• strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home2/harrissi/public_html/home/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.

Thinking Skills — Attribute Substitution

Sometimes when they have a decision or an analysis to make, people make things easier for themselves by indulging in a reasoning error sometimes referred to as attribute substitution. This involves focusing on a few points that are vaguely relevant to the matter at hand and using them as a proxy to measure something much more complex, without necessarily realizing that that’s what you’re doing.

This happens a great deal in hiring, when people hire someone because of a few observations that may be relevant but that don’t really prove anything. For example, if you need a person with good sales skills, and a certain individual comes across as outgoing and approachable, you take those attributes as indicating strong sales skills. Being outgoing may be helpful in sales (though there are in fact many introverts who are successful salespeople); but it is a mistake to think that any outgoing person would be good at sales. The only way to know if a person is good at sales is to examine his/her track record at sales.

This can be difficult though, especially if you don’t really have access to objective data. The use of objective data is in fact the only way to measure most things meaningfully; but they can be difficult to obtain. So people substitute attributes, such as approachability, for data.

Sometimes you have no choice but to take a stab in the dark, but the real problem with attribute substitution is that people often don’t realize that they’re doing it; they think they’ve done a real analysis. Two things to remember: failure to be aware of your own thought processes leads to bad decision-making; and so does substituting random attributes for concrete evidence.

Syndicate content