Critical Analysis of Documentary: How You Make Decisions

Published: 2021-08-16
1222 words
5 pages
11 min to read
Vanderbilt University
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In our normal daily life, it is important to note that we make thousands of decisions, which total up to two thousand and ten thousand decisions apparently. The question is how are these decisions are made? Through the documentary on How You Make Decisions, it makes us go through the growing body of research by demonstrating that our logical and deliberate thought process is not significant as we- and they think they are operating. Significantly, our rational self is viewed to be acting like a minor character who views themselves to be the star of the show, when in fact its our intuitive and romantic mind that is carrying out the work, just like an autopilot that is hidden. The conflict that is existing between these the two systems is in most of the time as a result of everyday mistakes and all kind of glitches, as one of the series of the seeming revelation of the trivial experiment.

However, everyone is viewed to be rationally based on their upbringing, background, and experiences.Cognitive bias is then a label offered to processes of thought that ends up yielding some of the outcomes that are contrary to the accepted logic.

Basing focus on the Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman, broader exploration is identified through the conflict that was able to impact every life aspect from what money is spent on, diet, to bringing out the revelation that the intuitive part section of the brain can be so powerful. Kahneman ends up developing the theory that human beings in their nature are far from being rational as we have thought we are.And in fact, most of the decisions that we have made in the past are made by more intuitive and separate psychological system, which can be associated with our previous experiences and our species evolution. However, the main question is, why are we humans so guilty when it comes to deciding for example of confirmation bias that is, why are we making decisions that are fitting with our old ones.

Listening to such logic in the documentary, feel like the human error came out in the experiment and not in the people's intuition,especially when they are exposed on the spot and asked different questions that they would need data to provide the correct answer. so in this case the context in which the questions are asked is making them guess. If any case there were sufficient resources and time, they would most probably realize that they didnt know and would end up doing the research and through this, their intuition would have been correct.

Through Horizon gaining access to one of the training center for species, that was near Washington DC, where was viewed to be bearing this out. It is important to note that through the programme, it was asserted that the trainee was not in a position of providing enough weight to some of the new facts. But what came out was just a frustration which didnt offer a proper explanation as to where those poor guinea pigs went wrong.

About the taxi drivers in the documentary, during the rainy days, almost every individual wants to be at home, that doesnt mean that the taxi drivers are choosing not pursuing of gaining money during the rainy days. Through this, biased view of life is shown. At the time not all everything is money, at times just making sure that you enjoy dinner with the family by staying indoors instead of driving in severe weather is essential.

However, on our tendency towards loss aversion which was identified to be one of the player roles when it comes to a financial crash.I tend to support one of the psychologists who demonstrated that if an individual understand loss aversion which always directs us to make one of the worst financial decision, we could then design better regulations and better institutions

Notably, according to Daniel Kahneman if we think that most of the time we have reasons for what we believe in, then that is often a grave mistake. Reasons do not support our wishes, hopes, and our beliefs. Comparatively, the statement made is viewed to be wrong since it at times most of the time people do reason with what they have strong opinions for, for example from a religious background, most Muslims and Christians have based their hopes and faith on what can support my reasons. This is based on their experience and the practical application of what they have learned.

Since Tversky and Kahneman first made an investigation on some of the original mind pictures, some of the lists of the recognized cognitive biases has mushroomed. Basically, through present bias it makes us focus our attention on some of the things which are happening now and prevent the worry that focuses on the future(Yechiam,2015). In one is offered with a half box of chocolate in a years time or even a whole can in a day and a year, one will probably focus on waiting for an extra day. However, if one is offered with a half box of chocolate currently, or a whole box of chocolate to be provided the next morning, then one will most likely consider taking half a box of chocolate now. It is important to note that when faced with the immediate promise of chocolate, waiting for one day, now look impossible. This is supported by Prof Dan Ariely, from the University of Duke who identifies this as one of the most significant biases. That form of bias that makes things like smoking, overeating, having unprotected sex and even texting when driving. However, the confirmation bias creates the picture of the tendency created when one is forced to look for information that is he or she has already known. That is where we are buying newspapers which are agreeing with our views. Through this one can question out the halo effect the hindsight bias, loss aversion, the negative bias and even the halo effect.

Contrary, if bias has in the past years evolved, and have determined survival, over millions of years, then the central question is, why would one want to prevent it? And if rational logic were evolutionary better than bias, later it would have primarily recognized the creature that survived the longest. Through a psychologist at Yale University, that made a proper investigation on how deep-seated the nature of such biases, it is important to note that until one understands the origin of evolutionary on the two system of thoughts, then one cannot recognize on the means to change them.

By the end of the documentary, my conclusion is the documentary producers through their film had underestimated their viewers. Relatively, there is no significant difference when the comparison is made to watching most of the worst science documentaries and hence be merely guilty of bias confirmation, although the general view seems to be very rational.


How You Really Make Decisions - BBC Documentary - Horion Doucmentary. (2015, December 13). Retrieved December 03, 2017, from

Laub, M. T. (2016). Keeping signals straight: how cells process information and make decisions. PLoS biology, 14(7), e1002519.

Worthen, V., & Isakson, R. (2010). Hope-The Anchor of the Soul: Cultivating Hope and Positive Expectancy. Issues in Religion and Psychotherapy, 33(1), 9.

Yechiam, E. (2015). Psychological Science Agenda| January 2015. Psychological Science.

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