Why Voting for the Most Confident Candidate Is a Problem
The confidence we crave in our leaders compromises their ability to help us avoid risk.
It may never be fully understood why we’re so drawn to confident people. But it’s clear we are. In relationships, there’s hardly a bigger turn-off than insecurity. In politics, large groups of voters will always go for the candidate with the bigger ego, not that anyone running for office is likely to be a shrinking violet. And not to name names.
And this is a problem. Combined with a less-than sparkling intellect, confidence is downright dangerous, resulting in a person who never doubts his/her own bad decision-making. People die when the presidency is in the hands of this kind of person. Again, not naming names.
Our attraction to the confident also stands in direct opposition to another thing we crave, as Daniel Kahneman points out.
One would hope that our battling cognitive biases toward confidence and risk-aversion keep us mostly in-balance, and often this is just the kind of paradox we expect our leaders to manifest. Dancing this internal dance probably lies at the very heart of what it takes to be a politician.
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A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.
- Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
- He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
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It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
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