Thursday, October 25, 2007

Success Secrets: Munger's "Misjudgment" Part 8

This post is Part 8: the final post on the series examining Charlie Munger’s “Psychology of Human Misjudgment”. I will attempt to get all 24 Tendencies into a single post soon, for reference purposes. Personally, I intend to follow Munger’s recommendation and make a checklist of these tendencies. Many are subtle, and difficult to recognize because we use these “shortcut algorithms” in our thought processes every day. Taken together, Munger’s perceptive insights form a prism by which we can view our experiences (internal and external) in a new light.

Earlier sections:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Here are the final three:

23. Munger Descriptor: Twaddle Tendency
Alternate descriptor : Tendency to say meaningless things. At length.

Much is said in our world that is meaningless, and it is often misconstrued to be meaningful. So much is meaningless that the volume of “twaddle” impairs our ability to go about our lives in meaningful ways. Munger exhorts us to make real effort to separate people and ideas that have meaning from this vast overload of people and ideas that, in fact, have little or no meaning or value.

24. Munger Descriptor: Reason-Respecting Tendency
Alternate Descriptor: People tend to comply when a reason, even a bad one, is given.

Munger hastens to remind us that he strongly believes that the use of the word “why”, and the use of a “latticework of theory” are invaluable in assimilating learning and experience. In general, his entire monograph is in favor of finding dispassionate reasoning processes. This particular mention of “Reason-Respecting Tendency” is to remind us that the word “reason” may not, in fact, be an adequate reason for anything, even if someone says it is.

25. Munger Descriptor: Lollapalooza Tendency
Alternate Descriptor: Multiple influences acting together can produce extreme consequences.

An example might be when one would jump to a conclusion due to both Availability- Misweighting (access to easily available data) and Doubt-Avoidance tendency (tendency to quickly remove doubt).


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