免损失的——因为比起收益,我们对损失更加敏感。 如果选项中有确定的得或者可能更多的得(也有很小的可能什么都得不到的“失”),那么我们趋向于避免损失(即选前者) 如果选项中有确定的失或者可能更大的失(也有很小的可能不会损失的“得”),那么我们会趋向于冒险(即选后者)。 前景理论引入了参考点,降低的敏感度和损失厌恶这三个原则,具体的图示见Page 257 前景理论的局限性在于它无法应对“失望”——这时候参考点会被拉向损失(后悔自己怎么没有得)

2.2 What intelligence tests miss

Key words: human rationality, judgement under uncertainty

The press release for Dan and Amos’ work on how humans make choices and assess probabilities:

the analysis of human judgment and decision-making by cognitive psychologists … how human judgment may take heuristic shortcuts that systematically depart from basic principles of probability. His work has inspired a new generation of researchers in economics and finance to enrich economic theory using in sights from cognitive psychology into intrinsic human motivation.

  • Being rational means acting to achieve one’s own life goals using the best means possible.

Hui: the definition of being rational is not clear: 1) it is hard to know what should be our life goals and setting such goals require rational thinking 2) “using the best means” is not well defined at all.

一、聪明人,不一定理性

美国总统小布什,毕业于耶鲁的优等生,毫无疑问的高智商,但在白宫,他却以盲目冲动的决策臭名昭著,就算支持派也不得不承认他不善思考又非常武断。 聪明人经常做蠢事,智商与理性是两个概念,需要分别看待——一个人有可能非常理性但智力平凡,也有可能智力很高但不理性。而理性思维的能力,比智商高低更加重要,它是正确决策的核心。

二、做决定时,我们的大脑里究竟发生了什么?

我们的大脑就像一台电脑。人的智商就好比电脑自身的硬件条件,智商越高,电脑运行速度越快,我们叫它“算法心智” (Algorithmic Mind)。 如果光有很快的运行速度,操作系统一片混乱,也算不上一台好用的电脑。小布什总统的大脑就是这样,虽然硬件条件好,但缺乏理性思考的思维模式,就好像版本太低的操作系统常常出现漏洞一样。我们把大脑的操作系统称为“反省心智” (Reflective Mind)。 有了流畅的运行速度,加上好用的操作系统,但却不小心安装了病毒软件,电脑速度越快反而越危险。我们把大脑里安装的各种软件叫做“心智程序”,而那些病毒软件,我们叫它“污化心智程序”。 所以,聪明人为什么也会做蠢事?因为要想做出理性决策,需要具备理性思考的认知模式,也就是健全良好的操作系统、安装绿色软件,我们管它叫“理商”。 人类曾经作为动物的一员,我们的大脑也遵循懒惰的认知准则:能不用就不用,该用脑时也不用。人人都是认知吝啬鬼,懒惰造成我们缺乏理商,也就很难做出理性决策,这和智商高低可真没关系。

三、认知吝啬鬼(Cognitive Miser)的三个诡计

1.生动的就是对的。人是故事的动物,画面更容易触发我们鲜活的情感反应。当注意力被吸引到生动的个案后,认知吝啬鬼常常会把整体概率这回事抛在脑后。 【案例】有两种疾病A和B,疾病A的死亡率是24.14%,疾病B会让一万人中的1286人死亡。请问,哪种疾病更加危险?多数人将疾病B的危险等级评定成高于疾病A。也就是说,多数人认为,12.86%的危险度,比24.14%更高。 每一万人中有1286人死亡,这句话会唤起一个鲜活的画面,比起冷冰冰的数字,这个画面可鲜活多了。因此,它也更容易触发人们的情感反应,让人印象深刻,于是把真实准确的数据抛在脑后。

2.别人给什么,你就要什么。完全顺着对方给定的思路框架思考。 【案例】购物时,你是怎么讨价还价的?我们假设一件衣服标价1200元,然后,你会以1200为基础,往下砍到一个可以接受又不太过分的价格,大概会在800到1000的范围内。 这就是——“别人给什么,你就用什么”。在这个过程中,商家利用了我们的认知吝啬倾向,通过标定一个远远超出实际价格的数字,给我们一个最触手可及的思考框架。

3.相信自己总是对的。 【案例】飞利浦曾有一款DVD遥控器上,出现了52个按键,看得人眼花缭乱,想要找到一个对应的键,夸张点说就像在大海捞针。这位设计师自己知道怎么操作那52个按键,“并且坚信别人会和他一样想使用复杂的遥控器”。 因为换位思考非常耗费认知资源,出于进化本能,人的天性是以自我为中心的,这与智商高低无关,你我也不能完全幸免。

四、做出理性决策的三条途径

  1. “假设这件事不是真的,还有什么别的可能?”

请养成质疑的习惯,把所有未经证实的结论看作“假设”,然后紧接着问自己:如果这个假设不成立,相关现象依旧出现的概率有多大? 【案例】上世纪80年代末,美国自闭症儿童的父母们了解了一种新疗法:他们亲眼看到,在辅助者帮助下,自闭儿童用打字机打字,一个字母一个字母地敲出了正确的词语拼法,到最后,自闭儿童甚至打出了优美文章。这样一来,自闭症孩子就可以通过文字与外界沟通了。直到几年后,行为科学研究者展开对这种新疗法的研究,才发现这是一场荒诞的悲剧:自闭孩子的打字是辅助者用触觉引导的,一旦辅助者走开,疗效就消失了。 在这个案例中,几乎所有人都忘了问这些问题:“如果新疗法是无效的,这种现象有多大可能依旧会出现?自闭儿童能打字,还有什么别的可能原因?”

2.“这在概率上有没有错?”

当多数人的心智程序里缺乏最基本的概率规则时,将导致无数非理性思维和行为,随之而来的,是无孔不入的偏见和你我想象不到的悲剧。 【案例】一名叫萨利·克拉克的英国母亲被捕入狱,罪名是谋杀自己的两个亲生婴儿。尽管在法庭上,这位母亲解释说婴儿的死亡是“摇篮猝死症”带来的,但陪审团最终做出了有罪判决。直到2003年,这位母亲才被无罪释放。当时最打动陪审团的,是儿科医生出示的一个数据:同一家庭两个婴儿都死于摇篮猝死症的概率是1/73000000。如此小的概率,那么除非人为杀害,这种事几乎不可能自然发生。 实际上,儿科医生只是把发生一次摇篮猝死症的概率简单平方,却忽略了一个基本运算原则:只有当两起事件完全独立时,才可以使用简单相乘的算法。然而,同一家庭猝死的两个婴儿,共享很多基因和环境因素,所以同一家庭中,两次出现婴儿猝死症的概率会更高。

3.“这是一个病毒心智程序吗?”

聪明人会深陷于特定知识领域不断犯错,他们擅长使用自己强大的计算能力将信念理性化,并避开怀疑者的观点。久而久之,他们的错误信念,就会累积成一个孤立的岛屿,越加固执,也越加排外。 【案例】2001年9月11日,纽约世贸大厦被撞毁后,美国第一夫人劳拉·布什在被要求发表评论时,提到教育在防止这类悲剧中的重要性。巧的是,大约同一时间,英国前首相夫人切丽·布莱尔,也认为教育是预防恐怖事件的重要措施。但是,当时的评论员和三年后有关9·11更全面的报道,都指出了一个令人不安的事实:9·11事件的劫机者绝不是没有受过教育的人。事实上,劫机冲向双子塔的穆罕默德·阿塔,就有城市工程和规划专业的学位。

怎样避免这些“病毒”心智程序呢?这里有几个简单的原则:

  1. 它是否可能对你产生生理伤害?是的话,坚决说NO;
  2. 妨碍了目标选择的多样性吗?是的话,NO;
  3. 它是否真实反映世界?相信你也不愿意因为星座运势被判有罪吧?
  4. 它拒绝对自身进行评估?NO。如果它不可证伪,比如神秘主义,或者验证真伪的代价太高,比如人为设置“违背规则就会死去”的戒令,或者拒绝或抵抗其他心智程序,都是可质疑的理由。

总结:

智商和理性决策没有必然的关系,人人都是认知吝啬鬼,聪明人也不例外。认知吝啬鬼有很多诡计来引诱聪明人走上认知误区,但庆幸的是,理性是可以习得的,把批判性思维、概率论常识融入日常习惯中,会给你带来意想不到的改变。正是这些大大小小的无数决定,塑造了你的生活。比起智商、好成绩,“理商”,才是贯穿一生的必修课,不妨从娃娃抓起。

2.3 Mental Framework

2.3.1 信息海啸中独善其身之法

  • 沉浸能力:离开让你分心的事物,每天要有几个小时专注的时间
  • 放空能力:清理(焦虑,戾气,不需要的东西)+输出(写出想法)
  • 精深能力:认真研究一些领域

2.3.2 思维方法

当你在面对一个复杂问题时,应该努力做到: 想到一些方法来努力将该难题下某些边缘性的信息元素过滤掉,把某些次要 的东西组块化缩减,然后用图形来展现核心的复杂关系,同时用 分格化来确保过程的周密性。这样可以克服工作记忆(working memory)资源 有限的问题。

  • 组块化:将多个信息单元压缩为一个信息单元(首字母略缩语) -在编程领域中,面向对象的思想是组块化思想的系统性实践,一个类显然就是一个组块,这种思想在编程领域是划时代的。
    • 下面讨论的组块化特指思考者自己构思出组块的过程,而不包括调用已有知识组块的过程。
      1. 同质信息合并
      2. 屏蔽部分信息
      3. 问题复杂性降低后将更多信息考虑进来(在一个更大的背景下) [Hui:这个我不太明白?]
    • 一个成功的组块化,往往要把某些信息抽象到一个更高的层次。
    • Easy chunking: 基于对显而易见特征的归纳
    • Hard chunking: 基于对深层共性的抽象
    • 组块化阅读的两个关键特征(不仅是阅读,这是我们思考的一种“元模式”):
      1. 只同时处理同一抽象层级的信息组块——这对工作记忆资源的占用是最小的。
      2. 从最抽象的层级开始处理,渐次降低抽象层级——这能保证全局观
    • 处理多任务时,主流观点是按照重要性、紧迫性进行排序。换一种思路,根据不同任务的内在特征(涉及的知识和技能)进行组块化,然后将同一组块的任务进行集中处理。 Hui: 我赞同这种将任务组块化的方法。其实紧迫和重要并不是绝对的。你衡量重要性的标准取决于格局和眼界。你是只看当下,只为了完成任务而完成任务,还是将整个人生看作一个整体,思考自己生命的意义,然后以能最大化人生意义的标准去衡量事物的重要性。是活在别人的眼中,还是活在神的眼中,结果得出的重要的事情可能大相径庭。
  • 图形化:可认为是一种信息外部化(最常见的是思维导图)。简单的信息只需要浅层加工,庞大,复杂的信息应采用图解的方法来加工学习。练习图解式的信息加工甚至可以帮助我们从仅仅是一个学习者转变为一个创作者。图形化方法在思考中的四大功能:
    1. 信息外部缓存:将记忆外部化,把工作记忆中需要处理的部分信息外接到图纸上,这样就减轻了工作记忆的负担,提高思维效率。
    2. 构筑探索空间:“Game Storming”一书中作者强调,创造性思考是一个先发散再收敛的过程。而在发散和收敛之间,有一个关键的“探索阶段”。为了更好地进行探索,思考者需要一些基本的工具。思考者可以加入许多信息节点(卡片或者便签纸等)。节点的特点是“模块化的、可移动的物件,它们可以打乱重洗、排序和重新分组”。
    3. 支撑全局思考
    4. 抽象信息直观化
  • 分格化(lattice):这是一种穷举思想,避免人们因自己所能处理的信息有限而遗漏其他重要的信息和问题。 具体方法有checking list(清单降低了思考和行动的门槛,即便差别很大的东西,只要列入了同一个清单,就会具有形式上的统一感)、矩阵表和象限图等。分格化的作用是为思维过程引入了强制性,这种强制性包括强制拓展和强制分解两个部分。

    Edward de Bono [born 19 May 1933, a Maltese(馬耳他) physician, psychologist, author, inventor and consultant. He originated the term lateral thinking, wrote the book Six Thinking Hats and is a proponent of the teaching of thinking as a subject in schools.] 以铁球和凝胶(gel)来类比人类思维中的先入为主现象:一开始凝胶是平的,没有任何印记,然后一个铁球滚了过来,把凝胶压出一个凹陷后停在那里,然后第二个铁球滚过来时,其轨迹会受到之前铁球轨迹的影响,最终停在第一个铁球边上,之后的铁球也是如此…最后所有的铁球都会聚在一起,且大致不会偏离最初铁球所在的位置。

    这种先入为主效应时人类思维的固有特点,很多时候它能够让人们更好地适应环境,因为人们可以仅基于少量和初步的信息就作出猜测和推演。在解决一个复杂或者创造性的问题时,它的弊端就凸显出来了。那么我们该怎么突破自己思维所设定的框框呢? 1. 抽象出尽可能完整的分解问题的维度 1. 对每一维度,通过取反、细分等操作,找出尽可能多的表现值,以构成维度矩阵 1. 在维度矩阵中,在不同维度的表现值之间尝试建立各种组合

人的思维不是凝聚的,稳定的,而是跳跃、流动和易变的。一个具有高度可塑性的大脑在良好思维工具的辅佐下,在持续不断的行动的打磨中,会变得强大的超乎想象。

2.3.3 怎样成为高段位的学习者?

  1. 提问
    两种学习模式:
    1. 直接传递模式:学习过程是简单的,线性的,传递-接受模式。学习的目标只是用静态的知识把头脑装满。
    2. 建构主义模式:更合理的模式,知识不是简单的吸收而来,而是主动建构而来,学习者必须充分调用已有知识,在一个主动性的目标指引下,在一个丰富的情境中,去探索甚至撞击那些接触到的知识,在经过一系列复杂的交互之后,把这些知识纳入到原有的知识体系之中。 《变构模型——学习研究的新路径》 一个好问题让我们成为“建构者”,因为我们不仅在学习知识,还在建构答案,在努力回答问题的过程中,我们筛选、评判和整合新知识和旧知识,并把它们融汇成一个自洽的整体。为了找到问题的解,我们可能会寻访任何可能的线索,查阅可能的资料,而不受既定的观点的束缚。(Linda Darling-Hammond: inquiry-based learning, ask deep explanatory questions)问题可以帮助我们形成长期的、一贯的思考路径。我们不仅仅是临时就一个问题寻找解答,而是持续地去思考和尝试解答这个问题,这个过程可以几个月、几年甚至贯穿我们的一生。问题就像一个富有韧性的细线,帮我们把各种知识、经验、观念和方法串在一起。有研究比较了在物理学和历史学领域专家和新手在知识组织上的差异,发现专家的知识不仅仅是对相关领域的事实和公式的罗列,而是围绕核心概念或大观点(big idea)组织的,这些概念和观点引导他们去思考自己的领域。一个高段位的学习者必定是一个优秀的提问者,从阅读、观察和思考的过程中产生问题。

    Hui: 如何问有意义,能够指导我们有效深入思考的问题呢?

