Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why smart people are stupid


Daniel Kahneman

Here’s a simple arithmetic question: A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?


The vast majority of people respond quickly and confidently, insisting the ball costs ten cents. This answer is both obvious and wrong. (The correct answer is five cents for the ball and a dollar and five cents for the bat.)


The question and answer above come from an intriguing article in the New Yorker called, "Why smart people are stupid," by Jonah Lehrer that explores the work of Nobel Laureate, Daniel Kahneman, a professor of psychology at Princeton.  New research is showing that so called "smart" people are in many instances, more vulnerable to thinking errors like the one caused by the simple question above.