Falsity Of Confidence

Falsity Of Confidence

Kyle Messenger

Eng 122

November, 4th 2019


Have you ever been over confident about something and then you realize just how wrong you really were? Well, this happens more than you think.  People make assumptions of everything they do. But, when it comes to your career, it can be a lot more serious.  If you were to portray yourself as a professional when in reality you don’t know much about your career, it can effect important people that can make a difference. Also, if you are in need of a professional for a serious problem you are going to want somebody who is truly a master in their career. In, “Don’t Blink!  The Hazards of Confidence” author Daniel Kahnemen, explains how to tell someone who actually have mastery in there field and from ones that don’t.

Kanheman explains how overconfident professionals really aren’t experts after all. For example, Kanheman describes a phenomena called ” WYSIATI. ‘What you see is all there is.’ We had made up a story from the little we knew but had no way to allow for what we did not know about the individuals future, which is everything that would actually matter.” This explains how they only diagnosed their soldier from just what they have seen in a single test.  When you think of a professional, wouldn’t they take a longer or more valid procedure to know about their candidates and get a full background idea rather than assuming his performance of battle just by seeing him help push a log over a wall. Which brings me to the next point, it is not only the pros who think they know more than they do, everyone in the world according to Kanheman has a mindset that puts them at a disadvantage already. “We are prone to think that the world is more regular and predictable than it really is, because our memory automatically and continuously maintains a story about what is going on, and because the rules of memory tend to make that story as coherent as possible and to suppress alternatives.” This is a valuable way to describe how memory can be a major factor in our thinking which can alter our minds to only think about your past experiences even if they are not the same scenario as the present. So, if you were to examine somebody’s career and were to notice that they use the same tactics to depict one thing or another, this would be an indication that they don’t have as much knowledge as they speak of.  This can relate to my experience with my teacher because she continued to believe her fallacy about football players and continued to believe her assumptions. From reading Kahnemans views this shows me that my teacher was just being unprofessional or really believed her claim about me.Another way, you can tell if somebody falsely believes they are masters in their field include the way they operate in their field. In the article the author explains how the soldiers would be picked based off of one fitness test that hasn’t changed at all. This supports, how believing you know everything can affect your strategies and procedures in your career. This matters in the world because Kahneman believes that this is everywhere.This leads to problems not being able to solve which can then hurt us tremendously as a nation.

 Kahneman wrote an article about making bad judgments. He describes how he was in the Israeli army, what is significant to his argument and the army is that he describes how they drafted soldiers. They picked soldiers by the testing all of them with the same task. Kahneman soon tells us how the results were unreliable and very ineffective with drafting quality personnel for their military. Later, Kahneman describes how a man named “Terry Odean” found some other significance of bad judgment made in the field of the stock market. Odeon describes how many people believe they are going to make more money if they have more stocks. But, in fact he claims that having more stocks makes you more likely to make less money. Technically, all throughout the article he describes how skill is more important than experience. This means that people need to invest their time into developing their skills instead of focusing on past lessons or experiences to make their decisions. He makes these points because it can make our world even more developed and can help individual success and certainty of your task. Rather, just irrationally guessing.

We all know how people make some bad assumptions from time to time. They can happen with anything. Such as, schoolwork, relationships, hiring people, and other things we asses. But, what’s important about bad judgments is that they put a huge affect on our world in a negative way.

When I first enrolled into my geometry class at the beginning of my sophomore year I was already in a bad spot with math. What I mean by that is, I struggled with the subject my entire life. Not only that but, I just passed algebra freshman year. so, when I arrived I was already in a bad mindset about my capabilities in the subject. Now, you can ask why didn’t I really try to make a comeback in my mentality and work ethic for the topic, well my teacher didn’t believe I could make the change either. On the second day of my geometry class, I was wearing a shirt from my football team at the school. My teacher noticed and questioned if I play for the team. I responded with a yes and then she said,” Well lets hope you are not going to be one of those football players.” At first I took it as a joke but then she assured to me that she was not kidding. This caused a serious feeling in my head that made me less motivated and smart about my choices in the class. I wasn’t succeeding in the subject because I wouldn’t effectively work on the material outside of the class frequently. Kahneman claims a common fallacy which is relatable to this experience ,” People who face a difficult question often answer an easier one instead, without realizing it.” This quote relates a lot to what my teacher and I believed in my ability in the subject.. When I started geometry off  the wrong foot I already told myself that I couldn’t do the work to meet my teachers expectations because she already has a biased opinion about who I am as a student. This made me blame the reason why I can’t succeed in the class on my teacher, and my past struggles in the subject. This correlates to the Kanhemen article because he says,” We are prone to think that the world is more regular and predictable than it really is.” This quote instantly made me think about my geometry teacher because her assumptions about me made me believe everything she said to me about my abilities. It almost felt predictable that I couldn’t succeed. This later became a life changing realization of mine because I stood up and decided to go the extra mile, that I never went to for the class. I engaged with a tutor twice a week for a month. I needed an 86 on the final to pass the class, I ended the exam with a 92. Ever since then, I realized that the world is not what everyone says and claims things to be. As you can see, Kahneman’s fallacies are visible in my life and probably yours too.

As people in society we depend on professionals to solve a problem or give us feedback on  whatever we desire. Believe it or not, we face many professionals in our life that really don’t have mastery in their careers. Why is this important? Well, if you would go to a radiologist because you were injured they could tell you nothing is wrong or claim it is something it’s not. To go into depth about this, Kahneman describes how to identify somebody who portrays themselves as a professional when they really aren’t. “You should not take assertive and confident people at their own evaluation unless you have independent reason to believe that they know what they are talking about.” (Kahneman pg.8) Now, what Kahneman believes is that if a person communicates with you in a suspiciously overconfident way or is strict about his opinion. Ultimately, they are most likely overconfident and shouldn’t be taken seriously unless a valid reason tells you otherwise. On the other hand, Kahneman also believes he knows what makes an expert reliable is their “prolonged experience” ( Kahneman 7/9) and the quality of mistakes they discover and fix overtime. In my life I have realized that I have spoken too and believed many individuals or even groups that strictly believe something when they are completely wrong. In your life, it is very important to discover fallacies and these red flags to help determine what kind of “professional” you are cooperating with.

When it comes to your judgment about something, it can be the difference in a big step forwards or back. This is a common issue in our world today. For young students believing they can’t succeed, to military officials blindly guessing who they are going to pick for their army, all the way to the stock market that is run off of young adults trying to get as many stocks as they can rather than doing it the right way.  Or doctors and radiologists portraying themselves as experts when they really aren’t. There are many ways that people create bad judgments in life. But there are ways we can avoid making these judgments, and here’s how. You could examine the successful people in the field or activity you are in, this process enables your mind to think the same way as the successful person does and to do the things that they do. Another way, to avoid bad judgment is to simply educate yourself with the information you need about something rather than assuming your successful or you can’t do it based off of past personal accounts. Instead, you will need to learn from your mistakes as you are going through experiences. By practicing this strategy, Kahneman’s view is  that it can very well be the difference in being a reliable source or not.  By searching out for the right way to do things and building and focusing on your skills instead of assuming yours or others abilities, this will make you a more successful at identifying and making good judgments because you will not be as vulnerable or suffer from the bad.

Works Cited

Don’t Blink! The Hazards of Confidence – The New York Times

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