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August 24, 2007



[So, quick decisions by lay-people fare no worse than lengthy, supposedly informed decisions by experts. ]

?? There usually aren't a lot of people competing with you in how much they like your house. The corporate budgeting problem is intrinisically much more difficult.


I'm going with the "snap decisions usually work" proposal, since a 26% failure rate means a 74% success rate.


I don't trust these numbers. There are aspects to property buying such as judging the area etc, which all take time and should be counted as part of the process...that is, the house itself is far from the whole. Also, even though a decision can be made in a relatively short space of time, the buyers have time to stew on their decision all the way through the process.

Paul Scargill

I'd also be interested to know how many properties they look at before making a final purchase desision, since this is an averaged value.

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

Luis Enrique

Well what little experience of the corporate budgeting problem I have had suggests that snap decisions are (sometimes, often?) taken by senior management and then justified afterwards with a big dose of group think.

But then again I haven't really been privy to the decision making process inside outfits like Shell or Cadbury so perhaps I do them a disservice.

Maynard Handley

"So, quick decisions by lay-people fare no worse than lengthy, supposedly informed decisions by experts. "

Blink was not defending snap decisions by lay people. More generally, it was not defending anything. It was simply pointing out ways in which the human cognitive system works, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

To the extent that the issues in Blink are relevant to this story, the point is that snap decisions by *experts* are often (in particular fields, this is not being claimed generally) no different from the same decisions arrived at with much time, effort and deliberation by those same experts.

If you want a paean to the thinking of the common man, you are talking about _The Wisdom of Crowds_, not _Blink_. (And even there, I think the author says occasionally that the aggregated intelligence of people who know something about what they are talking about is what is valuable, not the aggregate intelligence of a bunch of random ignoramuses.)

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