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Published on Feb 25, 2015
Smart people are logical and objective. They (we) look at the evidence to help make the best possible decisions. We are not influenced by hype or emotion and as a result our behavior reflects the best the world has to offer. Cognitive science now tells us that these beliefs about ourselves and others (especially scientists) are wrong. All of us tend to make decisions based on intuition or emotion and then justify those decisions later with logic, a process called rationalization. The most influential element in our environment is not scientific evidence but stories. We love stories. Research shows that we are more likely to buy a product or embrace a process because of a friend, colleague, or relative and ignore evidence that might go against that decision. Are these bad things? Is there anything we can do about it? We have a long history of being influenced by stories and it has helped us survive. Linda suggests that the real answer is we need both approaches -- stories and emotion + evidence and logic. Both approaches have flaws and benefits. Linda will share examples and tell her own stories to try to convince you and try to help us do a better job of making decisions.