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Bench Press Average for Guys of Different Weight
Foods That Make You Bald
Stop Snoring-Tips That Work
Waist-to-Hip The New Number That Counts
Tiger's Core Work-Out
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Prostate Cancer Linked to Fatty Diet
Snoring Affects ED
Normal Penis Size
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Low Folate Harms Sperm-New Study
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Exercises That Improve Erectile Function
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Benefits of Masturbation
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Male Baldness Affected By Diet
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Galleries of the Week-Browse
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Man Poll of the Month-Below
If You Had to Sleep with a Woman Other Than
Your Wife or Girlfriend, Who Would It Be?-Vote
|This Month's Man Polls
Man Poll Number 1:
If you had to choose a
woman to sleep with other
than your wife or girlfriend,
who would it be?
Top Choices (So far):
Jessica Alba 79%
Eva Mendez 0%
Jessica Biehl 0%
Man Poll Number 2:
Should Eliot Spitzer Have
Resigned for Sleeping With
Man Poll Number 3:
Is Barack Obama manly
enough to be
Are You a Wishful Thinker? ---
Here's How It Affects Your Chances
The Not-So-Secret Reason Most People Will Never Become Rich
7 Unusual and Powerful Effects Exercise Has on Your Brain
10 Wealthiest Zip Codes in America
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7 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back
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Mad Men -How Anger Harms Your Health
That Angry Man Might Just Be Depressed - How Men Mask Depression
Why Do I Keep Remembering the Past?-Causes and Cures
Why Are You So Stubborn?-It May Not Be Your Fault
Get Yourself Under Control - Top 10 Anger Management Techniques
Top 5 Signs That a Man Is Depressed
Morning Type or Night Owl? - It Could Predict Your Future Net Worth
Why Do I Talk So Fast?-Causes and Cures
Can Women Smell Your Testosterone?
Scent of a Woman -How Her Smells Affect You
Bad Bed Habits That Turn Her Off
Herbs and Foods That Boost Testosterone
How to Improve Your Game with Women
How to Get a Great Shave
Is Monogamy Normal?
Improve Recovery Times Between Erections
Prostate Cancer -How It is Linked to a Fatty Diet
Stop Burning When You Urinate
10 Superfoods for Mens Health
Yoga to Strengthen Erectile Performance
Foods That Help You Maintain Your Erection
Normal Penis Size
Get Lean Diet for Men
October 27, 2016
By Susan Callahan, Contributing Columnist
Today, as I write, the 2016 elections are only 13 days away.
Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton are battling it
out to the bitter end and most polls have the race too close to
call. Polls are all over the place. Who knows who will win? No
one. And yet, when I visit the message boards and websites
of those who favor Trump and those who favor Clinton,
something interesting emerges. News breaking against their
favored candidate does not seem to shake the opinions of
these potential voters. The two camps can see the same
event and rationalize it in diametrically opposed ways and end
up, ultimately, even more committed to the person they are
Because some of the discussion boards actually indicate what
the person who is commenting does for a living, I know that
many of the people are from analytical fields ---one is a
biochemist, another works for a software firm, another runs
her own energy consulting business. But these smart,
analytical people are unshaken in their support for their
candidate even though bombshell negative news comes out
daily against both of them.
What's going on here? The very basis of an intelligent mind
is the ability to form a reasoned conclusion based on new and
changing information. Yet, it appears that, even though the
voters are analytical and capable of receiving information and
adjusting their conclusion based on new information, that
something weird is going on. The minds of these voters are
no longer receptive of new information. Their minds are made
up. At this point in the election, no new information will be
able to shake them from their favored candidate.
Wishful Thinking Relies on a Special Mind Trick
Scientists call what is happening "confirmation bias".
Confirmation bias is a sort of mind trick that you play on
Confirmation bias works like this. Say you are asked to judge
whether a man is a thief. You sit there on a jury and listen to
teh evidence. Initially, maybe you really have no opinion one
way or another. But as teh evidence pours in, your mind
starts to tilt one way or another even in themiddle of teh trial.
