Human Biases Can Be Adaptive: Reply to Kahneman, Lavallo, & Sibony

In the interest of productive dialectic, I present some alternatives to "The Big Idea: Before You Make That Big Decision..." by Daniel Kahneman, Dan Lovallo, and Olivier Sibony (2011, June), in the Harvard Business Review, in which prominent scientific findings about cognitive “bias” are presented as guidelines that can be utilized in business.

The content below was extracted from my communication with colleagues in July 2011 about the relevance of Professor Kahneman’s increasingly popular ideas—extrapolating from scientific research in the laboratory—to our work on decision making “in the wild” that is fundamentally situated and social, intersubjectively verifiable, subject to validation by observable outcomes, and that reflects both choice and responsibility.

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Gary Riccio

As a partner and as a consultant, I deliver value by identifying, aggregating, and developing previously undervalued assets--people and systems, internal and external, public and private, scientific and technical--for exceptional impact.