  2. 解码(Decode)
    对某一事实的了解应区分knowledge about 和 knowledge of两个层次。很多领域就像学画一样,需要一个漫长的临摹过程。除了基于样例的学习之外,解码之所以重要是因为我们常常需要面对各种各样全新的信息内容,如果不经解码这一过程,则不可能使其与我们原有的知识体系相整合。对信息材料的解码,其实就是内在知识重新建构的过程,因此也是一个创造性的过程。教育心理学家把在某一领域有专长的人分为:
    1. Routing expertise:具有基本固定的知识系统,能高效地把接触到的信息材料按照已有的框架进行分析;因为这类专家接触的材料往往是一个固定的范围内的,如象牙塔内的学者,一生只看他所在学科的理论著作,那么他的知识体系就是固化的,他只能应对和解决在一个特定的理论范畴里的问题;
    2. Adaptive expertise:可以不断进化、扩充核心能力,扩展专业知识的广度和深度来迎合需求和兴趣的增长。这类专家主动涉猎超出领域范围的、非常规的、情境化的问题,不排斥各种新鲜的经验刺激,所以他们的知识系统能够不断扩展

    解码是一个费时费力的过程,所以在有限的时间内,我们要尽量寻找最经典、最优秀的作品,进行深度解码。

  3. 操练
    你掌握了多少知识,并不取决于你记忆了多少知识以及知识的关联,而取决于你能调用多少知识及其关联。认知心理学已有大量研究表明,记忆提取的操作其实起到了memory modifier的作用,一个曾经被调用过的知识和从未被调用过的知识相比,在今后更有可能被再次调用。法国教育学家Andre Giordan提出allosteric learning model,这个模型用了一个生物化学的隐喻——allosteric protein。这种蛋白质的特点是它的形态和功能并不是内在稳定的,而是由于外部环境的促发条件所决定。他认为构成学习者思维独特性的并非是他所录入的观点序列,而是他有能力启动和调用的关联。 一个人头脑中储存的知识可以分为:
    • 陈述性知识(declarative knowledge):有关事实或资料性的知识。不要将这种知识当做静态的东西,而是看作动态的、可运用的、可以用来完成某件事的技能来学习。
    • 程序性知识(procedural knowledge):按一定程序操作从而获取的知识。可以通过技能的训练不断强化和完善

    在学校的学习是被动式的,满足于理解和记忆层面。虽然在学术研究中会有深入思考,但这种思考仍旧有很大的局限性,不是从理论到理论,就是从方法到方法,都没有跳到一个更大的视角,去反思这些知识的深层价值,没有去思考这些知识和我们自己的生活和思想的关联。一旦我们在应用的情景中去重新审视这些知识才会突然发现这些知识可以这样应用,发挥这些效力,可以当作这样一种技能。可能的三种操练知识的方法:

    1. 写作
      写作是一种典型的知识建构活动。在阅读时我们对信息的理解和纳入常常满足从一个浅表的层面去理解,但是在写作时,也就时信息输出时,我们必须去分析知识的深层结构,观察和调用知识和知识之间的深层关联,不然我们无法自如地将它们组织起来。因为一篇文章要被某人读懂、要把人说服,需要缜密的思维,清晰的表达和翔实的依据,这些都要求我们对知识的编码和组织达到一个相对高的水准才行。
    2. 游戏
      也可以称为“思想实验”。构造一个现实中并不存在的假象情景,然后运用所学的知识来设想事物在这个情景中的变化。在这样的操练中,思考者往往会得到比原先更为深刻的领悟。
    3. 设计
      调用已有知识,通过设计某一种解决方案来解决某个特定问题,迫使学习者综合性、创造性地调用知识。 (设计三国杀的例子)

    Hui: 游戏和设计都好难…..>_<

  4. 融合
    学习高手常常会有意识地把不同领域甚至不同学科的知识摆在一块,然后尝试去分析、对比它们潜在关联。Charlie Munger将那种只会用单一学科知识思考的人称为“铁锤人” (To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail)。只有广泛涉猎不同学科的知识,把这些学科中的基本理论编程用一观察和分析现实对象的思维模型,才能最大程度上避免思维上的偏差和狭隘。这种多学科模型的方法,可以产生一种爆炸性的合力效应,让人获得不同寻常的智慧。融合有3类结果。
    1. 迁移
      Paul Granham: 著名的黑客将年少时学画的经验迁移到了他学习编程中。
      • 画家学画的方法时直接动手去画,而黑客学习编程的方法也是在实践中学习。Paul初学编程时还是抱着书读,不过随后就放弃了,直接动手。
      • 画家学画需要临摹,从大师的作品中学习。而黑客则是通过研究优秀程序员的代码来学习编程,开源社区是他们最好的学校。
      • 一幅画是逐步完成的,先画轮廓、草图,然后填入细节,一步步臻于完美。在这一启发下,Paul领悟到编程语言的首要特点是允许malleable(动态扩展)。编程语言是用来帮助思考程序的,而不是用来表达你已经想好的程序。它应该是一支铅笔,而非钢笔。因此在编程中过早优化(premature optimization)是一件危险的事情。
    2. 印证
      印证式迁移能够帮助探索规律。思考者已经拥有了丰富的、充足的、多元的思考材料,潜意识的作用是借用其强大的并行计算能力,把这些思考材料进行各种组合。你素材准备工作越充分,那么获得创造性成果的概率越大。交替运用意识和潜意识
    3. 互补
      互补式的知识融合,是指我们可以对同一个议题,找到完全不同的视角下的论述,把他们综合在一起,就可以得到对这一议题比较全面和深入的认识。 (iPhone的发明并不是解决了什么难题,而是让大家惊讶的发现原来我们可以用这样的方式和电子产品进行交互,本质上是一种观念的颠覆。)

    总的说来,将知识进行融合的关键是能够洞察出知识背后的深层结构。在表面上不相干的知识背后,发现潜在的相似性、互补性和启发性,找到知识与知识间隐含的联系。

2.4 How to Solve It?

  1. Understand the problem
  • What is the unknown?

  • What are the data?

  • What is the condition?

  1. Devise A Plan
  • How the various items are connected?

  • How the unknown is linked to the data?

  • Is there any related problem?

Mere remembering is not enough for a good idea, but we cannot have any good idea without recollecting some pertinent facts.

  1. Carry Out Plan
  • Check each step
  1. Replay
  • Can you check the result?
  • Can you derive the result differtly?
  • Can you check the argument?
  • Can you see it at a glance?
  • Can you use the result, or the method for some other problem?

2.5 Learning How to Learn [MOOC]

2.5.1 What is Learning?

  • Two modes:
  1. focused mode: centered in the prefrontal cortex, involve thinking about things you are somewhat familiar with.
  2. diffuse mode: broad-ranging perspective, representative of the brain’s many neural resting state

It often takes time for neural processing to take place, and time as well to build the new neural structures that allow us to learn something new. It’s through practice and repetition that we can help enhance and strengthen the neural structures we’re building as we’re learning something new. Practice and repetition is particularly important for more abstract topics.

  • Tackle procrastination
    1. Pomodoro technique: brief 25 minute stretch of focused concentration, followed by a bit of mental relaxation.
    2. Keep a planner journal so you can easily track when you reach your goals and observe what does and doesn’t work.
    3. Commit yourself to certain routines and tasks each day.
    4. Write your planned tasks out the night before so your brain has time to dwell on your goals and help ensure success.
    5. Arrange your work into a series of small challenges.
    6. Get rewards [养成习惯的一个步骤]. Deliberately delay rewards until you’ve finished a task.
    7. Watch for procrastination cues. Try putting yourself in new surroundings with few procrastination cues, such as the quiet section of a library. Gain trust in your new system. You want to work hard during times of focused concentration and also to trust your system enough so that when it comes time to relax, you actually relax without feelings of guilt or worry. Have back up plans for when you still procrastinate. No one is perfect after all. Eat your frogs first every day.
  • Memory
    • Working memory
    • Long term memory: storage warehouse.
  • Learning
    • ILearning well often involves bit by bit, day by day building of solid neural scaffolds. This is why tackling procrastination is so incredibly important. It helps you build better memories. Because you start earlier. You want to keep up with your learning and avoid last minute cramming.
    • Sleep is important in washing away the toxins that develop during our day’s activities. You want to avoid taking tests or doing anything difficult with little sleep the night before, because it’s like trying to think with poison on the brain.
    • As importantly, exercise is surprisingly valuable in helping improve both our memory and our ability to learn.

2.5.2 Chunking

  • Chunks are pieces of information, neuroscientifically speaking, that are bound together through use and often through meaning. You can think of a chunk as a scintillating [scintillate vi. 发出火花;闪烁] network of neurons that compactly synthesizes key ideas or actions.

  • Chunks can get bigger and more complex. But at the same time, they’re a single easy to access item that you can fit like a ribbon into the slot on your working memory.

  • Chunks are best built with focused, undivided attention, understanding of the basic idea, and practice to help deepen your patterns and to help you gain big picture context.

  • Simple recall, trying to remember the key points without looking at the page, is one of the best ways to help the chunking process along. It seems to help build neural hooks. They help you better understand the material. Also try recalling material in places that are different from where you originally learned the material, so it becomes more deeply ingrained and accessible

  • Transfer is the idea that a chunk you’ve mastered in one area can often help you much more easily learn chunks of information in different areas that can share surprising commonalities.

  • Interleave your learning by practicing your choice of different concepts, approach, and techniques all in one session. Chunks are very important, but they don’t necessarily build flexibility, which is also important in becoming an expert with the material you’re learning.

  • Illusions of competence in learning
    • Learn to recognize when you’re fooling yourself about whether you’re actually learning the material.
    • Test yourself frequently. Using little mini-tests to see whether you’re actually learning the material, or whether you’ve been fooling yourself, thinking you’re learning when you’re actually not.
    • Recall is actually a form of mini-testing.
    • Try to avoid depending too much on highlighting, which can fool you into thinking that the material is going into your brain when it actually isn’t.
    • Mistakes are a good thing to make when you’re learning. They allow you to catch illusions of competence. Avoid practicing only the easy stuff, which can bring the illusion that you’ve mastered the material. Deliberately practice what you find more difficult to gain full mastery of the material.
  • Einstellung [思维定势] is when your initial thought, an idea you’ve already had in mind, or a neural pattern you’ve already developed well and strengthened, prevents a better idea or solution from being found. Or keeps you from being flexible enough to accept new, better, or more appropriate solutions. The Law of Serendipity is helpful:
    1. In order to discover anything, you must be looking for something.
    2. If you wish to make an improved product, you must already be engaged in making an inferior one.

2.5.3 Renaissance Learning and Unlocking Your Potential

  • Metaphors and analogies aren’t just for art and literature. One of the best things you can do to not only remember, but more easily understand concepts in many different fields, is to create a metaphor or analogy for them.

  • If you change your thoughts, you can really, truly change your life. It seems people can enhance the development of their neuronal circuits by practicing thoughts that use those neurons.

  • Overconfidence in your results can result from using only one mode of thinking. Through sharing with others and hearing others’ opinions, you can more easily catch where your thinking has gone astray.

  • Counterintuitive strategies such as the hard start jump to easy technique, can give your brain a chance to reflect on harder challenges even as you’re focusing on other more straightforward problems.

2.6 The Optimism Bias [Tali Sharot]

Hui: 作者Tali Sharot提出其实人类的大脑习惯于乐观的看待事物,这种乐观有利于人类生存,比如我们有着“优势错觉”。我们信心十足地认为自己比一般人更有趣,更有魅力,更友好,更成功。当人问起时,我们表面不会承认,但是内心却对自己的判断笃信不疑。作者指出大部分人都过度乐观(抑郁症患者除外),而那些我们认为悲观的人同样过度乐观,只是偏离程度低些。书中同样谈到了之前推荐的几本书中提到的一些认知偏差,如聚焦错觉,享乐适应,控制错觉等等。

2.6.1 Illusions of the Human Brain

  • During spatial disorientation, also known as vertigo, a pilot is unable to detect the position of the aircraft relative to the ground. [空间定向障碍,又称“晕眩”,飞行员无法正确判断飞机对地面的位置。]

  • During a rapid deceleration, a pilot sometimes feels the plane is facing downward. To rectify this illusion, the pilot may then pull up the nose of the plane, which often leads the aircraft to fall into a catastrophic spin known as the “graveyard spin”. [在急剧减速时,飞行员有时会觉得飞机正机头向下飞行。为了纠正这一错觉,飞行员可能会拉升机头,这常常会导致飞机灾难地旋转,也叫做“死亡螺旋”。]

  • The human brain’s navigational system has evolved to detect our movement on earth, not in the sky. It calculates our position by comparing signals from the inner ear (which has tubes of liquid that shift when we move) to the fixed sensation of gravity that points down to the center of the earth. [人类大脑进化后的导航系统适用于地面上的行动,而非空中。它通过比较内耳中的信号(内耳里的小管含有液体,会随着我们的行动而变化),可以判断我们相对指向地心的重力感受。]

  • Our brain interprets irregular signals, such as angular accelerations or centrifugal force, as the normal force of gravity.[一个人的大脑会把不合常规的信号(例如角加速度或离心力)]

  • Like our navigation system, our visual system was developed to interpret the world it would encounter most frequently. To do so, it developed some shortcuts, some assumptions about the world, which it uses to function. These allow our brain to work efficiently in almost all situations. However it does leave room for errors when those assumptions are not met.[和导航系统一样,视觉系统发展到企图识别熟悉的万事万物。为了做到这一点,视觉系统发展出了一条捷径,那就是先入为主的假设这个世界是什么样的,然后基于这一点展开工作。这让大脑在几乎所有的情况下都能有效运作。]

  • Thatcher illusion, as it was first demonstrated in 1980 on a photo of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

  • To get along in this world, we need to remember and distinguish thousands of faces. Luckily, most of us do so with ease, thanks to the part of the brain known as the Fusiform Face Area (FFA), which is located in a region of the brain called the fusiform gyrus. The FFA is the part of our visual system that allows us to recognize that a face is a face, and to distinguish between the many faces we encounter on a daily basis. Without a functioning FFA, we may all become prosopagnosic, which means we will be face-blind. People who suffer from lesions to their fusiform gyrus have difficulty identifying faces and may even be unable to recognize their own face.

