Thinking in Bets

Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

by Annie Duke ⚡

I really enjoyed this one, it made me think a lot about how I approach problems in my personal and professional life and how I engage with other people.

In particular. what stuck out was the section on confirmatory versus exploratory thought, which is something I've observed in the past without really thinking much about it.

Confirmatory thought can also be thought of as confirmation bias, that is we're predisposed to confirm things that we already agree with.

Exploratory thought takes a more neutral approach to a problem and explores it from all sides, while being careful to avoid existing biases held by the individual or group.

Another thing that stuck out in Thinking in Bets was Merton's CUDOS system. That is;

  • Communism - all data belongs to the group
  • Universalism - apply the same standards to claims and evidence regardless of their source
  • Disinterestedness - be wary of conflicts of interest that may exist
  • Organised Scepticism - encourage scepticism in the group to encourage exploratory thought

Finally, Thinking in Bets also raises the concept of the 10-10-10 approach to decision making. Which means takin the time to think about an event or decision and how you might feel about it in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years time. This approach pioneered by Suzy Welch encourages us to engage system 2 when it comes to decision making.

I'm definitely going to be making more conscious efforts in the future to apply these methodologies to my life