By Jennifer Outcelt
If you follow the Vantage Point blog religiously (and you should), then you have certainly read another post of mine referencing the popular podcast Freakonomics Radio. Not only do I love this podcast for its ability to articulate complicated concepts in engaging ways, I also love how it makes me feel smarter and generally better than my counterparts. However, I am convinced this is a placebo effect because I am definitely neither of those things.
For this post, I’m excited to share a fantastic Freakonomics episode which I find to be inherently applicable to anyone who can classify themselves as human (unless you are an AI that has gained consciousness and is studying human weakness for an eventual overthrow, then I assume this classification applies to you).
As humans, we suck at planning, and it can all be attributed to this annoying tendency toward optimism. There is a researched fallacy called the Planning Fallacy, and it’s “a tendency to underestimate the time it will take to complete a project while knowing that similar projects have typically taken longer in the past. So it’s a combination of optimistic prediction about a particular case in the face of more general knowledge that would suggest otherwise.” Basically, this episode is all about the Planning Fallacy, Optimism Bias, and why everything we humans do takes longer, costs more, is more effort, and generally leaves us bewildered that our expectations were way off.
So, why don’t we learn from experience and get more realistic in our estimates? Click on the Freakonomics episode link below and listen (or read) to be enlightened! You can also find the Freakonomics Radio podcast on most podcast applications.