  • Humans are very good at perceiving the emotional state of others. We do so unconsciously all the time. [人类很擅长察言观色,我们毫无意识地重复这一技能。]

  • We can do so for familiar faces, faces we have not previously encountered, faces from our own culture or a foreign one, because emotional expressions are universal. [所有人体现情绪的表情是一样的] The capability to convey and detect emotion is critical to our existence. [表现和体察情绪的能力对我们的生存至关重要。]

  • The brain is used to detect upright faces and expressions. It processes the parts of the face in unison, as this is the most efficient way to do so. In other words, rather than identifying each part separately, the brain processed the face and its expression as a whole. [大脑习惯观察端正的面孔和表情,并且能同时分辨脸庞的各个部分,因为这是最有效率的方式。大脑并不是逐一区分,而是把脸庞和表情当作整体进行处理。]

  • As in most illusion, learning of the illusion and its roots does not erase the illusion….Cognitive illusion, rather than sensory ones, are much harder to accept. As in any complex system, the brain has built-in defects. These defects are overpowering; we live with them every day without being aware of them. We rarely doubt that our perception is accurate reflection of the world, when, in fact, our brains can often provide us with a distorted sense of reality.

  • This illusion is known as the superiority illusion (or the superiority bias). We are quite confident that we are more interesting, attractive, friendly, and successful than the average person. We are quite confident that we are more interesting, attractive, friendly, and successful than the average person. We may not admit it openly when questioned, but we have a strong sense that this is correct. [这种错觉称为“优势错觉”。我们信心十足地认为自己比一般人更有趣,更有魅力,更友好,更成功。当人问起时,我们表面不会承认,但是内心却对自己的判断笃信不疑。]

  • While we do not recognize our own biases, we can often detect biases in others.[我们并不知道这是自己的错觉,不过虽然我们意识不到自己的偏见,但却能发现别人的偏见。]

  • Most of us believe we are superior in many ways to other individuals. This means we see ourselves as better, not everyone else as better. Therefore, (a) we all have a slightly different views the world, and (b) we are able to detect cognitive illusions, such as the superiority illusion, in others. Because we can identify these illusion and biases in others but not in ourselves, we conclude that we are less susceptible to bias than most other people. In essence, this means we hold the illusion that we are immune to illusions. This is the irony of cognitive illusions. Our tendency to perceive ourselves as less susceptible to bias than the rest of the human race was termed the bias blind spot by the psychologist Emily Pronin of Princeton University. [大多数人相信自己在很多方面比其他人优秀,这意味着我们认为自己优于别人。这揭示了1)我们对世界的看法会稍有不同;2)我们还能够发现他人的认知错觉,如优势错觉。因为我们能够分辨出别人的错觉和偏见,却发现不了自己的,所以我们认定自己比大多数人更少出现错觉和偏见。我们实际上有这样的错觉,并对这样的错觉是免疫的。这正是认知错觉的讽刺之处。我们自认为比别人有更少的偏见,这称为“偏向盲点”。]

  • People tend to judge the extent of other people’s bias according to their behavior but judge their own biases according to their internal feelings, thoughts, and motivations.[大家根据别人的行为来判断其偏见程度,却根据内心感受,想法和动机来判断自己的偏见。] Scalia seems to have experienced an introspection illusion. An introspection illusion is the strong sense people have that they can directly access the processes underlying their mental states. Most mental processes, however, are largely unavailable for conscious interpretation. The catch is that people are unaware of their unawareness.[内省错觉是指人们的一种强烈感觉,认为自己能够了解决定心理状态的心理过程。大多数心理过程是无法用理性解释的,潜在的不利因素是大家不知道自己的无知。]

  • We can unknowingly create verbal rationalizations for preferences and intentions that we do not actually possess.[我们会无意识地口头解释未曾有过的偏好和动机。] Often, we are wasting valuable time. Studies show that thinking too much can lead to suboptimal judgments.

  • Our capacity to envision a different time and place is critical for our survival. It allows us to plan ahead, greatly increasing our odds of sticking around this planet. It motivates us to save food and resources for a time when we expect them to be less available. It enables us to endure hard work in the present in anticipation of a future reward, or to search for an appropriate long-term partner. Our voyage is hardly limited to the recent past and future. It can expand to a time before and after out own existence. This allows us to forecast how our current behavior may influence future generations. [畅想不同的时空对我们的生存至关重要,让我们能够未雨绸缪,大大提高我们在这个星球的生存机会。这种能力促使我们储备食物和资源,应对可能出现的短缺。这种能力让我们能够承受眼前的工作压力,因为内心期待着未来的犒赏,或者也会让我们去寻找一个合适的长期合作伙伴。这种能力会超越我们自身存在的时段,让我们能够预见当下的行为怎样影响后世。]

  • Are we the only ones with a capacity for prospection? Do we share this ability with other species? … Certain animal behaviors, such as storing food or seasonal migration, do not necessarily involve an understanding of future need. These tendencies can simply reflect an evolved genetic predisposition. [储备食物或者季节性迁徙,并不一定是考虑未来的需求。这些行为只不过体现了进化后的遗传易感性。]

2.6.2 The Evolution of Prospection

  • Mental time travel—going back and forth through time and space in one’s mind—may be the most extraordinary of human talents. It is also one that seems necessary for optimism. If we are unable to imagine ourselves in the future, we may not be able to be positive about our prospects, either. [思想上的时间旅行,让思维穿梭于时间和空间,这可能是人类最卓越的才能。对于乐观而言,这个才能必不可少。如果我们无法想象未来的自己,或许也就无法想象美好的前景。]

  • The posterior part of the cabdrivers’ hippocampi was larger than average. The hippocampus (there is one on each side of the brain) is a region that is crucial for memory. The posterior bit is particularly important for spatial memory. [出租车司机大脑海马体的后部比一般人大。海马体是有关记忆的重要区域,对空间记忆来说尤其重要。]

  • The term mental time travel was first coined by the Canadian psychologist Endel Tulving to refer to our capacity for revisiting the past and imaging the future. K.C had suffered damage to his frontal and temporal lobes [大脑额叶和颞叶都遭到了损伤], including a lesion in his hippocampus. Two decades laters, Eleanor Maguire examined amnesiac patients with brain damage confined to their hippocampi. She found that those patients, just like K.C,. were not able to construct detailed images of future scenarios. Without working hippocampi, the patients appeared to be stuck in time— unable to revisit the past or mentally explore the future.

  • The vital difference in the level of sophistication of future thinking between humans and birds lies in our frontal lobes [额叶]…The rapid development of human frontal lobes allowed for the ability to make tools, find novel solutions to old problems, plan steps that would make goals more achievable, see far into the future, and possess self-awareness. [额叶的快速发展,让人类能够制作工具,能够为旧问题寻找新的解决方式,能够制定步骤实现目标,能够用长远眼光看待未来,能够有自知之明。]

  • The only way conscious mental time travel could have been selected for over the course of evolution is if it had merged at the same time as false beliefs. In other words,** an ability to imagine the future had to develop side by side with positive biases. The knowledge of death had to emerge at the same time as its irrational denial.** [在进化过程中,思维时光穿梭的能力想要发展,必须满足一个条件才行,那就是这种能力必须和错误的信念共存。换句话说,想象未来的能力必须与乐观偏见并驾齐驱。对死亡的认识必须与不理智的否认态度同时出现。]

  • Optimism does not exist without at least an elementary ability to consider the future, as optimism is by definition a positive belief about what is yet to come, and without optimism, prospection would be devastating. [如果缺少思考未来的基本能力,乐观将不复存在,因为从定义上讲,乐观就是对尚未发生的事情持积极态度;而如果没有乐观,展望未来的能力就会毁灭一切。]

  • The term self-fulfilling prophecy was coined by the sociologist Robert Merton in 1948… Self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true. [“自证预言” 一词由社会学家罗伯特.默顿在1948年首次提出。自证预言指一开始对形势的错误见解激发的行为,而这一行为却让原本错误的见解成真。]

  • Pygmalion effect, after George Bernard Shaw’s play. Shaw’s Pygmalion is a classic makeover tale— the story of a professor who transforms a working-class girl into an upper-class lady. [“皮格马利翁”效应一词源于萧伯纳的戏剧《皮格马利翁》,讲述一个教授把工人阶级的女孩改造成了上流社会的贵妇。]

  • In real life, however, educators, as well as the rest of us, hold relatively stable preconceptions that are, in general, not based on real evidence. Teachers have been shown to form predictions regarding new students’ achievements based on race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic level, and even physical attractiveness. This can be dangerous. Expectations are likely to influence a child’s performance, ultimately altering his future. In fact, the Pygmalion effect is thought to be a significant factor in producing and maintaining gender and racial gaps in IQ testing, GPAs, and college success. [在现实生活中,教育者会和其他人一样持有一定的成见,而这些看法往往不是由真实的证据得出的。研究显示,老师会根据新学生的种族、性别、民族、社会阶层,甚至外貌形成预期。这么做很危险。预期可能会影响孩子的表现,最后改变他们的未来。皮格马利翁效应是导致智商测试、学业平均成绩、大学成就中性别和种族差异的重要因素。]

Hui: 怎么衡量哪个因素重要?

  • When individuals are reminded of their membership in a group (such as gender or race), the stereotype associated with that group is more likely to influence their behavior.

  • What Sara Bengtsson’s study shows, as well as Jane Elliott’s field experiment, is that the influence of stereotypes is surprisingly fluid. New expectations can rapidly take over old ones quickly substituting one behavior for another. This fluidity is encouraging. It means that with guided intervention, we may be able to reverse the negative effects of stereotypes on an individual’s performance.[成见具有惊人的灵活性。新的预期可以很快取代旧的,迅速用一种行为替代另一种。这种灵活性无疑是鼓舞人心的,意味着只要采取加以指导的干预,我们或许可以扭转成见对个人表现带来的负面影响。]

  • When neurons in a specific part of the brain are active, their consumption of oxygen is increased. In response, blood flow will be enhanced to that region, supplying hemoglobin. This leads to local changes in the concentration of deoxyhemoglobin and oxyhemoglobin, which alters the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) signal that is recorded by the scanner. [大脑某个具体不稳的神经元活动时,耗氧量就会上升。相应区域的血液流量也会增大,提供血红蛋白。这改变了该区域脱氧血红蛋白和氧合血红蛋白的浓度,改变了扫描仪器记录下来的磁共振成像信号。]

  • The frontal cortex is a large area of the brain and includes anatomically and functionally distinct subregions. It is the most recently developed part of the brain, and it is not found in animals at the lower end of the evolutionary scale. [额叶皮质时大脑中很大的区域,包括了结构和功能迥然不同的分区,是大脑最后才得以进化的部分,而位于进化链低端的动物甚至没有这个部位。]

  • The frontal cortex has enlarged disproportionately in human evolution relative to the rest of the brain. Its physical development is the main reason why we have a relatively larger brain than most other animals. The frontal lobes are critical for functions that are uniquely human, such as language and theory of mind. Theory of mind is our ability to think about what other people are thinking. [相比于大脑的其它部分,额叶皮质在进化过程中发展得有些不成比例。额叶皮质体积变大也是人类大脑比其它多数动物更大的主要原因。]

  • The frontal lobes are critical for functions that are uniquely human, such as language and theory of mind. Theory of mind is our ability to think about what other people are thinking. …Frontal lobes are involved in executive functions. Executive functions are those that enable us to identify future goals and recognize the actions that will move us toward achieving those goals. The ability to predict which behaviors will lead to which outcomes, differentiate desired outcomes from unwanted outcomes and promote actions that lead to the sought-after (追求,探索) results.

  • When the brain doesn’t get what it expects, it frantically tries to figure out what went awry. The signal in the frontal cortex may have been modulating attention…The importance of this signal is that it can facilitate learning. As learning from errors is critical for directing our behavior toward optimal functioning, enhanced attention to errors would lead to better performance on the next trial.

  • Defensive pessimism: holding low expectations will protect us from disappointment

  • Why would a bleak outlook result in such tragic deaths? It seems that a pessimistic outlook promoted risk-taking behavior because the pessimists believed they did not have much to lose. Optimists envision a glorious future and are reluctant to disappear into oblivion.

2.6.3 When Private Optimism Meets Public Despair

  • The people’s urgent need for good news most likely drove positive expectations well above the baseline. It is during hard times that people rely on optimism the most.

  • Jonsthan Haidt, a psychologist at the University of Virginia who studies the feeling of elevation, describes such instances as erasing cynicism and generating hope and optimism. According to Haidt, such occurrences stimulate the vague nerve [迷走神经], which triggers the release of oxytocin. The vague nerve is one of the twelve cranial nerves. Its course starts in the brain stem [脑干], which is an evolutionarily old part of the brain that plays a key role in regulating vital functions. The nerve extends all the way from the brain stem through the neck to the chest and abdomen. It conveys sensory information to the brain that reflects the body’s internal state, as well as sends information from the brain to the rest of the body. Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus [下丘脑] and stored in the pituitary [垂体], which is situated just beneath the hypothalamus and secretes hormones. When triggered, oxytocin is discharged into the bloodstream, and it also binds to receptors in the brain, particularly in regions involved in emotional and social processing. High levels of oxytocin reduce our uncertainty about social stimuli [stimulus的复数].

  • Amygdala [杏仁核] engages in processing social signals, especially ambiguous ones.

  • Reduced social stress and uncertainty, along with an increase in approach behavior, should enhance trust among individuals. [社交压力和不确定性减少,亲近行为增多,这些会加强人与人之间的信任。]

  • Why do we see such a disconnect? Why is it that people continually underestimate their own risks while overestimating the severity of the situation for the rest of society? People tend to feel more optimistic about things they believe they can control.

Hui: 这就是哪些公司高层对公司未来总是那么乐观的原因么?与其说有远见,不如说是局内人的偏见,控制的幻觉。好的一方面是,可能他们不是在撒谎忽悠,他们真心积极向上。但是形式不会因为不经过分析的主观积极就有改善,那要如何纠正这样的偏差呢?数据分析。

  • There is one additional factor that comes into play—the power of relativity. Our brain plays a little trick that boosts positive illusions. Not only do people hold optimism bias about their personal future; in addition, they hold a pessimistic bias about everyone else’s.

2.6.4 The Unexpected Ingredient for Well-being

  • Studies show that just taking care of a plant is positively related to well-being.

  • What else is related to happiness? According to the survey, of you hold a PhD, go to church (or another religious center), and play sports, you are seven times more likely to be happy-go-lucky than someone who does not have a PhD, never goes to church, and shuns physical activity.

