Posted on November 23, 2010


Peter: ” Nobodies going to get that store but me – no matter what your dumb anhoring and adjustment model says!”

Jenny: ” Shut up Peter, I want to hear what happens when you only have modest or weak confidence in a belief?”

Professor Wiggly: “The model predicts that modest belief can cause more problems than strong beliefs, than being pig-headed. At least the true believer knows where he or she stand. The modest believer – the reasonable person who tries to see both sides – has trouble making up their mind. They discover that there’s much to be said for both sides,  they suffer from information overload. So they procrastinate. If it’s an important question they can’t make up their mind or keep changing it it – they may become anxious or depressed. According to the model you can only be reasonable or rational about simple problems. For complex problems – like walking into the future  with confidence you need strong beliefs – biases and pet theories – to guide you through the awsome maze!”

Penny: ” OK, so the model says you need strong confidence in your predictions – you need biases – to make decisions about complex problems. Modest confidence and reasoning are OK for simple problems, but lead to proctrastination, anxiety or depression when faced with complexity – with the unreliable and conflicting information that complex problems involve. What about when you have little or no confidence in your predictions, no confidence in your imaginary bridges leading into the future?”

Peter: “You curl up and stay in bed nursing a hangover!”

Professor Wiggly: “You’d think so, but the model holds that weak or no confidence is better that modest confidence.”

Penny: ” What? How come?”


Posted in: Sciencing