Why We Make Mistakes written by author Joseph Haliman talks about various human mistakes that a person commits in life, the actual reasons behind them and how they can be improved. The Pulitzer winning author has extracted reasons from neuroscience, psychology and economics to give clarity about the reasons.
Have you ever noticed when you are in a rush you do things foolishly? Or sometimes doing the simplest of things becomes difficult? Do you know the reason behind this foolishness? Read on to find out.
Sometimes our mind and eyes are not in a line of sync. Our eyes tell us something and our mind tells us some other thing because of which the reaction towards that situation is totally absurd and unrelated. It usually happens when either a person is bombarded with a lot of information or is occupied with a lot of things and processing information becomes difficult because there is no time.
We are limited by what we see and what we know
The author explains this situation in Why We Make Mistakes Book by giving an example. Once American actor Burt Reynolds kicked a man with no legs. But it was an honest mistake. One day Reynolds was visiting a bar when he saw a well-built man intimidating the customers. He tried to stop him but the man refused. Then he kicked him and suddenly after kicking realised his mistake. The author concludes from this example that we have a limited vision. It is restricted to 180 degrees because of which we only see partial things. This is the reason that we miss out on the important things almost every time.
Different people have different perspectives
The second mistake that the author points out is- a person forgets random numbers but is able to remember exact information if it is converted into significant information. It is because when a person converts random numbers, things or information into something relevant it becomes easier for him/ her to remember it. Let us take an example. Memorizing 1 4 9 2 1 7 7 6 1 9 4 5 is difficult because these are random numbers with no relation. But as soon as we put it into three sections like this 1492 – 1776 – 1945 it becomes super easy because now we can find ways to remember it. All these years are important in history therefore it becomes super easy to memorize them.
The secret to remembering such unimportant and random details lies within us. All we have to do is simplify and relate it with things that are comparatively easy to memorize.
Why we make snap decisions
Our judgment gets clouded when we see something different than what it usually is. For example, if we see a brown or a green color banana we refuse to eat it because we believe that it will taste different without even tasting it. A survey was conducted in two stores- one with masculine fragrance and one with feminine. It was noted that the store with more masculine fragrance inspired the males to shop more while in the female ones, the number of male shoppers went down.
If you wish to know these mistakes in detail, then the free book summary of this book is available for reading across various book summaries websites.
Simplification distorts our memory
Another mistake pointed out is that we usually tend to change the outcomes of our mistakes committed in the past. The author states that people tend to also exaggerate their past achievements. For example- You must have seen older people boasting about the efforts they used to put in their studies. They usually exaggerate in telling their marks. This is a very honest mistake committed by almost all human beings when they don’t remember their actual marks.
Multitasking is a myth
The next delusion that Joseph Hallinan points out in Why We Make Mistakes summary is that multitasking is a myth. Let us understand why. When we believe that we are multitasking we are simply changing focus. We are diverting our focus from one task to another and refocusing it on the previous task which tricks us into believing that we are actually handling so many things at the same time. Doing several things at once is not just mentally exhausting but also dangerous.
We overestimate ourselves
The sixth mistake mentioned in Why We Make Mistakes summary is our ability to overestimate ourselves. This point comes forward when people subscribe for gym memberships. Most people overestimate their power and take annual memberships and regret later. It is noted that males overestimate themselves much more than females. The free book summary available across various book summaries websites can help you delve deeper into this topic.
By now you must have understood the mistakes that people commit unintentionally. To avoid them one must pay attention to all the simple details, should not be affected by biases and most importantly do not rush into making decisions.