“Impact Bias”


Ever hear “I’m not sure I can reach my ideal weight and lose these extra pounds.” But outcomes don’t have to be based on experience grounds, even though the responses may be that you haven’t had lasting success in the past. Our tendency is to rely on previous results, as predestined future indicators, that’ll last.  This behavior, called Impact Bias causes us to poorly predict our ability to reach outcomes we deserve… We let past experience deal “an unfair strike-out” curve.

Impact bias causes us to buy into future results as being really good or really bad… depending on outcomes… we’ve already had. Based on past experiences, and the level of our emotional attachment, we often overestimate their value regarding forecasting future events. For example… when a previous job causes stress and the insecurity it presents… we might needlessly worry what an inquiring boss is about to say… especially when we hear… “Please stop by the office before you leave for home today…” or… we might overvalue future tasks as being a breeze… because we handled similar past experiences… with little planning and remarkable ease

 Impact bias drives behavior in ways that don’t optimize our happiness and well being a single cent… overestimating or underestimating… rarely predicts accurate outcomes… for any future event. The power of impact bias is that we find emotional comfort in making sense of past experiences as truisms forever… but this comfort, blocks recognizing, that placing all our emotional and rational eggs in one predictive basket… is purely an unproductive endeavor.

When it comes to impact bias… it’s a Funny Feeling to know… all too often we are overly focused on a particular past event and its emotional EFFECT… while simultaneously exercising every effort to be sense makers of this past experience…  and in the process ignoring opportunities… that are a crime to NEGLECT…

Copyright Alan P. Xenakis, MD, Doc X MD and Audra RN Funny Feelings  Air Date 01172019

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