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Making snap decisions: the 50:50:90 rule

#1
Most of us have heard of this rule, one of Murphy's laws. However, it is obvious that the 90% figure for the number of times of picking the wrong one is an overstimate. Or is it? Have a look at this:


Any thoughts on this? What part do biases and cognitive errors make? Why are those who make faulty decisions this way allowed to have an advantage over those who pause and make the right choice?
 
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#10
What a brilliant approach to addressing complacency! I don't know the square root of anything about flying but it's an excellent motif for basing a safety training lesson on. I think I'll nick it :)


"Listen to the cry of the Basenji!"
 
#12
I'm not sure what waffling on about his wife has to do with it, but as far as making snap decisions and improvising is concerned isn't that what command tasks and exercises are for? Stuff goes wrong and you make do with what you have or try something else. If you've got an emergency in an aircraft then it's probably best to follow the set procedures cos you probably don't have much time to faff around thinking up ingenious new ways to fix an engine fire.

Thinking outside the box should be encouraged in training though, apparently after WW1 when Rommel was a lecturer on infantry tactics he used to ask his students how to get some entrenched French soldiers out of a barn. When the students asked what Rommel had done he said that he took his flare gun and shot the barn with it, this caught the barn on fire and the French ran out of the barn in retreat.
 
#13
I'm not sure what waffling on about his wife has to do with it, but as far as making snap decisions and improvising is concerned isn't that what command tasks and exercises are for? Stuff goes wrong and you make do with what you have or try something else. If you've got an emergency in an aircraft then it's probably best to follow the set procedures cos you probably don't have much time to faff around thinking up ingenious new ways to fix an engine fire.

Thinking outside the box should be encouraged in training though, apparently after WW1 when Rommel was a lecturer on infantry tactics he used to ask his students how to get some entrenched French soldiers out of a barn. When the students asked what Rommel had done he said that he took his flare gun and shot the barn with it, this caught the barn on fire and the French ran out of the barn in retreat.
...and so was born the German tactic of dealing with large amounts of people in confined spaces!


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#14
Actions on, SOPs, weapon handling tests, checking a canopy after it opens, packing the chute properly in the first place, first aid, mnemonics for lesson plans?


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These are all procedures are they not? What happens when one encounters an unexpected problem that has not been seen before?

My guess is that the problem is that people will have a natural tendancy to pick the first possible solution that comes to mind, without pausing to consider what might go wrong or possible alternatives. This type of snap decision making is liable to be influenced unduly by prejudices and biases.
 
#15
These are all procedures are they not? What happens when one encounters an unexpected problem that has not been seen before?

My guess is that the problem is that people will have a natural tendancy to pick the first possible solution that comes to mind, without pausing to consider what might go wrong or possible alternatives. This type of snap decision making is liable to be influenced unduly by prejudices and biases.
Training is designed to make certain actions instinctive but in a tight spot instincts usually take over anyway....often intuitive but fatal. An interesting paradox...pilots who ignore instruments because they contradict a feeling in the seat of their pants and crash. In some countries taxi drivers have a crucifix on the dash and believe that if the car goes out of control they must take both hands from the steering wheel and grasp the cross. In a strange world of technology that places us into circumstances that are dangerous human error becomes the greatest risk. :cool:
 
#16
Training is designed to make certain actions instinctive but in a tight spot instincts usually take over anyway....often intuitive but fatal. An interesting paradox...pilots who ignore instruments because they contradict a feeling in the seat of their pants and crash. In some countries taxi drivers have a crucifix on the dash and believe that if the car goes out of control they must take both hands from the steering wheel and grasp the cross. In a strange world of technology that places us into circumstances that are dangerous human error becomes the greatest risk. :cool:
Which reveals a reporting bias by you HB ! if the driver thinks he is going to die, then that is a rational thing for him to do GIVEN HIS BELIEFS. Any rational choice theory has the same basis, in economics or psychology.
 
#17
Which reveals a reporting bias by you HB ! if the driver thinks he is going to die, then that is a rational thing for him to do GIVEN HIS BELIEFS. Any rational choice theory has the same basis, in economics or psychology.
I'm not sure that's right... especially if beliefs are irrational in the first place. Can any action be irrational? The word irrational needs to be removed from our language if what you say is correct. Not a problem because all actions are probably independent of will anyway... :wink:
 
#20
I sense a philosophy graduate here. And i agree as well. Some of people who thought the world was going to end a while back made rational decisions given their beliefs. But the grounding for a belief is simply another belief which is itself grounded in another belief. If you want to get out of this regression have a look at philosophical foundationalism: that there must be some set of core beliefs that require no further justification. This is oversimplifying as there are a good few schools of thought within this subject so if you really want to get into it be prepared for a real mind fcuk.
 

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