The fine art of decision making for everybody

New Schoolhouse Gallery, Peaseholme Green York UK
Saturday 30th Jan. Karl Heinz Jeron Teach in. Venue: Gallery 1. 2 – 4pm

http://www.crunchtime2010.org

Reasoning and decision making are two of the most important activities in which humans engage. But we don’t always do so is the best manner. When we don’t, the consequences can range from minor inconvenience to catastrophic loss. One of the contexts in which humans have best developed their capacities for good reasoning and decision making is economic inquiry. Hence, that is where we will turn for guidance.

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For example, if you suspect that a certain person is a certain way (whether it be evil, lazy, or perfect), you will tend to notice and interpret that person’s behaviors in such a way that support your belief, and consider evidence to the contrary as the result of errors of your own perception and judgement, or anomalies.

This is why, in the scientific method, it is useful to conduct an experiment in such a way as to attempt to disprove your theory, rather than prove it.  In order for something to be true, it has to also be falsifiable.  In other words, there has to be a way to prove it to be false, and those ways have to be tested, in order for it to be considered true.

The best way to help correct for this bias is to be open to contradictory evidence and to test our hypothesii by attempting to prove them wrong.

The Teach-in will examine the “Monte Hall Problem”. It is based in terms of an old TV game show called “Let’s Make a Deal”. Monte Hall is the name of the emcee who hosted the program.

As you say, there are three doors. Behind one door is a valuable prize (let’s say an automobile). Behind the other two doors are worthless prizes (“goats,” although I always wondered why these were considered worthless, since they are living creatures and can produce milk and offspring).

You’re a contestant, and Monte asks you to choose one of the three doors. Say you choose Door No. 3.

By Monte’s rules, he must then open a door to reveal a goat. Then, he asks if you would like to switch to the other unopened door. Should you switch or not?

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