Essay, 3 pages (550 words)

Heuristics and bias (db)

The activity demonstrated rational and critical thinking applied in different contexts and levels. The first activity is a challenging exercise, mainly because, at surface level, the exercise asks the individual to decide based on facts or information that may conform to a specific and expected answer, rather than the stated correct response. Looking at the facts of the case, Linda’s profile makes it natural for us decision-makers to choose Option 2 rather than Option 1. However, the argument that the probability of Linda being a banker and activist is indeed a remote one, which allows for Option 2 to be the most plausible.
Similarly, the succeeding activities demonstrated the same kind of analysis required to come yup with the most rational-correct-response to the exercise. In the string exercise (Activity #2), this depth of understanding of how reasoning works is once again shown. Looking at the way the Xs and Os were arranged, it became evident that Option 1 makes more sense because it provides an equal chance for the Xs and Os to assume an arrangement adopted by the initial arrangement of Xs and Os. The randomness of order of the two letters in the second option may seem to indicate a more random and more probable ordering of the Xs and Os. However, this randomness has no order nor logic; if, looking at the two sets of strings by themselves, the first option has more order and logic rather than the second set of letter string.
Again, like the first activity in the set of exercises, the second activity challenges the individual to think within the given information of the problem. In this particular exercise, individuals are to think within this set of information. While in some way it constrains the individual to think within the given information, this is only logical and reasonable since the answer to these exercises lies within the information provided. Any response generated that is out of context or not found in the given information is considered an irrational kind of response.
What these activities demonstrate is that, thinking rationally is to think within the bounds of one’s reality. That is, decision-making is made based on what is rather than what could be. This distinction illustrates how in rationalism, the individual is encouraged to think about what s/he can do to the information around him/her, or information that is present in his/her external environment. Although thinking about possibilities are not restricted, the principle behind rational thinking assumes that the human mind operates based on the information it receives and perceives. Thus, possibilities such as formulating a decision based on information other than the given may result to wrong decisions, or possibly, be considered as irrational ones.
These activities, while each recommends that the ideal thought process is the rationalist way of thinking, are not just about restricting one’s decisions on the information given. That is, subsisting strictly to principles of rationality may guarantee the probability of an event to occur, but it restricts the mind to think beyond what it can perceive via the individual’s external environment. Rationalism does not lead to critical errors of judgment, that is why it is not wrong to make decisions rationally. However, decisions based on ” gut feel” or what is perceived initially as correct decisions may become great decisions, although an error in decision-making made irrationally can result to serious consequences or serious errors in judgment.

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