  • The notion that raising children is negatively related to happiness was supported by a study conducted by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman (prospect theory: how people make decision under uncertainty). What really matters is when, and how often, we feel irritated, anxious, satisfied. Our happiness is thus not affected to a large extent by reflecting on our lives, but by the flood of feelings that are constantly generated within us. However, most of questionnaires of subjective well-being ask us to reflect and assess our general satisfaction with life rather than our daily experienced happiness…The consistent conclusion across studies that children do not necessarily bring us joy conflicts with conventional wisdom in a striking manner. Why do individuals insist and often strongly believe, that their happiness is rooted in the existence of their offsprings? One explanation is that happiness, whether experienced or reflected, is not necessarily the most significant factor for the continuation of humankind. Passing on our genes, on the other hand, is.

  • A higher income may indeed influence reflected satisfaction with life without significantly enhancing our experienced happiness.

  • Focusing illusion: exaggerated importance we attribute to specific aspects of our lives when we are asked about them.

  • The importance of relative wealth to our well-being explains counterintuitive findings in the literature, such as why an increase in a nation’s GDP over time is not accompanied by in increase in general subjective well-being. While the country may be getting wealthier, the individual’s relative economic status remains the same, and thus happiness stays constant. Relativity is a crucial aspect of human psychology. Consider the way we perceive our physical environment. The extent of change that needs to occur in the sat of our surroundings in order for us to notice a difference is dependent on preliminary states… Therefore the more you have the more you need to increase your wealth in order to even notice a difference that would affect your happiness.

  • Andrew Yonelinas, a psychologist renowned for his dual-process theory of recognition: memory retrieval includes two distinct processed familiarity and recollection. These two memory processes have been shown to be functionally and neuro-anatomically distinct. They rely on different brain regions within the medial part of the temporal lobes.[两个记忆过程(熟悉感和回忆)在功能和神经解剖方面都有不同。两者依赖大脑额叶中部的不同区域。] While a region called the hippocampus [海马体] is crucial for recollection but not for familiarity, the adjacent perirhinal cortex [鼻周皮层] signals familiarity. Amnesiacs [健忘症患者] who have sustained damage to the hippocampus but whose surrounding cortex is intact usually suffer impaired recollection, but they know when something is familiar. They may know they have met you before, but they will have no memory of the episodic context of the encounter.

  • Having extremely vivid memories of past emotional experiences and only weak memories of past everyday events means we maintain a biased perception of the past. The two other principal factors that lead us to mis-predict what will make us happy are the same ones that make us mis-predict what will devastate us:
    1. our tendency to underestimate our rapid adaptation to almost any new circumstance;
    2. when we think about how a higher income, more vacation time, or better health will affect our happiness, we tend to focus on that one factor and disregard everything else which will stay the same. [聚焦幻觉]
  • While severely depressed patients are pessimistic, mildly depressed people are actually pretty good at predicting what may happen to them in the near future—a phenomenon known as depressive realism. [抑郁现实主义]

  • The optimism bias is crucial ingredient for keeping us happy. When people perceive the future accurately, when they are well aware that none of the things people assume will make them happy is likely to have any lasting significance on their well-being, when they take off their rose-tinted glasses and see things more clearly, them become depressed—clinically depressed.

Hui: We need to keep the optimism bias to be happy?? Why can’t we just accept who we are?

2.6.5 When things go wrong: depression, interpretation, and genes

  • The notion of optimistic and pessimistic explanatory styles was put forward by the psychologist Martin Seligman. He came up “learned helplessness”.

  • The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are drugs that enhance the function of the neurotransmitter serotonin. A neurotransmitter is a chemical that enables communication between neurons in the brain…The majority of antidepressants, such as Prozac, are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)…gene coding for serotonin function predicts a person’s likelihood of suffering depression.

  • The amygdala is a structure deep in the brain that processes emotional stimuli. It is also involved in generating physiological responses to these stimuli. Amygdala activity is regulated by parts of the frontal cortex, in particular the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). In individuals with a short allele of the serotonin-transporter gene, there is reduced connectivity between the ACC and the amygdala. This means that the two structures are not as good at communicating with each other. [杏仁核是大脑深处处理情绪刺激的结构,同时人对刺激的心理反应也少不了它。额叶皮层的一部分负责管理杏仁核的活动,尤其是ACC。如果一个人的serotonin-transporter gene等位基因是短的,那么前扣带皮层ACC和杏仁核的关联性就会降低,也就是说这两个结构的沟通能力就没那么好。]

Hui: 有几个专业名词反复出现[单词],serotonin——5-羟色胺,allele——等位基因,amygdala——杏仁核,anterior cingulate cortex——前扣带皮层,frontal cortex——额叶皮层

  • This is known as fear extinction—the process of learning that something that was previously threatening no longer is. Fear extinction involves the regulation of amygdala activity by the ACC. As the connectivity between these structures is relatively impaired in carries of the short allele, these individuals will be less capable of extinguishing their fear. They will be more likely to maintain high levels of anxiety and be prone to depression and other mood disorders. [“恐惧消退”指的是明白以前具有威胁性的事情不再构成威胁这一过程。恐惧消退需要前扣带皮层管理杏仁核的活动。由于等位基因较短的人这两个结构的联系有所削弱,这样的人就很难驱散自己的恐惧。因此他们更可能保持高度紧张核焦虑,并且容易出现抑郁核其它情绪紊乱的状况。]

  • hippocampus (which has an important role in memory) and the striatum (which is involved in motor function, reward processing, and generating expectations of pleasure and pain), as well as other brain regions I focus on to a lesser degree, such as the thalamus and the habitual.

Hui: 这里几个专业名词[单词] hippocampus——海马体——记忆,striatum——纹状体——运动、奖赏、快乐痛苦的预期,amygdala——杏仁核,thalamus——丘脑,habitual.——缰核

2.6.6 The Value of Anticipation and the Cost of Dread

  • When it comes to adverse events, most of us choose to get it over with as soon as possible. The reason is simple: We want to avoid the dread that comes with anticipating pain. Instead of spending out time worrying and fearing, we would rather face the pain immediately and be done with it. [一旦遇到糟糕的事情,大多数人都会选择尽快搞定。原因很简单:我们不想因为未来的痛苦而畏惧。]

  • The pain matrix is a network of brain regions that are associated with processing different aspects of the pain experience. This network includes the somatosensory cortex, which responds to the physical aspects of pain, as well as areas thought to respond to emotional processing, such as the amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate. [疼痛矩阵是大脑中处理不同疼痛体验的有关区域网络。这个网络包括躯体感觉皮质(somatosensory cortex),它会对身体疼痛作出反应,另外还包括对情感作出反应的区域,比如杏仁核与前扣带皮质(rostral anterior cingulate)]

  • Anticipation seemed to mimic the actual experience of pain. Dreaders also had greater activity in areas thought to modulate attention to pain, which suggests that dread enhanced attention to the physical aspects of the expected pain. If anticipating an adverse event activates areas of the brain that normally process the physical experience of pain, it is hardly surprising that anticipating a painful event has a negative effect on our well-being similar to that of actually experiencing it. [期待过程似乎模拟了真实的疼痛感。在恐惧时,大脑中调节疼痛注意力区域的活动也增强了,这说明恐惧感能够提升对身体疼痛的注意力。如果期待消极事件也能激发处理身体疼痛的大脑区域,那么期待痛苦的事件就和经历这件事类似,会对我们的快乐造成负面影响。]…In a like manner, anticipation of a pleasurable event seems to activate neural systems that are also engaged while actually experiencing the enjoyable event. For example, a study showed that when people imagine a future vacation, the striatum [纹状体]—a brain region that responds to actual rewards, such as food, sex, and money [这块大脑区域也会对实际奖赏作出反应,比如食物、性和钱]— is activated.

  • Temporal discounting: the tendency to value the present more than the future…drives us to consume goods as soon as possible and delay pain until sometime in the unforeseeable future. This is not only because we tend to value the here and now more than the there and later but also because we perceive the future as uncertain.

  • Economists assume that people with high discounting rates are impulsive. These individuals are thought not to be concerned about the future as much as they should be. They don’t have savings, and they might indulge in unhealthy practices such as drinking and smoking, which carry penalties in the future…temporal discounting is partially due to people’s belief that gains will be followed by more gains and that losses will somehow be avoidable in the future.

2.6.7 Why do things seem better after we choose them?

  • Free-choice paradigm: Our tendency to reevaluate out options once we formulate a decision is a powerful one. After making a difficult choice between two equally valued options, people subsequently value the selected alternative more strongly than they initially had, and the discarded one less so. Jack Brehm first discovered this phenomenon in 1956.

  • Experiment on amnesiacs: In 2001, a group of Harvard psychologists set out to examine whether amnesiacs/æm’ni:ziæk/ show changes in preferences after making decisions, even though they cannot remember which option they have chosen. The amnesiac patients had suffered hippocampus damage, which prevented them from being able to form new memories. The hippocampus is a brain structure in the medial temporal lobe that is important for the formation and consolidation of memories that can be consciously retrieved………..(The result indicated) we do not need to consciously remember that we made a choice in order for that choice to change our preference. This give clues to Brehm’s phenomenon:

    1. We don’t need our hippocampi for our choices to change our preferences.
    2. The process relies on brain structures that are evolutionarily old.

Our data revealed that the change was observed in the same part of the brain that responds to rewards such as food, love, or money—the caudate nucleus [尾状核]. The caudate nucleus, a cluster of nerve cells deep in the brain, is part of a larger structure, the striatum [纹状体]. The caudate has been shown to process rewards and signal the expectation of them.

Why decisions alter preference? According to Cognitive Dissonance Theory, having to make a choice between two similarly desirable alternatives triggers psychological discomfort. This is because the decision conflicts with the desirable aspects of the rejected alternative, and with the undesirable aspects of the selected alternative. By evaluating the options post choice, in a way that is consistent with your decision, reduces psychological tension.

Neurons in the caudate that are sensitive to dopamine signal the predicted value of different options. By tapping into these signals, we can learn about the choices that people are likely to make at a later time.

2.6.8 How emotion changes our past?

  • In the word of the “god-father” of experimental psychology, William James, “An impression may be so exciting emotionally almost to leave a scar upon the cerebral tissue.”

  • Talarico and Rubin reached very similar conclusions to those arrived at by Neisser more than a decade earlier: Flashbulb memories are not more accurate than “regular” memories, but they certainly seem so.

  • For people who were there—staring at the towers falling and at the victims jumping to their deaths—memories of those experiences were qualitatively different from memories of other past memorable events. In contrast, for individuals who learned of the towers falling via the Internet or TV, their memories, although vivid, were not very different from memories of a summer internship or a move to a new city. [和之前Talarico & Rubin的结论不同]

  • Studies in animals show that the amygdala is especially important for expressing fear, as well as for learning about dangerous stimuli….The amygdala modifies the storage of memories both directly, by projecting to other brain structures involved in the consolidation of memories, such as the nearby hippocampus, and indirectly, via stress hormones that enhance memory consolidation.

  • Para-hippocampal cortex is thought to be involved in processing and recognizing details of a visual scene. Psychologists have previously discovered that when we view an emotional event, our attention is focused on the central arousing aspects of the event (such as the towers collapsing) at the expense of peripheral details (such as the people standing next to us). The outcome is poor encoding of peripheral details, which results in less involvement of the posterior para-hippocampal cortex during encoding and retrieval of memories. If neurons of the para-hippocampal are less active when arousing incidents are recollected and neurons of the amygdala are more active, this may explain why when we recall shocking events, we remember the central emotional details and our feelings at the time but cannot always provide accurate details about out surroundings.

  • It is critical to understand precisely which details of emotional events are remembered better than those of mundane events, and which are remembered less well. while we still do not have clear answers, we do know that when it comes to the most arousing events of our lives, our confidence in our memories is not a reliable indication of how accurate they are. This has important implications for the legal system, especially regarding the validity of eyewitness testimony, which can often be inaccurate without any bad intention on the part of the witnesses……The function of memory is to be able to use past experiences to guide future thoughts and actions……Believing that we can use a negative past experience to learn and do better in the future may, in fact, fuel optimism. Optimistic people are not necessarily those with a positively biased view of the past; neither are they the ones holding a positively biased view of the present. They are the ones who see the future thorough rose-tinted glasses despite all the disappointing experiences they have had.

2.6.9 How the Brain Turns Lead into Gold?

  • Although we dread hardship, such as divorce, unemployment, or sickness, believing that we will never get over them, we are usually wrong. People tend to bounce back to normal levels of well-being surprisingly fast following almost any misfortune.

  • The trick the brain plays once it encounters the unbearable is to quickly find the silver lining. This is an adaptive way of viewing adversities, as it drives us to shun hardships, to keep away from danger, and to take care of ourselves….In order to continue functioning, we quickly need to reevaluate our circumstances and reverse our evaluation of the situation that has befallen us so that we can carry on with our lives.

  • Ignoring the elements that would remain unchanged and focusing only on those that would change results in a mismatch between our predictions of how we would feel and how we actually end up feeling. Not only do we fail to take into account things that stay the same; we also fail to appreciate our remarkable ability to adapt to new circumstances. The human brain is an extremely flexible and adaptive piece of machinery.

  • The mind does better than simply adjust itself to new situations. In order to fully adapt, it creates new capabilities to compensate for those that have been lost.

  • rACC (前扣带回皮质喙部) and then ventral medial prefrontal cortex (腹内侧前额皮层) were responsible for inhibiting the fear response that was generated by the amygdala. The amygdala is critical for producing fear reactions to a conditioned stimulus due to learned associations. When the stimulus is no longer a valid sign of danger, the fear response will be switched off, and the rACC is key in that process.

  • Our aspiration to achieve positive outcomes and avoid negative ones is so robust that it alters they way we visually perceive our surroundings…..People are more likely to perceive their environment inaccurately, finding it less intimidating.

2.6.10 A dark side to optimism?

  • In a series of studies, Neil Weinstain (he coined the term optimism bias) showed that people believe they are less likely than average to suffer misfortunes (such as being fired from a job, being diagnosed with lung cancer, developing a drinking problem)……We truly think our children will grow up to be healthy and successful. And when standing at the altar or civil registry desk, we expect to be blissfully married for the rest of our lives. And yet, half of us are wrong. The decree nice is so common that in the words of Oscar Wilde, “the world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life.”……Remarriage, as Samuel Johnson described it, is “the triumph of hope over experience”.

Operation Barbarrossa, Hitler expected a rapid triumph in the fight against the Soviet Union, huge economic cost

  • Moderate optimists worked longer hours, expected to retire later in life, saved more (with longer planning horizons), and smoked less than all other individuals. Extreme optimists worked fewer hours, saved less, and smoked more.

