Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition
Michael J. Mauboussin
April 7, 2010
No one intentionally makes bad decisions. Yet we make them all the time. In fact, some of the worst disasters in recent history—the collapse of major investment banks, the global financial meltdown—were the result of seemingly reasonable decisions made by a lot of smart people. How does this happen?
Michael J. Mauboussin argues that the correct process for deciding well—especially when the stakes are high—conflicts with how our minds naturally work. When faced with complex situations, our brains revert to simplified patterns that obscure better approaches to the problem. Even when we think we're applying logic and reason, we're subconsciously succumbing to social or situational influences. Fortunately, we can override our mind's default systems—that is, we can counter our intuition—by learning to “think twice.”
In this compelling book, Mauboussin outlines a disciplined approach to decision making that will significantly reduce costly mistakes. It involves preparing to encounter common mental traps, recognizing these mistakes in context, and applying the right mental tools to shape better decisions. With practice, you'll begin to catch poor decision making—both yours and others'—as it unfolds in front of you.
Michael J. Mauboussin is Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management and adjunct professor of finance at Columbia Business School. He is the author of the acclaimed book More Than You Know, and coauthor of Expectations Investing (HBP, 2001).