Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Problems We Have With Our Thinking

As a follow-up to yesterday's post on thinking, here are some additional comments by Morgan Jones, former CIA analyst and author of "The Thinker's Toolkit".

Troublesome Mental Traits That Produce Analytic Missteps

  1. There is an emotional dimension to almost every throught we have and every decision we make.
  2. Mental shortcuts our unconscious minds continuously take influence our conscious thinking.
  3. We are driven to view the world around us in patterns.
  4. We instinctively rely on, and are susceptible to, biases and assumptions.
  5. We feel the need to find explanations for everything, regardless of whether the explanations are accurate.
  6. Humans have a penchant to seek out and put stock in evidence that support their beliefs and judgements while eschewing and devaluing evidence that does not.
  7. We tend to cling to untrue beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence.

Quite a list! So do we even stand a chance to analyze the complexity of our lives and make sound decisions? Jones thinks so - and the remainder of his book outlines 14 tools that will help anyone - not just the CIA - develop a structure for decision-making.

In my service on church staffs, and in consulting with churches now, I quite often turn to these tools to help the decision-making process. I recommend you check out "The Thinker's Toolkit" for a unique collection of proven, practical methods for simplifying any problem and making faster, better decisions every time.

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