William J. Bernstein

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This review was submitted by jmarkey77.

  • Premise: Biases, system one and two thinking, and thought fallacies are all present in financial manias, end of times believers, and in large conservative thinkers. Evidence was tied through dozens of examples in stock market failures, end of times prediction groups, and conservative thinkers as evidence.
  • My thoughts: In leadership we're responsible for the culture in our organization, it's wise to be aware of the unintended pitfalls or direction our well intended actions can lead to help prevent ourselves creating a negative environment we can't get back on track. This book does a great job outlining pitfalls that historically have ended that way and maybe a map to watch out for ourselves. A worthy read, though connecting the dots to our own management may take a lot of mental heft.
  • Some insights from the book:
    • A high degree of narrative transportation impairs one’s critical facilities.
    • If you want to convince someone, target their System 1 with narrative, not their System 2 with facts and data.
    • Although there is a limit beyond which belief will not withstand disconfirmation, it is clear that the introduction of contrary evidence can serve to increase the conviction and enthusiasm of the believer.
    • We are hardwired to detect relationships where often none exist.