  • From investment choices to productivity, optimism turned out to be a crucial factor. Moderate optimism correlated with sensible decisions, while extreme optimism correlated with seemingly irrational decisions. As in almost everything in life, moderation seemed to be key.

2.6.11 From prediction to perception to action

  • The first argument this book makes is relatively simple: Most of us are optimistic. Although good things may transpire, on average our expectations exceed future outcomes. We are not necessarily aware of our bias. Like other illusions of the human brain, the optimism bias is not easily accessible for introspection. ……Research shows that most of us spend less time mulling over negative outcomes than we do over positive ones, and when we do contemplate defeat and heartache, we tend to consider how those can be avoided.

  • It is tempting to speculate that optimism was selected for during evolution precisely because positive expectations enhance the probability of survival.……Yet with all the good that optimistic illusions have to offer, there are relatively small biases of different individuals will combine to create a much larger illusion, which can lead to disaster (the credit crunch of 2008). Each investor, homeowner, banker, and economic regulator expected slightly better profits than were realistically warranted. On its own, each bias would not have created huge losses. However, when bubble, which when it burst, generated large losses for many individuals.

2.7 Art of Thinking Clearly [Rolf Dobelli,清醒思考的艺术]

  1. 幸存偏差:由于日常生活中更容易看到成功而非失败,使得人们高估成功的希望(创业)
  2. 游泳选手的身材错觉:混淆选择标准与结果(模特因为漂亮才选来拍化妆品广告,而非因为用了这些产品才漂亮)
  3. 过度自信效应:1)不存在不够自信效应;2)男性更加严重;3)悲观者只是高估幅度少些。
  4. 从众心理
  5. 纠缠沉没成本:all pay auction的困局
  6. 互惠偏误:互惠古来有之,是出色的生存智慧。没有互惠人类早灭绝了。但注意不要被互惠道德绑架。
  7. 确认偏误:所有思维错误之父……过滤与我们观点相矛盾的信息。宗教和哲学信念是杰出的例子。
  8. 权威偏误:对权威批判性越强,你就越自由。
  9. 对比效应/框架效应/锚定效应:这几个都类似
  10. 现成偏误:依据现成的例子来想象世界。某种东西反复出现我们的大脑就很容易重新提取(接受)它,尽管不一定是真的。
  11. 事后诸葛亮(Hindsight Bias)
  12. 司机的知识:播音员是话筒不是专家。芒格认为知识有两种:1)真知识,来自那些投入大量时间和思考获得知识的人们;2)司机的知识,装的好像知道的人,他们会模仿别人的表演,也可能有动听的声音或具有说服力的形象。但他们传播的知识是空洞的,他们高谈阔论地挥霍华丽词汇。企业越大,人们越期望它的CEO具有表演才能——交际能力。
  13. 控制错觉:你对你生活的控制比你以为的要少。(电梯上的安慰按钮。公司温度控制的按钮。)
  14. 激励过敏:激励机制能够解释90%的个人或者组织行为。
    1. 一旦有激励加入游戏或改变了激励,人们就会迅速而剧烈地改变自己的行为
    2. 人们是对激励做出反应,而非激励背后的目的(1947悬赏羊皮纸手稿,为了增加数量而将手稿撕碎;19世纪,中国悬赏征购恐龙骨,恐龙骨被敲碎。)
  15. 回归均值:避免错误归因,恢复正常可能只是回归均值在起作用
  16. 公地悲剧:凡好处归个人而成本由集体承担的地方就潜伏着公地悲剧。在小范围群体里,道德的制裁至今有效,因为人们相互认识,如果有人只考虑自己的好处,滥用公共利益,就会被发觉,并遭到最严厉的惩罚——失去名誉。但在一个匿名社会里道德就没那么管用了。解决方法有两个:1)私有化;2)加强管理。
  17. 结果偏误:100万只猴子在股市投机,20年后有1只猴子每次都赚钱,媒体会阐述其“成功原理”。不要完全用结果判断决定,结果差并不意味着决定不对,反之亦然。
  18. 选择的悖论:在无限选择的年代,适合自己的局部最优选择更好。
    1. 选择范围太大会导致无所适从
    2. 选择范围太大会导致更糟决定
    3. 选择范围太大会导致不满
  19. 讨喜偏误:我们会觉得一个人讨喜,若此人 1)颜值高;2)和我们相似;3)喜欢我们。不要被一时感情冲昏头脑。
  20. 禀赋效应:我们对自己拥有的东西估值更高。让我们放弃要比让我们囤积难。这解释了我们为什么会在房子里堆满废物,也说明了为什么邮票、手表或者艺术品收藏者很少交换出售藏品。禀赋效应不仅神话了我们已有的财产,甚至神话了可能会拥有的财产。在拍卖中有“赢家的诅咒”:拍卖的赢家反而是经济上的输家,因为他出价过高。……结论:勿过于执著于某物,理解来去无常。

Hui: 这让我想起focusing illusion

  1. 奇迹:小概率事件可以发生,不要过度解释。
  2. 团体迷思:一群智慧的人做出愚蠢的决定,因为每个人都误以为自己的意见是正确的共识,从而作出他们每个人在正常情况下都会拒绝的决定。这是从众心理的一种特殊情况。(Pig bay evation)
  3. 忽视概率偏误:我们对一件事的强度做出反应而非概率,我们缺少对概率的直觉理解。(一定会遭受电击,和有50%/20%/10%/5%的概率会遭到电击,两种情况下受试者一样紧张。预期电击强度增大时,两组紧张感同时增大。概率降为0才会有不同。)我们不能区分理解风险。
  4. 零风险偏误:我们只信任0风险。我们常愿意投资过多的钱,就为了彻底消除微小的剩余风险。(俄罗斯轮盘赌:共可装6发子弹,假设装有4发,发愿意付多少钱拿走2发?假设装有2发,你愿意付多少钱将这2发都拿走?)……结论:学会怀着“没有什么是绝对安全的”想法生活——无论你的积蓄,健康,婚姻,友谊。满足于至少有东西让你保持相对稳定并体验自身快乐。研究表明,无论是中百万彩票还是半身瘫痪都不会长期改变你的满意度。不管发生什么,快乐的人照样快乐,不快乐的人总是不快乐。
  5. 稀少性谬误:物以稀为贵
  6. 忽视基本概率:创业的成功率就是那么低,无论你多努力,多聪明,你都更可能失败。意识到基本概率。
  7. 赌徒谬误:连续出现红球,下一个更可能是黑球么?注意是否是独立事件。现实生活中的事件大多数有相互联系。

    Hui:总觉得这个和均值回归有冲突啊

  8. 锚定效应(Anchor effect)

    Hui: 这个简直家喻户晓。之后在Predictable Irrational会讲到。

  9. 归纳法(induction):generalize results from small sample.我们自欺欺人。很少生病的人觉得自己不会死。连续几个季度利润增长CEO觉得自己不可缺少。人类一直成功因此我们可以征服未来的挑战(只有那些幸存到现在的物种才能这么说。)以我们存在的事实来说明将来我们也会存在,是一个严重的思维错误——估计是最严重的
  10. 损失规避:人们害怕失去某种东西的想法要比获得某种同等价值的东西的想法强烈。我们无法改变:恶比善更有影响力。我们对不利的东西反应要比对有利东西反应敏感。一张凶恶的脸要比一张友善的脸更容易引起我们注意。恶行要比善行更永久地留存在我们的记忆里。当然也有例外:事关我们自己的时候。
  11. 社会性倦怠:责任扩散,个人效率无法直接看到,导致尸位素餐,群体效率下降(都指望别人嘛: ))。这是一种我们让自己亏欠所有人的欺骗形式。这一欺骗大多不是故意的,而是不知不觉的发生的。为什么不完全懈怠?因为0效率会引起注意——继而会带来后果,如被逐出群体或损坏名誉,我们能细腻地感觉到,懈怠到什么程度不会被看出来。出于同样的原因,团队有甘冒比个人更大风险的倾向。人们称这一效应为风险分摊。可以通过尽量彰显个人效率来缓和团队的弊病。
  12. 指数增长
  13. 赢家的诅咒:拍卖的赢家大多是事实上的输家。1)一种货物的真实价值是不确定的。出价方越多,报价过高的概率就越大。2)我们想排挤竞争对手。
  14. 基本特征谬误:系统性地高估人的影响,在解释某些东西时低估情境因素。领导才能对经济成功的影响程度要远远小于普遍的经济形势和行业的影响力。在一个存在危机的行业里,首席执行官们常被撤换。…..极度关注他人源自我们过去的进化史,隶属于一个群体是生存所必需的,被排斥意味着死亡。繁殖、自卫和狩猎,大多是个体做不到的。我们需要别人协助。特立独行的人早就从基因池里消失了。因此我们才会这样过度地关注人。我们将90%的精力都用来关注人,只用10%的精力关注情境。不管戏剧多么让我们着迷,舞台上的人绝非孤立的,他们的表演离不开一个个情境。你若真想理解正在表演的戏剧,就请你不要只注重表演者,而是多关注他们的表演或舞蹈。
  15. 错误归因
  16. 光环效应
  17. 替代途径:风险从来不是一眼就能看到的。因此,请你时刻考虑你有什么样的替代途径。比起你通过无惊险的平凡途径获得的成功,别拿通过冒险的替代途径获得的成功太当真。蒙田怎么说来着:“我的生命充满不幸——这些不幸大多没有发生。”
  18. 预测错觉:什么可以预测,什么不可以预测?一件事情越复杂,时间跨度越长,其未来的发展变化就越多。
  19. 关联谬误:大脑的系统1会自动把线索连起来编故事。
  20. 框架效应:同样的内容,换个不同的说法,效果不同。
  21. 行动偏误:为什么不行动光等待是中痛苦?源自远古基因。在一个狩猎采野果的环境中,行动比思考价值大得多。在古时,闪电式反应关乎生死存亡,思考则可能会致命。如果情况不明,不要采取任何行动,直到你能更好地分析形势,你要克制自己。
  22. 不作为偏误:其出现在无论放弃还是行动都会带来损害地地方。在这种情况下大多数人都会选择放弃,因为这样引起地损害主观看来更无害。“如果你不是答案地一部分,就是问题地一部分[1968欧洲学生运动口号]”
  23. 自利偏误(self-serving bias):成功归于自己,失败归于外因。
  24. 享乐适应:
    1. 请避免很长时间也不会习惯地负面效应,如交通,噪音,慢性疲劳等。
    2. 对物质的东西只期待短期效果,例如汽车,房屋,分红等。
    3. 持续正面效应主要与你如何利用时间有关。设法让自己得到尽可能多的自由时间和自主权。请你做最爱做的事情——哪怕你要付出部分收入。请为友谊投资。
  25. 自我选择偏误:当我们本身是样品的一部分时,我们必须注意,不要掉进一种以自我选择偏误著称的思维错误陷阱中。
  26. 联想偏误:影响我们决定的质量。我们倾向于不喜欢送坏消息的人(Shoot the Messenger Syndrome)
  27. 新手的运气:如果你长期比其他人成功,你可以认为自己的才华可能起作用,但绝不能过于自信、自满。参与的人越多,出于纯粹运气长期成功的概率越大,也许你就是这个某人。
  28. 认知失调(Cognitive Dissonance):酸狐狸
  29. 双曲贴现:一个决定离现在越近,我们的“情感利息”就越多。这是及时享乐对我们的控制,我们过去动物性的残留。动物不愿意为在将来得到更多的奖励而放弃今天的奖励。

在群体里容易按照他人的想法生活,在孤独中容易按照自己的想法生活,但值得记住的只是那些在群体中保持独立的人。—— 爱默生

2.8 Bad Arguments — Logical Fallacies

Hui: 这本短小的书对常见的逻辑谬误(Art of Thinking Clearly)进行了清晰直观的解释,比如straw man fallacy,the slippery slope argument,ad hominem attack等。
可爱之处在与书中对每个逻辑谬误都配备了一个动物漫画,画中的动物在犯各种各样的逻辑错误。这本书不仅适合大人,也可以用来教小孩(小孩自己读可能有点难)。比如,其中有只兔子认为天空中奇异的光盘一定是UFO,因为没有人能够证明那不是UFO,这就犯了appeal to ignorance的逻辑错误。这有助于你分析从国会辩论到YouTube评论等等论证。



  • Argument from Consequences: speaking for or against the truth of a statement by appealing to the consequences it would have if true (or false)

    If God does not exist, then everything is permitted. (Dostoevsky)

  • Straw Man: intentionally caricature a person’s argument with the aim of attaching the caricature rather than the actual argument.

    My opponent is trying to convince you that we evolved from chimpanzees who were swinging from trees, a truly ludicrous claim

  • Appeal to Irrelevant Authority: appeal to the feeling that others are more knowledgeable

    Appeal to ancient wisdom, in which a belief is assumed to be true just because it originated some time ago. “We do not get enough sleep nowadays. Just a few centuries ago, people used to sleep for nine hours a night.”

  • Equivocation: exploits the ambiguity of language by changing the meaning of a word during the course of an argument and using the different meanings to support an ill-founded conclusion.

    How can you be against faith when you take leaps of faith all the time: making investments, trusting friends, and even getting engaged?

  • False Dilemma: an argument that presents a limited set of two possible categories and assumes that everything in the scope of the dicussion must be an element of that set.

    In the war on fanaticism, there are no sidelines; you are either with us or with the fanatics

  • Not A Cause for A Cause: assumes a cause for an event where there is no evidence that one exists.

    The recent earthquake was because we disobeyed the king

  • Appeal to Fear: plays on the fears of an audience by imagining a scary future that would be of their making if some proposition were accepted without solid evidence

    I ask all employees to vote for my chosen candidate in the upcoming election. If the other candidate wins, he will raise taxes and many of you will lose your jobs.

  • Hasty Generalization: forms a conclusion from a sample that is either too small or too special to be representative

  • Appeal to Ignorance: assumes a proposition to be ture simply because there is no evidence proving that it is false

    It is impossible to imagine that we actually landed a man on the moon, therefore it never happened

  • No True Scotsman: comes up after someone has made a general claim about a group of things and then been presented with evidence challenging that claim. Rather than revising their position or contesting the evidence, they dodge the challenge by arbitrarily redefining the criteria for membership in that group.

    “Programmers have no social skills.” “But John is programmer, and he is not socially awkward at all.” “Yes, but John isn’t a true programmer.”

  • Genetic Fallacy: an argument is either devalued or defended solely because of its origins

Of course he supports the union workers on strike; he is from the same village

  • Guilt by Association: discredit an argument for proposing an idea that is shared by some socially demonized individual or group.

My opponent is calling for a healthcare system that would resemble that of socialist countries. Clearly that would be unacceptable.

