All Decisionmaking is Doomed to Failure: Questions for the Bias Industry

by Mario Rizzo  

Behavioral economists have an embarrassment of biases. They have discovered many cognitive and behavioral biases which plague human decisionmaking. By one count there are nearly a hundred of them.  

A cognitive bias is a systematic departure from rational decisionmaking. For example, a person may react differently if he is told that a drug has a 90% cure rate or that it has a 10% failure rate. A behavioral bias is the systematic inability to act in accordance with one’s true preferences. For example, I resolve to stop drinking but I don’t have the willpower.  

But what does all of this add up to? Continue reading