If they took a snap vote, maybe you would vote "guilty".
Then, the next half of the case unfolds. Stuides show that ,
wven if teh new evidence is favoprable to teh man, that once
yo0u have recahe beyond the tilting point where you formed
an aopinion -- positive or negative -- that what your mind
does is to look for ways to support your intial opinion.
Beyond the tipping point after your mind is positive or
negative toward a person, you no longer weigh all new
information the same. You are no longer a referee of
information. You are a player. You want your side to win. So,
when new information comes in against your side, you
devalue it. And when new information comes in that's
positive for your side, you tend to inflate it and give it more
value than it's due.
You are now in the process of confirming that you were right
all along. You are in the grip of confirmation bias. And it's
dangerous. In fact, confirmation bias is the single greatest
threat to your judgement and decision-making.
Wishful thinking relies on confirmation bias. Wishful thinking
occurs when you want something so badly that you start to
believe that it is true.
The Yankees are going to win the pennant. I know it's true.
It doesn't matter that they are 23 games back with 24 to go.
I know it's true. So I bet big on them. And when they don't
win, my hear and my bank account are crushed.
In the dotcom boom, many people bet their life savings and
lost because they "knew" that tech stocks could only go in
one direction --- up. They believed in the inevitable upward
trend of these stocks even when the stock market started to
sour. In fact, they didn't take downturns as a warning sign.
No, they instead doubled down, buying on dips in value,
seeing these dips as lucky opportunities to grab the stocks at
a lower value before it started to climb up again. They risked
it all, using margin accounts in which they borrowed money
from the brokerage houses to buy even more stock.
Of course, the dotcom boom was a bubble. And when the
bubble burst, these investors who had lost their ability to
"see" that reality had changed, lost their shirts. They had
become victims of confirmation bias. They had become victims
of wishful thinking.
Everybody loves a good comeback. Everybody loves an
underdog. We all love to root for team or fighter who keeps
fighting against al odds and wins.
But that innate desire to root for the underdog, even when
we are the underdog, can get us into serious trouble
financially when it becomes disengaged from reality.
How Do Successful People Guard Against Wishful Thinking?
First of all, a confession is in order, I am an optimist by
nature. In fact, I also don't even like to be around pessimists.
Studies have shown that most successful entrepreneurs are
optimists. But they are a special kind of optimist. They are
optimist with a penchant for also sizing up the downside.
To guard against the dangerous spiral of wishful thinking,
successful people are experts at hedging.
Here are some ways to hedge against wishful thinking.
1. Pay Close Attention to People Who Try to Over-Identify
Scientists who have studied the phenomenon of wishful
thinking have scanned the brains of people in the grips of
their beliefs. What they have found is that the areas of the
brain responsible for sustaining these wishful thinking are the
same areas which are activated by your social identity. These
areas are the pre-frontal cortex, the parietal lobe and the
Your social identity is a portal to manipulating you. Con
artists know this secret, That is why you will probably never
see it coming if a con artist shares your social identity. If
you play on the same basketball team, share the same ethnic
identity and background and that trusted "friend" turns on
you, you will be completely vulnerable.
You know the many, many stories of rich athletes who end up
broke at the end of their careers because they let a "friend"
manage their money? The key to the con is the shared social
When you share a social identity, you root for each other.
Even when evidence starts to turn up that should raise flags
fro you, you ignore them. Why? Not because you don't have
the ability to see the deception. No, the reason you ignore
them is because you actually "need" to continue to believe
what you've always believed about the person who is
So, guard against giving people with whom you share a social
identity roles or jobs in your life for which they are not
objectively qualified. Don't let your brother-in-law manage
your money just because you know him and like him. Don't
hire brokers because you both like the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And don't vote for political candidates just because you like
the way they dance or sing or wear their hair like you do.