  • Affirming the Consequent: takes this form: if A then C; hence A. The error lies in assuming that because the consequent is true, the antecedent must also be true

People who go to college are successful. John is successful, hence he must have gone to college.

  • Appeal to Hypocrisy: involves countering someone’s argument by pointing out that it conflicts with his or her own past actions or statements

A panelist objected to a protest in London against corporate greed because of the protesters’ apparent hypocrisy, pointing out that while they professed to be against capitalism, they continued to use smartphones and buy coffee.

  • Slippery Slope: attempts to discredit a proposition by arguing that its acceptance will undoubtedly lead to a sequence of events, one or more of which are undesirable.

We shouldn’t allow people uncontrolled access to the internet. The next thing you know they will be frequenting pronographic websites, and soon enough, our entir moral fabric will disintegrate and we will be reduced to animals

  • Appeal to the Bandwagon: uses the fact that many people believe in something as evidence that it must be true.

Most people in Galileo’s day believed that the sun and the planets orbited around Earth, so Galileo faced ridicule for his support of the Copernican model.

  • Ad-hominem ([æd’hɔminem]针对个人): attacks a person rather than the argument he or she is making, with the intention of diverting the discussion and discrediting their argument.

You’re not a historian; why don’t you stick to your own field?

  • Circular Reasoning: (aka begging the question ) assumes the conclusion in one or more of the premisses. A conclusion is either blatantly used as a premiss, or more often, it is reworded to appear as though it is a different proposition.

You’re utterly wrong because you’re not making any sense.

  • Composition and Division: becasue the parts of a whole have a particular attribute, the whole must have that attribute also.

Each module in this software system has been subjected to a set of unit tests and passed them all. Therefore, when the modules are integrated, the software system will not violate any of the invariants verified by those unit tests.

Some Definitions:

  • Proposition: A statement that is either true or false, but not both
  • Argument: A set of propositions aimed at persuading through reasoning. In an argument, a subset of propositions, called premises , provides support for some other propositions called conclusions .
  • Formal fallacy: An error in reasoning that is illogical because its structure is faulty. The fallacy can be spotted just by analyzing the argument’s form, without needing to evaluate its content.
  • Informal fallacy: An error in reasoning that is illogical due to its content and context rather than its form. The error ought to be a commonly invoked one to be considered an informal fallacy.
  • Deductive Argument: An argument in which if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. The conclusion is said to follow with logical necessity from the premises.

All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

  • valid: A deductive argument is valid if its conclusion does in fact follow logically from its premises. Otherwise, it is said to be in valid. The descriptors “valid” and “invalid” apply only to arguments and not to propositions.
  • sound: A deductive argument is sound if it is valid and its premises are true. If either of those conditions does not hold, then the argument is unsound. Truth is determined by looking at whether the argument’s premises and conclusions are in accordance with facts in the real world.

  • Inductive Argument: An argument in which if the premises are true, then it is probable that the conclusion will also be true. The conclusion does not follow from the premises with logical necessity, but rather with probability. Inductive arguments usually proceed from specific instances to the general.

Every time we measure the speed of light in a vacuum, it is \(3\times 10^8 m/s\). Therefore, the speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant.

  • Strong: An inductive argument is strong, if its premises are true then it is highly probable that its conclusion is also true. Otherwise, if it is improbable that its conclusion it true, then it is said to be weak. Because they rely on probability, inductive arguments are not truth-preserving; it is never the case that a true conclusion must follow from true premises.
  • cogent: An inductive argument is cogent if it is strong and the premises are actually true—that is, in accordance with facts. Otherwise, it is said to be uncogent.

2.9 Predictable Irrational

  • Goal: what makes you and people around you tick?

behavior economics, judgment and decision making (JDM) Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preference (GARF)

We are irrational Our irrationality is predictable

2.9.1 The fallacy of supply and demand

James Assael, Salvador Assael (peark king, James’ son), black pearl from black-lipped oysters, put them in the window of Harry Winston’s store on Fifth Avenue, Tahitian black pearls glowed

Mark Twain in Tom Sawyer: “Tom had discovered a great law of human action, namely, that in order to make a man covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.”

  • Anchor effect: last two digits of social security number, how much would you pay for the product?
    • Anchor effect witll exist for long time even we set new anchor later, we will still be affected by the origional anchor. (anchors in the experiment: 10 v.s. 90, 50, 90 v.s.10 )
    • Assael anchored his pearls to the finest gems in the world and the prices followed forever

Mark Twain: 英国一些阔绰的绅士夏季每天驾着四套马车沿大路跑上二三十英里,因为这样做可以花掉不少钱;可如果付钱雇他们驾车载客,消遣变成了 工作,他们是不愿干的。

我们所做的许多决定,不论是不经意的,还是经过深思熟虑的,锚都在其中起作用……你做一切事情都应该进行自我训练,置疑自己一再重复的行为。我们还应该特别关注我们的首次决定,它日后能形成一长串的其它决定(比如衣服、食品等)。

传统经济学假定产品的市场价格取决于两股力量的平衡:供给和需求。……

  1. 但是如我们的实验所证明,消费者的购买意愿可以很容易地被操纵,也就是说消费者实际上并不能很好地把握自己的偏好以及他们愿意为不同商品和体验付出的价格。
  2. 传统经济学架构假设供需独立,上面提到的锚定效应暗示它们是相互依存的。在现实世界中,锚来自厂家的建议零售价格、广告价格、促销、产品推荐等因素——所有这一切都来自供给方。

我料想,如果人们记得住从前的价格并且注意到它的涨价幅度,价格变化就会对需求产生巨大影响;如果人们记不住过去的价格,价格的变化对需求的影响,即使有也会很小。换言之,我们对价格变化的敏感度事实上很大程度上可能是两种因素共同 作用的结果—— 1) 我们对过去价格的记忆; 2) 我们想与过去决定保持一致的欲望。而根本不是我们的真正偏好或需求大小的反映。

2.9.2 The cost of free

  • 免费使人拿一大堆不要的东西?为什么?多数交易都有有利的一面和不利的一面,但免费使我们忘记了不 利的一面。免费给我们造成一种情绪冲动,让我们误认为免费物品大大高于它的真正价值。为什么?我认为是由于人类本能地惧怕损失。免费的真正诱惑力是与这种惧怕心理联系在一 起的。我们选择某一免费的物品不会有显而易见的损失。但是假如我们选择的物品是不免费 的,那就有会有风险,可能做出错误决定,可能蒙受损失。于是,如果让我们选择,我们就尽量朝免费的方向去找。
  • 我们同时生活在两个不同的世界里——其中一个世界由社会规范主导,另一个则由市场规范来制定法则。
  • 日托所罚金案例: 一旦社会规范与市场规范发生碰撞,社会规范就会退出。换言之,社会规范很难重建。一旦这朵盛开的玫瑰从枝头落下——一旦社会规范被市 场规范打败——它很难发挥任何效力。
  • 强调雇佣关系中社会性的一面所能营造出的亲善氛围。社会规范(例如共同创业的兴奋)强于市场规范(例如薪金随晋升而增加)时,员工能为公司(特 别是那些刚起步的公司)创造的价值的确令人瞩目。如果企业开始从社会规范角度思考,实际上,它们会认识到社会规范可以建立忠诚,更重要的是,它使人们自我发展,达到如今企业的要求:实行弹性工作制,关心公司,并且积 极参与公司事务。这正是社会性关系带来的。……多一些社会规范,少一些市场规范,我们的生活会变得更惬意,更有创造力,更充实,而且更有乐趣。

Hui: 这和《经济学通识》中提倡的让市场决定一切的观点相反。

2.9.3 Procrastination and Self-control

  • Procrastination:无法延迟满足导致的结果
  • Experiment:
    • 12 weeks, require 3 papers
    • Plan 1: Set deadline for the 3 papers yourself by the end of this week. If you miss the deadline, you will get 1% off your final score for each day you miss.
    • Plan 2: everyone will have the same deadline which is the end of the semester
    • Plan 3: The professor set deadlines to be week4, week8 and week12
    • Result: Plan3 > Plan1 > Plan2

2.9.4 The Price of Proprietorship

Hui: 这就是之间《清醒思考的艺术》中讲的禀赋效应:我们对自己拥有的东西估值更高

  • 为什么多种选择使我们迷失主要目标?
    • 例子:项羽破釜沉舟,饿死在草堆间的驴
    • 知道这些可预测的非理性并不保证你做出理性的选择。依旧在各种选择中纠结。
  • 为什么期待什么就会得到什么?
  • 可口可乐凭什么战胜了百事可乐?
  • 为什么球迷不承认自己拥护的球队犯规?为什么会产生这么多暴力冲突?是历史、民族、政治方面的原因,还是 我们本性中就存在某些非理性的东西,鼓励我们对抗,引导我们对同一事件,根据自己的立 场而采取完全不同的观察角度呢?

  • 为什么加了醋的啤酒贴上“特酿”标签就会大受欢迎?人们的预期是否影响他们对后来 事物的观点——说得更具体一点,酒吧的客人对某种啤酒的预期是否能形成他们对啤酒口 味的评判标准。

预期能够形成成见,成见为我们理解周围环境提供了捷径,但成见给我们提供了对某一群体的特定预期,它也可能对我们的认识与行为有不利影响。

2.9.5 Magic Price

主要讲了安慰的作用。价格贵,就以为是好东西,这和设定我们的预期有关。

2.9.6 Good or Evil

  • 有关《圣经》十诫的实验给我印象最深的是那些十条中只能记得一两条的学生和那些十条差不多全记得的 都会受到影响。这就是说鼓励人们诚实的并不是十诫的条文本身,而是出于对某种道德准则的深思。

  • 英文“职业”一词来源于拉丁文“professus”,意思是“为公众认可”。高级职业很久 以前起源于宗教后来又传播、扩大到了医学和法律方面。据说,掌握了秘不外传的高深知识 的人,不仅仅垄断了该知识的应用,同时还负有明智地、诚实地使用该种知识的责任。

  • 我们擅长于把自己细微的不诚实想法和做法合理化,所以我们 通常很难清楚地确定非金钱事物对作弊的影响
  • 只要有机会,人们就会作弊。但奇怪的是我们多数人对此并无察觉。当偷取的是非货币,无形的物品时,不会有道德负担,比如网络盗窃通话时间。

  • 点酒顺序对点的酒有影响,大家都想点和之前人不同的。那些注重表现自己独特性的人们更可能点别人没点过的酒,以此来证明自己确实与众不同。人们选择食品和饮料时好像有两个目标:或者给自己带来最大享受,或者在朋友心目中炫耀自己某 些正面的人格特质。 说到底,人们,特别是那些独特需求旺盛的人们,可能牺牲个人需求去换取名声需求。 在标新立异不被视为正面人格特质的文化背景下,人们在大庭广众之下点菜点酒时,有可能表现与群体的归属感,着意刻画与别人选择一致的印象。我们在香港做的实验证明,事实果真如此。在香港,人们常常也不喜欢在公开场合当众点的酒菜,而是喜欢自己私下点的。但是这些参与者点酒点菜时,都跟着群体中的头一个照葫芦画瓢——这样他们就同样犯了使他们后悔的错误。

2.9.7 Free Lunch: an behavior economics explanation

  • 传统经济学假定我们都是理性的——我们了解与决定一切有关的信息,我们能够计算所面 临的各种选择的价值,我们能够正确权衡每一种选择中错综复杂的因素,我们对事物的认知 不会遇到阻碍。

  • 免费午餐的基本概念就在这里——让有关各方都能获益,做到“共赢”。要注意的是, 这些免费午餐并不一定是没有成本(使用自我控制信用卡和实施“明天多储蓄”不可避免牵 涉到成本)。但只要这些机制换来的利益大于成本,我们应该把它们当做免费午餐——给各 方都带来净效益的机制。

2.9.8 Summary

  1. 我们的知觉和决策环境是通过眼、耳、味觉和触觉, 还有主宰一切思想的大脑,经过过滤才形成的。等到我们对信息作了理解和消化,它已经不 一定是现实的真实反映了。相反,它只是我们对现实的诠释,而它就是我们形成决策的基础。 从本质上来说,我们被自然赋予的工具所限制,我们决策的方式又受限于这些工具的质量与 精确程度。
  2. 尽管非理性司空见惯,但并不是说我们都不可救药了。一旦我们明 白了自己的错误决定会发生在什么时间,起源自什么地方,就可以提高警惕,强制自己从不 同角度、用不同方式重新考虑这些决定,或者用科技手段来克服与生俱来的缺点。企业决策 者们也可以在这些方面改变他们的思维方式,考虑怎样制定政策,设计产品,创造免费午餐。

2.10 The paradox of choice [选择的悖论, Barry Schwartz]

Hui:作者Barry Schwartz主要讨论的悖论是:更多的选择和自由并不能带来更大的幸福。那些总是想要做出最优选择的人可能拥有更大的世俗眼中的成功,但那些满足于“足够好”的选择的人更快乐。其中涉及到人们做出选择时受到的锚定效应,框架效应,易得性偏差等的影响。在身份的焦虑中,阿兰.德波顿也有提到更多的自由其实也是产生焦虑的原因之一。

2.10.1 自由的重担

  • 大名鼎鼎的政治哲学家Isaiah Berlin提出一个重要观点,他把自由划分为消极自由(negative liberty)和积极自由(positive liberty)。消极自由是一种“不做”(liberty from)的自由,人们有免受他人强制的自由,不按他人意愿来做事的自由。而积极自由是一种“去做”(liberty to)的自由,做自己生活的主人,让自己的生活变得更有意义、更有分量。

  • 如果人类是理性的,那么增加选项就会让社会更美好。那些在意自己有没有选择权的人会从中获益,而那些不在乎选择权的人可以自觉忽略这些多余的选项。这种观点在理论上很有说服力,不过在现实中却行不通。

  • 选择过多不仅使人们做决定的过程更艰难,因而感到更沮丧,还会让最终被选中的“幸运儿”魅力大减,导致满足感更低。

  • 在这个缺乏监督的时代,如果你持续使用某个产品而不考虑其他选择,结果可能是,你将会长期支付更高昂的价格来买一样的服务。

2.10.2 是什么在操控你的行为

  • peak-end-rule: 我们对过去体验的记忆由两种因素决定,事情达到极限(最好或最坏)时我们的感受,以及事情结束后我们的感受。

  • 逻辑和记忆的鸿沟说明,我们实际上没有想象中那么了解自己。

  • availability heuristic: 人们的判断推理过程常常受到可获得的记忆的影响,倾向于认为容易想起的事件比不容易想起的事件更常见。

  • framing effect: 同一个问题的两种逻辑意义相似的说法会导致不同的决策判断,当消费者认为某一价格带来的是“损失”而非“收益”时,他们对价格就非常敏感。

