Fast & Slow Thinking

We take knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Though it has its benefits, our instinctive tendency to preserve mental ‘bandwidth’ and make fast decisions can instead lead us to poor ones.

Heller, Shah, Guryan, Ludwig, Mullainathan & Pollack (2017). Thinking, fast and slow? Field experiments to reduce crime … in Chicago. Quarterly Journal of Economics.

The study

Setup

2,064 male students from 9 schools in Chicago were enrolled in a two-year-long program that encouraged system-two slow thinking on how to manage situations of conflict.

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Results

Participation in the program reduced total arrests by 35% and violent crime arrests by 50%.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Key Takeaways

Add a little friction. We constantly weigh up effort vs rewards, so seeing one long sign-up form can lead us to make a fast system-one decision not to do so.

A process that’s Chunked, features reflective Goal Primes and clearly shows the product benefits will work better. 

Provide warnings for damaging decisions.

Instagram have launched "comment warning", live-analysing a comment and notifying of potential offense, without removing the Autonomy to post. This allows for reflection and avoids Reactance.

Build in reflective periods for big decisions.

Knee-jerk, short-term decisions can harm our longer-term goals. E.g., financial firms can help us make smarter decisions about withdrawing all our savings by building in a reflective delay, especially when such decisions conflict with our prior Commitments and goals.

Fast & Slow Thinking

We take knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Though it has its benefits, our instinctive tendency to preserve mental ‘bandwidth’ and make fast decisions can instead lead us to poor ones.

Heller, Shah, Guryan, Ludwig, Mullainathan & Pollack (2017). Thinking, fast and slow? Field experiments to reduce crime … in Chicago. Quarterly Journal of Economics.

The study

Setup

2,064 male students from 9 schools in Chicago were enrolled in a two-year-long program that encouraged system-two slow thinking on how to manage situations of conflict.

Results

Participation in the program reduced total arrests by 35% and violent crime arrests by 50%.

Key Takeaways

Add a little friction. We constantly weigh up effort vs rewards, so seeing one long sign-up form can lead us to make a fast system-one decision not to do so.

A process that’s Chunked, features reflective Goal Primes and clearly shows the product benefits will work better. 

Provide warnings for damaging decisions.

Instagram have launched "comment warning", live-analysing a comment and notifying of potential offense, without removing the Autonomy to post. This allows for reflection and avoids Reactance.

Build in reflective periods for big decisions.

Knee-jerk, short-term decisions can harm our longer-term goals. E.g., financial firms can help us make smarter decisions about withdrawing all our savings by building in a reflective delay, especially when such decisions conflict with our prior Commitments and goals.

Fast & Slow Thinking

We take knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Though it has its benefits, our instinctive tendency to preserve mental ‘bandwidth’ and make fast decisions can instead lead us to poor ones.

The study

Setup

2,064 male students from 9 schools in Chicago were enrolled in a two-year-long program that encouraged system-two slow thinking on how to manage situations of conflict.

Results

Participation in the program reduced total arrests by 35% and violent crime arrests by 50%.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

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Fast & Slow Thinking

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box Two