The Invisible Gorilla- And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by cognitive psychologists Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons outlines the trap of six “everyday illusions” that cloud the decisions that we make from those of little consequence to those that can have life and death implications.

This book is so chock full of interesting facts and insights into how we delude ourselves every day that I could write any number of articles. One that struck me as relevant to the MBTI was what Chabris and Simons had to say about confidence. In fact they had a lot to say on this topic as there are 32 references under this heading in the index.

We tend to equate confidence with ability. We seek it out when situations are uncertain or complex. We read books that advise us to raise confident children as the overall guiding principle for success in life. We chose leaders based on perceived levels of competence over others who are more capable and qualified. One startling example given was George W. Bush’s response to the very confident answer from CIA Director George Trent when asked about the strength of evidence about weapons of mass destruction. George is not the exception – we all tend to believe and trust confidence.

Confidence is often equated with Extraversion. Extraverts typically respond faster and louder which adds to the portrayal of confidence. One ‘take away’ from this discussion on confidence is the cautionary advice regarding group decision making processes. When this is done out loud people will often defer to the person with seniority or most influence. A secret ballot that elicits every person’s honest response is a more accurate way of determining an answer free from political or social factors.

Category: Perspectives
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