Group (un)Think

By | 2018-05-09T06:03:37+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What is “Social Proof”? Photo: Petr Kratochvil. Source: Public Domain Pictures “Social Proof” happens when we rely on the views of group we’re with to form our own opinions. Everyone is strongly influenced by people that they’re with. A researcher once had some college students match the length of a line on one card to one of three alternatives on another card. When subjects worked alone, almost all of them made the correct choice. But when they were put into a group that had [...]

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions (Part 4)

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:20+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What’s the best way to decide? Photo: Judith Broug. Source: Morguefile We’re deciding things all the time. What time to get up, what courses to take, who to hire and fire, whether to fix up the house or sell it. Our decisions depend on our thinking. And the clearer our thoughts, the better our decisions will be. The final step in making good decisions is putting the relevant facts in place. Facts are real. They can’t be argued over or debated. Facts may support [...]

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions (Part 3)

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:21+00:00 April 24th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What resources do we need to improve our decisions? Source: usafacts We all use facts to make our decisions. We also act on what we know – of ourselves and of the situation. We can look into a problem and we can seek help. Where we look and who we turn to are both resources. Encyclopedic resources are straightforward and easily accessible. They present humanity’s collective knowledge about a subject. They might answer a question like what symptoms are linked to a disease or [...]

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions (Part 2)

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:22+00:00 April 21st, 2017|Global Market Update|

How can we improve our decision-making? Source: Quora Most of us live in “react-mode.” We’re like thermostats – the temperature goes up, and we try to cool things down. It gets a little chilly, and we turn up the heat. We don’t deliberate, we just do something because it makes us feel better. But reacting to circumstances doesn’t change the underlying situation. It just makes us a little more comfortable, for a little while. One of the best ways to improve our decisions is [...]

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions (Part 1)

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:22+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Global Market Update|

How can we make better choices? Photo: Colin. Source: Wikipedia Let’s face it: the world is constantly changing, and we face important decisions every day – where to live, what to do, how to show our friends and family that we care. We’ve never been so interconnected, and yet people have never felt so isolated. It’s never been easier to find out who organized the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights in 1848 or why the British keep ravens in the Tower of London. [...]

Too Much, Too Many

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:24+00:00 October 16th, 2015|Global Market Update|

Do we have too many choices? Photo: Aimee Low. Source: Morguefile When we face a shelf with dozens of varieties of meat, it’s hard to decide what to buy. It’s much easier when just need to choose from a few. Academics call this “choice overload.” Walk into a drug store and look at the selection of shampoo: it’s overwhelming. Choice overload can hit kids when they’re deciding which college to attend or what to major in. And it applies to investing. When company 401(k) [...]

When Being Right is Wrong

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:37+00:00 September 5th, 2013|Global Market Update|

Are we addicted to being right? Research shows that when we get into stressful discussions, our hormones kick in. Cortisol hits the body, and we default to a fight-or-flight response. If we stay engaged, our voices might get louder. We begin to talk over each other; our pulse and blood pressure rise. It feels like an out-of-body experience. If others back down, our brains are flooded with adrenaline and dopamine. We feel dominant and invincible. It's a feeling we like, and it becomes physically [...]