April 20, 2011

Poor judgment in a TV game . . . Short term thinking

I was watching a TV game called something like the weakest link. In that game a team answers question and earns money. In case of wrong question no money are gained. So at the end of each round the team members vote for the worst player and he/she just abandon the game.

The problem is that four three consecutive rounds there was a player who had zero wrong answers. The same player in the fourth round had the worst performance. So the team members voted against him. Is that judgment correct? I do not think so. If he was the best player for three rounds and only in one the worst the probabilities to have a good round in the next turn are high.

In my mind came the idea that our judgments should not only based in what is happening now but look for data over a time. Is the same problem with the financial people. The take the last two year figures of the income for example and create a trend. . . . . . Can we assume that the process is in statistical control? (I love variation)J.

All these lead to short term thinking. . . . . The economic problem of our society.


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  1. Wonderful post. That is a stupid judgement. No one will be the worst forever, similarly no one will be the best forever. The player has the worst performance, but he/she learned what he/she want to learn.
    Yes, they smell data and command data. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. They pursue and enjoy the process. If they do not do something, others will do it. And even others will do worse than them. So, who’s wrong?? who’s right??....I do not know…..Is this parts of variation of the world? ...

    21 Apr 2011, 09:33

  2. I hate that show! The aspect you described has always been something that annoyed me about it. Everyone is fighting each other. If they changed their mentality, and played as a team in the early rounds, there would be greater reward later, but people are too selfish. I realise that this is the format of the show, but I hate it. It demonstrates terrible decision making. As you say, short-term thinking, with no understanding of variation.

    21 Apr 2011, 10:49

  3. I like your comments. They are not wrong. selfish is one of the human natures. That is why Hawking ever said human beings would be destruction within 200 years, because human beings carried with selfish and greedy DNA. Do people create the corrupt or selfish system nowadays we lived in ?.....or do the system create a group of selfish and greedy so-called people?.......
    You are also right. If everyone , at least most of people changed their mentality, how beautiful the world! But look at those people, they know the earth has already heavily hurt, they still started the war….and even they know what they do would reduce the life of the earth, but they did not stop it …..don’t they selfish ?....don’t they greedy?.......

    21 Apr 2011, 13:30

  4. Hi Vagelis,
    well spotted mate. This is how they work in most of the cases, however as far as I’m aware the time when the strongest link becomes the weakest is a good chance to eliminate him/her as everyone is afraid of him/her and now they have an argument/proof to kick the strongest one out ;) so there’s plenty of going on there, but all in all it’s still a poor practice

    22 Apr 2011, 20:17

  5. interesting thoughts here,
    if i may add more example, you can think being a football player vs fans. when one player’s recent performance is above expectation, every single fans will chant his name and think he is the man behind the team success. however, imagine if one bad day (match) happened to him when he did blunder and his team defeated or even knocked out from competition. all fans will make jokes about him and start to forget what he did in recently. perhaps, it’s related to our nature of judgement that limited only in recent/current performance and always seeking for the best result. i think, judgement that based on this nature is related to short-term thinking which i do believe this is how today’s people make decision for sake of their self-interest.

    23 Apr 2011, 05:00

  6. Short-term thinking and self-interest, this is the point Ponthy! Good point! It’s easy to praise winners and condemn losers… but I guess we should start by looking at ourselves before making easy judgements

    23 Apr 2011, 10:44

  7. Thank you all for the comments.. . . . I couldn’t agree more with what you are writing. . . .Ponthy you made me laugh. There is a joke about that. . . .i will tell that to you when we will be face to face. . . Lol. . ... . . . .:)

    Yaqin your insight is incredible. .. . . . .You said ’’or do the system create a group of selfish and greedy so-called people?’’....... This words come from my mouth. .. . . The ssystem considers people as puppys. . . . it utilized its strong weapons like fear to guide people. . . . . It uses all these tangible goods to make them compromise and forget the intagible. . . . . And when it is ready it make them fight one each other. . . . .

    The sollution in my eyes in nothing more than Knowledge. . . . .Pure powerful Knowledge. . . . . .

    There is one Greek poem that says:

    People kill one each other for providing glory to the masters
    Come on you selfish victim of the system let’s wake up to start a
    Revolution that will change the world. . . . . .

    23 Apr 2011, 10:56

  8. Thank you, my friend. My view perhaps let you down. Most of people are tangible-based self-interest, few people are intangible-based self-interest. Tangible-based interest is a short-term thinking and it is not hard to achieve them, but that is a hole without bottom. Intangible-based interest is a long-term thinking, but it is hard to achieve it. No matter what, a living cannot exist or development if without self-interest. So I am not self-development well now because of lack of self-interest. Is this a good thing? or bad thing?

    23 Apr 2011, 13:42

  9. Hey guys,

    I will have to agree with Martin on this one….people purposely eliminate the strongest links maybe thinking they can win themselves if the brightest one’s are gone! But if someone has a bad round then they should be eliminated as that is what the game is about; getting rid of the weakest link …. should they be given a 2nd chance? Personally if I take the emotions out of it then “no”

    But these decisions are so random and rushed! Its more on the spur of the moment and people act weird….wonder if they had the time to evaluate could they make unbiased, sound decisions? just wanted to share my thoughts :)

    24 Apr 2011, 00:06


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