Hidden Traps

addition to psychological barriers, there are also hidden traps that can impact decision-making. These traps can be difficult to identify and can lead to poor decision-making outcomes. Here are three hidden traps to be aware of:

  • Confirmation bias: This occurs when we seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs and disregard information that contradicts them. This can lead to a narrow perspective and a failure to consider alternative viewpoints or possibilities.
    • Imagine a manager who believes that a certain employee is not performing well. The manager may only seek out information that confirms this belief, such as negative feedback from other employees, and ignore information that contradicts it, such as positive contributions the employee has made. This can lead to the manager making a biased and unfair decision about the employee’s future with the organization.
  • Sunk cost fallacy: This is the tendency to continue investing in a decision or project because of the time, money, or resources already invested, even if it no longer makes sense to do so. This can lead to throwing good money after bad and can prevent individuals or organizations from making necessary changes.
    • Imagine a business that has invested a significant amount of money into a project that is no longer viable due to changing market conditions. The business may continue to invest in the project because of the money already spent, even if it is unlikely to generate a return on investment. This can lead to the business wasting more resources and potentially damaging its financial health.
  • Overconfidence: This is when we believe we have more control over a situation than we actually do. This can lead to underestimating risks and not adequately preparing for potential outcomes.
    • Imagine a professional athlete who believes they can continue to play at a high level despite an injury. The athlete may underestimate the risks of further injury and not take adequate precautions, leading to a worsened injury and potentially the end of their career.

Identifying and avoiding these hidden traps can improve decision-making outcomes. This can include seeking out diverse perspectives and information sources to challenge existing beliefs, considering the potential costs and benefits of continuing a project or decision, and being realistic about the level of control and predictability in a situation. By recognizing the potential impact of these hidden traps, individuals and organizations can make more informed and effective decisions.