Judgment Isn’t About Accuracy, It’s About…

Judgment isn’t about accuracy, it’s about taking the step. 

Sometimes in the right direction. Other times into dog s***. But still, you have to take the step. 

Here’s Lewis Wolpert on finding the stories of our steps – good and bad – to keep moving forward: 

I argue that the primary aim of human judgement is not accuracy but the avoidance of paralyzing uncertainty. We have a fundamental need to tell ourselves stories that make sense of our lives. We hate uncertainty and …find it intolerable.

– Lewis Wolpert

Human judgement turns into loss-avoidance on three levels:

  1. Don’t lose your life (aka don’t die)
  2. Don’t lose your stuff
  3. Don’t lose your status 

Sure, you don’t know what’s going to happen next ,but if the outcome is at all desirable AND if you won’t die, if it won’t cost you too dearly in the financial sense, and if people won’t think you’re the worst for doing it – you’re probably going to do it. 

When we’re motivating others, this is a good starting point. 

When we’re understanding our own choices, again good AND bad, it can help us unpack “why.” 

And once we let go of accuracy, but we start to focus on the incentives at each of these layers, we can start really understanding the messy realities of progress. 

What else would you add to this list? Let me know.