The approach we take to life, to solving problems and to understanding the world may be flawed and cause misconceptions. We may do the unconsciously, probably unintentionally. But the misconceptions are real even when produce through the best of intentions.
- We surround ourselves with people and information that confirms the ideas that we already have. This will tend to tell us that we are right, even if we are half-right or completely wrong.
A related problem is where we notice things in the environment that are already part of our thinking. This isn’t so bad, till we realize that we are missing many details that might challenge or at least expand our way of thinking.
- We can confuse cause and effect. Or the complex interplay that relates to this. Do athletes have fit bodies because of their training? Or did they become athletes because they had the right type of body? Perhaps they became athletes because of the potential already in their bodies. Some people will never be successful athletes even if they do all the training required.
Elite universities are only open to the highest performing students. But then they teach them cutting edge material with highly qualified staff. No wonder the results are good.
- Lost investment – if we have invested a lot of time and money in a project or relationship we are reluctant to change, even if we are not getting much out of it. We may ignore a better opportunity because we will not abandon the investment in the previous opportunity.
- Predicting odds. If we keep losing at a gamble we mistakenly think that we are eventually due for a win. But we are probably going to keep on losing. The past gamble has no effect on the present gamble.
- Rationalizing a decision after it is too late to change. We have invested time and money and like to tell ourselves it was worthwhile. But sometimes it was simply a mistake.
- We don’t like to make decisions that conflict with the image we have of ourselves, nor do we like to remember anything that conflicts with our image of ourselves.
- Our memory is unreliable. Sometimes we don’t want to acknowledge the truth, sometime we mistake other peoples’ comments for our own false memory, sometimes we simply get it wrong.
Escape rooms won’t directly solve any of the world’s problems, or even any personal problems. But if they change our biases and bad thinking habits we might do a bit better then next time we encounter a personal issue.
Think outside the usual pattern and see the world a little differently.