2. Hedge Your Thinking with Contrarian Beliefs
Some of the best investors of all time are contrarians.
Contrarian thinkers are the opposite of those who follow the
herd. Contrarian thinkers are by the nature skeptical, always
looking for the "but" in an argument. They find the thorns on
Most people are not trained to look at both sides of a story.
But you can acquire this way of thinking by practicing. Make
a list of every reason that your favorite belief is provably
wrong. Practice arguing persuasively against your most
coveted beliefs. Over time, you will start to see more and
more holes in your beliefs.
Warren Buffet, the world's most successful long-term
investor is currently worth about $60 billion. But even
Warren Buffett knows that it wold not be smart to continue
to bet on a stellar record --even his own --forever. That is
why he has stated that the advice he would give his wife
were she alive when he died (she is not) would be to sell her
holdings in his fund (Berkshire Hathaway) and invest them
instead in an low cost index fund. Buffett believes in himself
and he believes in the company he has built. But even he
advises you to hedge against his own life's work. Buffett,
genius that he is, is a contrarian to the end.
3. Re-trace The Birthplace of Your Beliefs
Say you are a Trump woman or man. Say you are a Hillary
Clinton supporter. Do you remember the moment in time
when you made up your mind to be in the camp you now are
in? What was it that finally made up your mind?
As an experiment to strengthen your ability to withstand
wishful thinking, do an autopsy of your own belief systems.
Was it something you learned about them that turned you for
or against one of them? Was it an e-mail you received from a
politician you admire advocating one of the other?
The clearer you can see the origins of your beliefs, the better
you will be able to see if and when those beliefs started
diverging from reality.
It's okay --by "okay" I mean not personally damaging -- to
believe in someone or some stock or something else and to
root for them or it. But it is damaging to your ability to think
clearly, to look out for yourself, if you don't continually
bolster your skepticism as often as you stoke your
commitments to some belief.
4. Staff Your Personal Team with Pessimists and Optimists
The biggest danger to your success is not that you lack
people who believe in you. Of course you need enough of
them. But the greater danger is not having enough people
around you who can voice a different view.
You actually need the naysayers. You need people who say
"but". All companies which end up in failure are helped their
not by the dissenting voices but by the true believers. Those
true believers can "believe" you right into a ditch. And you
can all go down together into the deep dark sea.
The Titanic is unsinkable, those members of the moneyed
classes all believed that cold night in 1929...
The builders of the Titanic were undoubtedly brilliant ship
engineers. But they were also overly optimistic, so much so,
that they did not include enough life boats to offload
everyone on board in the "unlikely" event that the ship would
hit an iceberg and sank.
And the rest is history.
Hillary Clinton lost to Barack Obama is 2008. A post-mortem
of the election found that she and her team were supremely
confident that the voters would choose her over an
unproven, one-term Senator with little to no political
experience. The Clinton team was skilled, experienced but
staffed by people who either did not believe in preparing for
the possibility that they could be wrong in their beliefs or
perhaps they were not feel free to voice a different opinion.
Either way, the ship hit an iceberg. And the rest is history,
Bottom line is, to be successful, you cannot afford to
surround yourself with only "yes men". You actually need to
continually test your beliefs against reality. Doing so will
scare you into making adjustments in your course toward
safety and away from those nasty icebergs.
Here;s how you should staff your personal team. Staff your
marketing team with optimists. Staff your accounting team
with ultra-conservative pessimists. And you, the CEO, should
listen to both of them.
Learn more about the basics of keeping your erectile healthy:
Foods That Strengthen Erectile Performance
Stop Burning When You Urinate
Normal Penis Size
Bad Bed Habits That Turn Her Off
Eating Soy Reduces Sperm Count
Whey Versus Creatine -Which One Is Better?
Why Asian Men Don't Get As Much Prostate Cancer
|Wishful thinking can block your success.
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