  • 当决定自己的收益时,人们倾向于规避风险,都有风险厌恶症。而当人们面对损失时,一个个都变得极具冒险精神,都是寻求风险的冒险家。

  • psychological accounts:人的头脑中存在一种心理账户,会讲现实中客观等价的支出或收益在心理上划分到不同的账户中,做出不同的决策。

  • law of diminish marginal utility:当人们连续消费同一种物品或服务时,其总效用虽然在增加,但边际效应,既每单位物品或服务带来的效用增加量却在递减。

  • endowment effect: 人们更愿意持有自己已经拥有的东西,而不愿意用它交换另一个可能更好的替代物。

  • 即便只需要考虑有限几个选项,人们也就容易犯错。而随着选择的数量和复杂度的上升,人们犯错的可能性就会不断增大。没有人有时间和精力对每个选项仔细琢磨、全面推敲,随着需要做的决定和选择的数量越来越大,决策难度会大大增加。

  • 选项越多,付出越多,犯错就会让人更痛苦。选项增加会产生3个相互关联的不幸后果:
    1. 需要付出更多努力来做选择;
    2. 犯错的可能性更大
    3. 犯错会造成更大的负面影响
  • 满足者最终会为很不错的选择感到满意,而最大化者追求的是绝对的最佳选择。我相信最大化者追求的目标正是导致他们不满的根源,尤其是在一个方方面面选择都多如牛毛的社会。虽然最大化者总是朝着“最好”努力,但几乎永远无法对最终的选择感到满意,因此,最大化者可能更容易成功,但满足者更容易幸福。
    1. 最大化者对好事的感觉没满足者那么强烈,对坏事的应对能力也没有满足者那么强。
    2. 坏事发生后,最大化者要经历较长的时间才能恢复。
    3. 最大化者比满足者花更多的时间深思熟虑。
  • 所谓的最佳选择根本不存在。

2.10.3 行为经济学背后的心理奥秘

  • learned helplessness: 当人或者动物接连不断地遭受挫折,就会丧失控制感,感到自己对一切都无能为力,陷入一种无助的心理状态。

  • 可以毫不夸张地说,我们最基本的幸福感在很大程度上正是基于我们对环境的控制能力,以及是否知道自己拥有这种能力。

看来更多的选择机会并没有让人们感觉更好,有两种可能:

1. 随着选择和控制的体验越发广泛而深入,人们对选择和控制的期望也在增加。对控制的渴望和期待也总是跑在现实的前面,无论有多大的自由都无法完全满足。
2. 更多的选择并不意味着更多的控制。当选择增加到某个临界点时,我们反而会感到无力应对。
 
  • 要在选择自由与承诺忠诚之间获得平衡简直是不可能的任务。… 那些热爱选择和行动自由的人就应该远离错综复杂的关系;那些看重稳定和忠诚的人就应该努力追求它。

  • 如果“限制”可以接纳有限的自由,“自由”也可以受到一定的“限制”,人们就会逐渐变聪明,懂得衡量什么才是适度的限制。

  • “需要”和“喜欢”其实是由两个完全不同的大脑系统掌管的,两个系统之间可以写作,但大部分时间是单独运作的。

  • 最终决定决策质量的是人们做选择时的主观感受。如果选项数目多到会让主观满意度降低,我们的感觉往往更加糟糕。

  • 消极情绪导致注意力范围缩小,无法全面考虑影响选择的各个因素。相反,心情越好,思维就越灵活,能考虑到更多的可能性。

  • 如果选项增加,被拒选项的优点就会强化,导致最终选定的选项带来的满意度降低。

  • 考虑机会成本时作出明智选择的必经之路。

  • 最容易说出来的原因并不一定是真正重要的。但是话一旦说出口,它的重要性就会陡然增加。

  • 想说明分析过后再做决定很容易犯错。随着选择数目的增加,做决定时要做的价值判断也增多了。尽管千方百计挤出的理由可能让你的决定在当下显得十分正确,但长远看来没什么特别大的好处。

  • 作出重大选择之所以困难,可能就是因为它们时不可逆转的。婚姻没有退货保证,职业亦然。任何改变都意味着巨大的代价——时间、经历、情感和金钱。

  • postdecision regret V.S. anticipated regret: 决定后懊悔是做了某个决定后,因为结果不理想而产生的后悔。预期性懊悔是指做选择之前,因为预计到结果不好或者还有更好的选择而感到后悔。

  • omission bias: 人们更容易接受由于自己的忽略或不作为导致的损失,而不愿意接受自己的行为导致的同等损失。

2.11 Antifragile [反脆弱, Taleb, Nassim Nicholas]

2.12 [随机漫步的傻瓜,Taleb, Nassim Nicholas]

一、黑天鹅事件的重要性

在概率论中,如果一件事情的结果过于惨重,那么这件事情不管它成功的概率有多高,它成功之后得到回报有多大,其实都无关紧要,都没有任何意义。

俄罗斯转盘游戏,有六分之一的概率死亡,但能获得1000万。这个钱不管有多少都不值得去赚,因为最坏的结果谁都承受不了。

人类有一个习惯,就是在遇到黑天鹅事件之后要找各种各样的解释,来获得心理上的舒适感和对未来的掌控感。

二、概率思维的重要性

根据“大数定律”,它是说当一个实验次数足够多的时候,事件出现的频率就无限接近于此时发生的概率。很多赌徒就极端相信这个大数定律。

当连续出现六次“大”的时候,第七次很多人就会觉得它会倾向于出现“小”,然后把全部的家当押上去,接着就会倾家荡产。所以要了解每一次概率之间发生的不相关性。

三、存活着偏差的重要性

“存活着偏差”也叫“墓地理论”,我们通常只关注那些显而易见的样本,却常常忽视那些没有机会出现的样本。

存活着偏差的另一种形式是人们普遍相信事情会自然而然地往好的方向发展。这种思维模式就是在短时间内,他相信事物是随机的,但是长时间内他就不相信事物的随机性了。

避免随机性误区的两个技巧:

  1. 避免路径依赖

我们之所以会死守一个观念,只是因为我们在这个观念上投入的时间比其它多,因为投入的时间多就觉得有价值,不想轻易放弃,先入为主其实是我们大多数人的天性,不死守自己的观念才是一种罕见的特质。理性对待外界的环境,即使做出调整而不要被所谓的面子给绑架,才能不断成长。

  1. 学会屏蔽噪音

玩股票在选定一只股票后,要尽可能少看盘。整天盯着大盘看的人,觉得自己掌控了某种节奏,但是浪费了更多的时间。

有一身好本事却穷困潦倒的人,最后一定会爬上来,而幸运的傻瓜可能短时间借助于生命中某些好运气,但是长期来看,处境会慢慢趋近于运气没有那么好的傻瓜。

2.13 Black Swan [黑天鹅, Taleb, Nassim Nicholas]

Hui: 我觉得对这本书的评价和你从事的职业很有关系。我的主要工作是分析,其中很大一部分是预测,所以我特别喜欢Nassim的作品。他主要是研究生活中的随机性,什么事件可以预测,什么事件不可预测。如果不是对随机性特别感兴趣的人会觉得他的书有些无厘头。他的书帮助你思考从过去、已知和已观察到的东西中学习的困难。他指出了一个我们很容易犯的逻辑错误,我们很容易认为无证据拒绝某零假设意味着零假设是正确的。这也是传统统计推断中存在的问题。学了这么多年统计,不仅仅对p值的意义,我对整个统计假设检验的意义是什么也有疑问,除了发论文和得到FDA批准以外到底还能干什么?

2.13.1 Prologue

  • The inability to predict outliers implies the inability to predict the course of history.

  • I disagree with the followers of Marx and Adam Smith: the reason free markets work is because they allow people to be lucky, thanks to aggressive trial and error, not by giving rewards or “incentives” for skill.

Hui: what doesn’t allow people to be lucky?

  • We do not spontaneously learn that we don’t learn what we don’t learn.

Hui: Similar as “we don’t know that we don’t know”.

  • We humans are not just a superficial race (this may be curable to some extent); we are a very unfair one.

  • Platonicity is what makes us think that we understand more than we actually do.

Hui: what you know << what you think you know (I agree). Even I so clearly know that I AM STUPID, still what I know << what I think I know……I wish I could learn more. The feeling of ignorance bothered me so much but now I consider it as my life-time friend. Because I don’t see any hope I can not being ignorant, I think it is a better idea just be friend with it. My goal now change to be less ignorant today than yesterday.

Part One: How we seek validation

2.13.2 The apprenticeship of an empirical skeptic

apprenticeship /ə’prɛntɪʃɪp /

  • The human mind suffers from 3 ailments as it comes into contact with history (triplet of opacity):
    1. the illusion of understanding, or how everyone thinks he knows what is going on in a world that is more complicated (or random) than they realize [了解世界的幻觉]

      Hui: 我们以为我们生活的世界比它实际上更加可理解,可解释,可预测。

    2. the retrospective distortion, or how we can assess matters only after the fact, as if they were in a rearview mirror (history seems clearer and more organized in history books than in empirical reality) [马后炮偏差]

      Hui: 我们太容易马后炮了。很多发生过的事情尽管当时感觉很疯狂,但是回过头看就没有那么疯狂。我们总能够将历史事件通过某种因果关系串联起来。作者认为这种事后合理性在表面上降低了事件的稀有性,并使事件看上去具有可理解性。之后作者提出:“历史不会爬行,只会跳跃[History does not crawl, it jumps]”。 作者认为我们的头脑是超强解释机器,介乎可以从任何事物中分析出道理,还不愿意接受不可预测的事实。“Our minds are wonderful explanation machines, capable of making sense out of almost anything, capable of mounting explanations for all manner of phenomena, and generally incapable of accepting the idea of unpredictability”

    3. the overvaluation of factual information and the handicap of authoritative and learned people, particularly when they create categories—when they “Platonify” [高估事实实际信息的价值]

Hui: The retrospective distortion reminds me a quote from Mark Twain: “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” : )

Hui: 我们倾向于简化事物,难以避免叙述谬误,这点我同意。但这无法改变?这是一个物种的局限。因为我们的脑子能够处理的信息非常有限。假设我们接受这种现状,那么下一个问题就是,该怎么办?我目前的答案是:首先需要认识到这一点。不可避免无知是一回事,对自己无知的无知是另外一回事。我们需要意识到很多事情我们不知道,这听起来好像没有任何新意,谁不知道世界很大未知很多,知道是一回事,理解是另外一回事。很多概念看上去相似,实际上有本质的区别,这些区别的影响很大,但却难以察觉,理解它们需要时间,努力和勇气。认识到这一点之后,我们需要最大限度的探明有哪些事情是我们不知道,哪些我们无法估计,哪些我们无法控制,这样我们对自己的叙述在多大程度上简化了真相会有更好的了解,虽然我们永远无法完美估计自己的无知,但我们可以不断的加深自己的认识。这会帮助我们避免很多因为过于天真的认为简化版的故事就是事实而导致的灾难。
从另外一个角度,在现实生活中我们需要做出决策,我们需要简化的易于理解的充分照顾人类愚蠢这一事实的故事,否则很多事情无法进行,生活将举步维艰。该怎么办呢?守住一个底线,尽力确保这个故事的传播带来的负面影响不会超过正面影响。这也是一件模糊的事情,但我相信,你对未知探索的越深入,就能够与好的守住这个底线。
这个世界一如既往的充满了悖论,我总是在想有没有可能找到复杂表象背后的几个基本点?类似圣经中指出的人类的原罪一样。这几个原罪可以解释很多人类行为。从人类行为背后的的欲望来理解行为就是一个非常好的简化方式。但是当这些行为开始相互影响时,随机性开始火箭上升。事情开始变得非常复杂,不可控,难以预测。该怎么办?孜孜不倦的理解自己的无知,达人事,听天命。
如果你在他的位置上会是什么感觉?会喜欢那样的生活么?目前看来,答案是否定的。回到那个老旧的问题:我要什么?这个问题有的时候真让我恶心,因为我一直难以回答,而它又貌似无比重要。无论被恶心多久,我还是要试图去回答这个问题,如果我一生都不知道自己要什么,那也是个答案,答案就是其实我没有什么确定想要的,虽然有些悲哀,但谁保证一定是喜剧呢?答案当然可以说是想要神的肯定。这个答案看似具体,实则模糊的不能称之为答案。如何让神肯定?这是一个很难回答的问题。回到现实生活当中,一切都需要具体细化到每天的生活,分分秒秒的时候,在尘世中想要坚持的信仰,最后还得落实到每个行动中,体现在你如何使用自己的生命。
那回到生活上。我知道我不喜欢那样的生活,很好,知道自己不喜欢什么也是在认识自己上的进步。那自己到底想要什么样的生活呢?我喜欢的是数学、统计和分析本身么?不太像。我喜欢的是自已之前认为的通过工作能给周围世界带来价值么?再仔细想想,也不完全。因为价值这个东西本身就是模糊的。你认为有价值的事情实际上价值是多少本就无法定义,所以这是一个自我满足的伪答案。现在我能想到的最好的答案实际上是好奇心,是为了缓解对自身无知的恐惧,为了更好的回答这样一个问题:“What is real?”数据分析是个人能够了解世界的一种最好的方式,这种技能使我可以尽量自己收集一手信息,通过分析判断,更加客观的了解世界真实的样子。而不是盲目的,甚至被迫的接受他人的观点。我很感激计算机技术的发展和网络时代的来临,使得很多数据的收集成为可能,这增加了我们了解世界的能力,给了我一种自由,精神上的自由。但同时这又挖了一个更大的坑:信息太多了太多了,良莠不齐,怎么办?我的人生好像永远没有拨开云雾见青天的那一天,充满着疑问。只是那又如何?我无法摆脱这样的现状,但我可以和这些疑问和平共处,而我想要的,是不断解开一个又一个的疑问,尽管过程中会产生新的问题。这或许就是信仰,即便无法具体的定义神,即便无法理智上彻底证明神的存在,但还是相信那个存在,相信存在有着某种意义,相信爱;还是能够坚定不移的充满希望的走下去,通过回答一个又一个问题,更加深入的了解自己,理解世界,好好做人。

  • History and societies do not crawl. They make jumps. They go from fracture to fracture, with a few vibrations in between…These kinds of discontinuities in the chronology of events did not make the historian’s profession too easy: the studious examination of the past in the greatest of detail does not teach you much about the mind of History; it only gives you the illusion of understanding it….We are just a great machine for looking backward, and that humans are great at self-delusion.

