How To Make Better Decisions | Annie Duke


November 2nd, 2020

1 hr 17 mins 57 secs

Season 7

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

Annie Duke is a is a poker champion turned author, consultant, and corporate speaker whose here to teach us how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions.


We go deep into Annie's books: Thinking in Bets and How to Decide. By the end of this episode you'll have a set of tools to help you in your decision making process. And you'll also get some insight into why the election doesn't go the way you thought it would!






[12:25] "Betting is basically saying I have some set of limited resources that I can invest in to and I'm choosing among options where how that option turns out is not deterministic. It's probabilistic."

[15:09] "...And whichever one you choose is just a prediction of which one's more likely to produce a happier version of you in the future."

[16:25] "We're living in a probabilistic world, meaning that there are very few decisions that you can make that are guaranteed to have one single outcome."

[20:14] "But presidential campaigns actually happen over quite a long period of time...Can you think of anything? Where in real time, people are analyzing the decisions that are being made more than a national presidential election."

[26:10] "Our brains really like to make a create a narrative that makes sense where one thing leads to another and kind of an orderly fashion. We really aren't comfortable with randomness."

[28:19] "So luck is intervening between the decisions that you make, the option that you choose, and the particular outcome that you happen to observe."

[32:43] "I also don't know a lot of stuff. The way to solve for that is to go explore the universe of stuff that I don't know, and to explore that in a really objective way. Where I'm kind of like maximizing my ability to run into information that is different than the things that I believe to be true,."

[39:40] "Well, smart people are just better at spinning narratives. They're better at looking at a set of data and interpreting that data to fit the model that they already have. That's just why it's just like this kind of narrative spinning that's kind of going on in our heads."

[01:01:58] "It's not that imagining failure causes failure. It's that imagining failure causes success, because if you imagine failure, you can see all the obstacles that might be lying in your path and then you can actually do something about them before you run into the obstacle"


[00:01:32] Guest introduction

[00:03:00] How Annie became the “Duchess of Poker”

[00:04:09] What Annie’s hometown was like

[00:07:44] What high school was like for Annie

[00:09:59] How Annie’s experiences led to writing her books

[00:12:07] What are bets, what are decisions and what's the relationship between them?

[00:16:06] The perils of “resulting”

[00:17:45] Why you shouldn’t equate decision quality with outcome quality

[00:20:14] Decisions and elections

[00:24:19] Why our brains are not built for rationality

[00:26:10] Why our brains need narrative

[00:30:50] Your beliefs have two major weaknesses

[00:35:48] Why being smarter makes you more susceptible to motivated reasoning

[00:40:48] The decision multiverse

[00:44:29] Your good outcomes aren’t always a result of good decision making

[00:48:10] How Thinking in Bets changed my life and a case study of Bayesian psychology in the job search process

[00:53:42] Dealing with things that are not in your control

[00:55:46] The pre-mortem

[00:59:01] The power of negative visualization

[01:03:36] The influence of Stoic philosophy on Annie’s work

[01:04:02] A dude in a basement has a hypothesis…

[01:04:29] Positive thinking and the Reticular Activating System

[01:08:07] The Alliance for Decision Education.

[01:09:56] We’re not teaching kids the things they really need to know

[01:14:41] It’s one hundred years in the future - what do you want to be remembered for?

[01:15:01] The random round

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