Event: TEDGlobal 2010
Speaker: Laurie Santos
Bio: Studies primate psychology and monkeynomics — testing problems in human psychology on primates, who (not so surprisingly) have many of the same predictable irrationalities we do
OK, this is embarrassing. The speaker REVEALS how we THINK that we are supersmart (and vain about it) but, in reality, using her words, “we can also be incredibly, incredibly dumb when it comes to some aspects of our decision making.”
She demonstrates, quite convincingly, that we are still MONKEYS! Yikes! Well, can’t blame her though. Most of us are ADDICTED to living predicable lives – doing same things repeatedly, forgetting the famous definition:
“Definition of Insanity: Doing the SAME THING again and again and expecting DIFFERENT RESULTS”.
Here is the shocking part. We do NOT like negative feedback and fail to learn – especially in matters of money.
“When we get negative feedback, we still, the next time we’re face with a certain context, tend to make the same errors. And so this has been a real puzzle to me as a sort of scholar of human nature. What I’m most curious about is, how is a species that’s as smart as we are capable of such bad and such consistent errors all the time?”
She quotes Camus:
“Man is the only species who refuses to be what he really is.”
She shares a fascinating research done on ACTUAL MONKEYS, hoping to find some way out of this insanity. There may not be easy answers, but there is hope. She concludes:
“The hope is that you all will think about your limitations, not necessarily as un-overcomable, but to recognize them, accept them and then use the world of design to actually figure them out. That might be the only way that we will really be able to achieve our own human potential and really be the noble species we hope to all be.“
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