We are endowed with a native scorn of the abstract; we ignore what we do not see, even if our logic recommends otherwise. We tend to overestimate causal relationships. When we meet someone who by playing Russian roulette became extremely influential, wealthy, and powerful, we still act toward that person as if he gained that status just by skills, even when you know there’s been a lot of luck. Why? Because our behavior toward that person is going to be entirely determined by shallow heuristics and very superficial matters related to his appearance.
When you look at anything — say the stock market — you see the survivors, the winners; you don ‘t see the losers because you don’t observe the cemetery and you will be likely to misattribute the causes that led to the winning. This bias makes us miscompute the odds and wrongly ascribe skills.
Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Subjects: Organizational Behavior, Personality / Behavior