Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

(New York: Penguin, 2018), 288

  • Improving decision quality is about increasing our chances of good outcomes, not guaranteeing them.
  • Poker like life (not chess), is a decision about an uncertain future. Outcomes depend on 1) quaity of decisons and 2) luck.
  • Everything is a Bet: When we make a decision, we really should admit we are not sure.
  • Resulting: base our assessment of decisions on the process rather than the outcome (some of the outcome is due to luck).
  • We win bets by striving to calibrate our beliefs and predictions about the future to more accurately represent the world.
  • “I’m not sure” — Acknowledging uncertainty
  • Redefining “Wrong”: Decisions are bets on the future. They aren’t “right” or “wrong” based on whether they turn out well or not.
  • Redefining confidence: how confident rather than binary
  • Belief: The more accurate our beliefs, the better the foundation of the bets we make.
  • The person who wins bets over the long run is the one with the most accurate beliefs. The more objective we are, the more accurate our beliefs become.
  • Offering a wager brings the risk out into the open, making explicit what is already implicit (and frequently overlooked).
  • Use the 10–10–10 process: Before a decision, ask yourself “What are the consequences of each of my options in ten minutes? Ten months? Ten years?”
  • Backcasting: Working backward from a positive future
    When we identify the goal and work backward from there to “remember” how we got there, the research shows that we do better.
  • Pre-mortems: Despite the popular wisdom that we achieve success through positive visualization, it turns out that incorporating negative visualization makes us more likely to achieve our goals.