Hui: 作者指出历史不是连续的而是跳跃的,而人类的解释性思维将这些事件自行用因果关系连接起来,造成了理解历史的幻觉。作者使用了黎凡特(Levant)基督教传播的例子。罗马编年史学家(chronicler)对基督教在这一区域的传播的历史记录有断层。

  • Of the millions of small facts that prevail before an event occurs, only a few will turn out to be relevant later to your understanding of what happened. Because your memory is limited and filtered, you will be inclined to remember those data that subsequently match the facts [在一个历史事件发生之前存在无数个事实,其中只有很少一部分会在后来你对历史事件的理解中有帮助。因为你的记忆有限且是被过滤的,所以你会倾向于记住那些事后看来与事实相符的信息。]

  • Categorizing always produces reduction in true complexity. It is a manifestation of the Black Swan generator … It drives us to a misunderstanding of the fabric of the world…My idea is that not only are some scientific results useless in real life, because they underestimate the impact of the highly improbable (or lead us to ignore it), but that many of them may be actually creating Black Swans.

Hui: 作者认为分类简化了事物(就是柏拉图化platonicity),这个过程主观忽略了不确定性,某种程度上促进了黑天鹅事件的产生。我觉得这样最多只能说使我们在黑天鹅事件面前更加脆弱,而你无法确定什么事情“促进”黑天鹅事件的发生,因为这种事件根据定义本来就是不可预测的,发生只是概率问题而无法追溯原因。作者批判很多科学研究,说这些结果的广泛传播应用促使了黑天鹅事件的发生。我很怀疑这一点。并不是说作者的批判没有道理,科学研究建立在一些现实生活很难满足的假设条件之上,对于一些科学研究应用的价值是否有人们想的那么大,确实是个疑问。但黑天鹅事件的本身好比是在我们控制的维度之外,它能够影响我们,但我们却无法影响它。所以我赞同作者指责一些科学结果“推动”黑天鹅事件。即使作者所指责的这些所谓错误的科学结果的应用全部停止,意外还是会发生,只不过是被新的意外取代。talk is cheap! 这是我工作近3年最大的感受。3年前的自己批评很多的事情,但没有意识到自己其实也想不出更好的解决方法。

Hui: 书的第2章很短,讲的是出版界的一个黑天鹅的例子:Yevgenia。我不知道这个作家,于是Google了一下,发现这是作者杜撰的一个人。说的是不出名的小说家Yevgenia在网上发表自己的作品给一家小出版社发现,结果大卖成为知名作家。这便是一个黑天鹅的例子。你无法预测谁会出名。

  • To be genuinely empirical is to reflect reality as faithfully as possible; to be honorable implies not fearing the appearance and consequence of being outlandish.

Hui: During application, it is necessary to be empirical. The author has very good points. However I wish he could have criticized others in a softer way. The next sentence after this one is not nice… I recalled the times when I said hard words to others, when I was too sharp without considering others feeling. I felt bad about myself. Please remember you are not perfect and bear with each other when you have to (I just say to myself).

2.13.3 Extremistan and Mediocristan

Hui: 这章原来的名字是:The speculator[投机家] and prostitute,挺无厘头的,还是Extremistan and Mediocristan好些。什么导致了引爆点(tipping point)?

  • Beaware the scalable! A scalable profession is good only if you are successful; they are more competitive, produce monstrous inequalities, and are far more random, with huge disparities between efforts and rewards….There are two categories of professions:
  1. driven by the mediocre, the average and the middle-of-the-road. The mediocre is collectively consequent.
  2. has either giants or dwarves——a very small number of giants and a huge number of dwarves [收入具有突破性的职业只有在你成功的时候对你是最好的。这样的职业竞争更激烈,导致更大的不平均,不确定性,在努力和回报之间存在巨大差异。…有一种分类是受中庸、平均和中间路线驱使的,其中中庸力量整体而言具有很大影响。在另一种分类中,要么是巨人,要么是侏儒,更精确地说,是非常少的巨人和大量的侏儒。]
  • America is currently far more creative than these nations of museumgoers and equation solvers. It is also far more tolerant of bottom-up tinkering and undirected trial and error. And globalization has allowed the United States to specialize in the creative aspect of things, the production of concepts and ideas, that is, the scalable part of the products and increasingly, by exporting jobs, separate the less scalable components and assign them to those happy to be paid by hours.

  • The supreme law of Mediocristan: When your sample is large, no single instance will significantly change the aggregate or the total.
  • Extremistan: inequalities are such that one single observation can disproportionately impact the aggregate or the total

2.13.4 How not to be a sucker

2.13.5 Negative empiricism

2.13.6 The narrative fallacy

2.13.7 Living in the antechamber of hope

2.13.8 The problem of silent evidence

2.13.9 The ludic fallacy: the uncertainty of the nerd

这章讲游戏谬误

Part Two: We just can’t predict

2.13.10 The scandal of prediction

2.13.11 How to look for bird poop

2.13.12 Epistemocracy, a dream

2.13.13 What do you do if you can’t predict?

Part Three: Those gray swans of extremistan

2.13.14 From mediocristan to extremistan and back

2.13.15 The bell curve

2.13.16 The aesthetics of randomness

2.13.17 Bell curves in the wrong places

2.13.18 The uncertainty of the phony

Part Four: The end

2.13.19 How to get even with the black swan

2.14 反直觉思考

2.15 推理的迷宫 [Labyrinths of Reason, William Poundstone]

2.16 Science of Logic [逻辑学, Hegel]

2.17 Mind Wide Open [心思大开]

  • 大脑是人类文明的开始,所以文明是大脑生物学的分支。

  • 我们的行为受到内在分泌化学物质的影响,我们感受到的情绪其实是身体中生理和化学物质的总和。

  • 大脑中充满了零和游戏,一项卓越的能力往往要以另一项低下的能力为代价。

  • 千百万年来,我们进化出一个中央神经系统,它会记录创伤事件的细节,并在再次遇到这个细节时送出系统警报。这套神经回路帮助我们的祖先在自然界生存下来,并将他们的基因遗传下去。

  • 快乐的情绪可以使前额叶变得活跃,悲伤的情绪则使其活跃性降低,所以在心情不好时,大脑的联想能力会降低。

  • 有良好监控注意力的人经常可以把一些我们平常会关注的信息关掉,使其不对自己造成干扰。

  • 要思考,需要忘掉一些差异,去抽取异同。如果执迷于细节,就看不见整体。

  • 大脑并非像旧式的台式电脑一样有一个中央处理器,它是很多个次系统的组合,这些次系统又被称为“模块”,它们各有各的专长,相互竞争……大脑是一个生态系统,模块之间既竞争又合作,这是一个弱肉强食的地方。

  • 大脑经常表现出情绪一致性,当处于某个情绪状态时,它很自动地勾起许多与此情绪相似的过去回忆……人们偏向于寻找与目前情绪状态相似的回忆,而不是平衡外界的刺激。

  • 我们越了解本性(先天),我们越能改进自己(后天)。

2.18 The Human Advantage [最强大脑]

大脑皮层的神经元数量决定了动物的智力水平,人类大脑皮层中的神经元数量远高于其他物种,所以人类比其他物种更聪明。由于神经元数量越多,大脑的重量越大,对应的身体重量也越大。因此在进化过程中,可用卡路里量的有限性强迫大型类人猿在身体重量和脑子重量之间做出选择。人类因为掌握了烹饪技术而使在短时间内摄入大量卡路里以支持大脑运转成为可能。其他物种则不得不牺牲神经元数量,将摄入的卡路里用于维持身体运转。

一、神经元缩放规则

简单来说,就是每种动物的大脑在进化过程中,都要遵循一定的规则。这种规则规定了神经元数量和大脑体积之间的关系。有的动物进化程度比较高,在相同体积的情况下,能拥有更多的神经元。有的动物进化程度比较低,在相同体积的情况下,神经元数量比较少。需要注意的是,所有动物大脑的重量和体积呈正相关的关系,体积越大,重量也越大。所以在研究的过程中,有的科学家把体积当作参数,有的科学家把重量当作参数,但他们得出的结论是大致相同的。

【案例】

比如以老鼠为代表的啮齿类,它们就属于进化程度比较低的,大脑体积不大,拥有的神经元数量也很少。人类作为一种极其聪明的物种,拥有高达1000亿个神经元。如果我们不幸地遵循了老鼠的神经元缩放规则,为了保持1000亿个神经元,我们的大脑重量就得超过60斤,对应的体重将高达80吨!

二、人类的大脑遵循类灵长动物的进化规则

人类的大脑之所以展现出异于其他物种的高级能力,是因为作为灵长类动物的一员,人类的大脑严格遵循了灵长类动物的神经元规则,在更小的大脑皮层和小脑里塞进了更多的神经元,在智力水平上把其他物种远远甩在身后。但是人脑也有其自身的特殊性,比如:相对于同等体型的非灵长类动物,人类的脑子足足比大了7倍;人脑堪每天消耗的能量占人体全部耗能的25%;大猩猩脑子的体积只有人类大脑体积的1/3,在人类面前实在是不值一提。

三、“脑之汤”的实验方法

在“脑之汤”这种方法出现之前,对神经元计数的难点在于大脑内的细胞并不是均衡分布的。通过把固体的大脑变成细胞核在其中自由浮动的、具有均衡性的汤,苏珊娜只要取一小部分汤出来,数清楚里面有多少细胞核,也就知道了大脑中有多少细胞。大脑中除了重要的神经元,还有一些其他类型的细胞。苏珊娜的下一步是将一种只能把神经元染色的抗体加入脑之汤,再数一数被染色的细胞核有多少,从而计算出神经元占大脑所有细胞的比例,以及神经元的真实数量。

四、决定动物聪明程度的是神经元数量而不是脑容量

在科学领域,聪明程度通过“认知能力”的高低来体现。认知能力只与一个东西有关系,那就是大脑皮层中的神经元数量。其他动物的脑子虽然大,但人类大脑皮层中的神经元数量远比其他动物要多,所以人类比其他物种更聪明。

【案例】

苏珊娜选择了重量巨大的大象的脑子与人脑进行比较,试图找出到底是全脑重量还是大脑皮层神经元数量影响了大象和人类的认知水平。

人类显然要比大象聪明,我们会说话、会写字、还能把大象拉到实验室里研究一番。但是人类的全脑重量只是大象全脑重量的三分之一,所以首先可以排除全脑重量对认知能力的影响。我们再来看大脑皮层神经元数量。整个大象脑子总共有有2570亿神经元,但是其中98%的神经元都存在于大象的小脑。在大脑皮层神经元数量这个最关键的数据上,大象只有56亿,无法与人类的160亿神经元相提并论。

这些实验数据有力地证明了这个结论:大脑重量并不重要,大脑皮层的神经元数量才是决定人类聪明与否的关键。

五、烹饪在人类进化的过程中的作用

在进化早期,大脑的地位并不太重要。因为觅食能力相对低下,人类和其他动物一样,摄取能量的绝大部分被用于维持身体机能运转。大脑消耗能量的多少跟其拥有的神经元数量密切相关,神经元数量越多,人越聪明,大脑耗能越大。分配给大脑的能量变少了,我们就自然而然地更笨了。

人类掌握烹饪技巧之后,在同样的时间里、耗费同样的体力,能够获得更多的能量。在进化的过程中,更多的能量意味着人类有机会把多出的能量分配给大脑。久而久之,大脑就有机会拥有更多的神经元,变得更聪明,聪明到学会耕种、学会畜牧,开始农业文明。从这个角度看,如果没有某位祖先在某天突然掌握了烹饪技巧,我们的大脑还会和其他近亲一样,只能沦为身体的附庸,起不到决定性作用。所以我们在潜意识里把烹饪视为极其重要的技能,并进而影响了我们对其他人的判断。

金句:

⒈人类的优势在于我们是唯一研究自己和其他事物,并且在研究的过程中产生知识,完好无损地传播开来的物种;我们能改变自己,用戴眼镜、植入和手术等方式弥补自己的缺陷,从而改变自然选择的规律;我们彻底改变自己所在的环境,使我们能在任何地方居住;我们使用工具制造工具,使工具变得更强大,能解决更多更困难的问题;我们不断寻找更复杂的问题的解决方案,这让我们自己的能力也随之增长;我们创造描述知识的方法,让后人学习知识时不再需要直接的演示—这些都使我们变得特别。虽然所有需要的认知能力都不是人类独有的,我们应用这些认知能力的复杂性和灵活性显然是其他任何物种难以望其项背的。

  1. 我进行了一项名为“你了解你的大脑吗”的调查,其中一个问题是“我们仅使用了大脑的10%”,60%接受过大学教育的里约本地人的答案为“是”,我对此感到非常震惊。我在流行科学杂志甚至宣传片中都看到过这个易使人上当的描述,但是从没预料到它在公众的意识中如此根深蒂固——而且这个说法还是虚构的。我们在任何时候都需要使用整个脑子,我们学习和进步,成就伟大的事业,甚至在睡觉时都使用了100%的脑子,只是使用的方式不同。

  2. 我们已经到达这个位置,我们中只有极少的人主宰了现在的技术。谁知道怎么融化和加工金属?更不用说用它来从头制造一辆汽车、一部手机或者一台电脑。能自称科学家甚至不等于我知道怎么制作一支简单的铅笔。当今技术中的很多不再掌握于一个个体。我们夸口从古希腊以来走了很长的路—但是我们不再同时是建筑学、生物学和理学专家。这就是为什么科学(知识)和技术(工艺)必须被小心地栽培、记录和传授给下一代。拥有令人瞩目的大脑皮层神经元数量从而能达到令人瞩目的成就是不够的:我们站立于前人的肩膀之上,并且现在我们这一物种的成就作为一个整体远远超过任何一个个体。人类很久以来就超越了个人。它自强化地匹配了我们大脑皮层中惊人数量的神经元促成的技术发明和文化传播,后者又将我们的性能成形为能力,并让我们成为人——无论情况好还是坏。

2.19 Spark

The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain

2.19.1 A case study

Physical activity sparks biological changes that encourage brain cells to bind to one another.

Exercise provides an unparalleled stimulus, creating an environment in which the brain is ready, willing and able to learn. Aerobic activity has a dramatic effect on adaptation, regulating systems that might be out of balance and optimizing those that are not.

The ability to stop and consider a response, to use the experience of a wrong choice as a guide in making the next decision, relates to executive function, which is controlled by the prefrontal cortex.

2.19.2 Learning: grow your brain cells

Exercise influences learning at the cellular level, improving the brain’s potential to log in and process new information.

The brain is flexible, or plastic … The more you use it, the stronger and more flexible it becomes.

The brain is made up of one hundred billion neurons of various types that chat with one another by way of hundreds of different chemicals, to govern our every thought and action … The junction between cell branches is the synapse.