Why we make mistakes: Men shoot first, then …

In this and a couple of preceding and subsequent posts, i’ll be excerpting  the 13 reasons from:

Why We Make Mistakes, Joseph T. Hallinanm, Broadway Books

Man shooting gun

Today, we add reason #9 to the list. Men shoot first, then …


* * * * * *

The errors we make can be explained through 13 lessons:

1. We look but don’t always see.

2. We all search for meaning.

3. We connect the dots.

4. We wear rose-colored glasses.

5. We can walk and chew gum — but not much else.

6. We’re in the wrong frame of mind.

7. We skim.

8. We like things tidy.

* * * * *

9. Men shoot first.

Aspects of our personalities predispose many of us toward certain kinds of errors. Overconfidence is a leading source of human error and, across a wide field of endeavors.

Both men and women have been shown to be overconfident. However, men, as a rule, tend to be more overconfident than women are, and this difference explains much about the kinds of mistakes men and women make.

When men and women are asked to estimate their IQs, men, on average, will give higher estimates than women will. However, men aren’t as smart as they think they are; their IQs turn out to be lower than they had guessed. Women, on the other hand, turn out to be smarter than they think they are; their IQs are, on average, higher than their estimates. In other words, men overestimate their IQs and women underestimate theirs.

Throughout their lives, for example, men report having more confidence about their sense of direction than women do — even though there is little evidence that they actually have a better sense of direction.

When it comes to making mistakes, women appear to be harder on themselves than men are.

* * * * *
Next up: We’re all above average … yeah, right.

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