Summary of The Thinker’s Toolkit

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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Well Structured

Recommendation

People often evaluate solutions incorrectly when they attack a problem. Some mistakes spring from insufficient information, but many are due to the natural tendency to believe what they “prefer to be true.” To improve your ability to solve problems, use 14 analytical methods designed to counter cognitive errors. To derive maximum benefit from Morgan D. Jones’s manual, don't just read it; work with it. He provides effective tactics to help you build cognitive skills.

About the Author

Morgan D. Jones formerly headed the CIA’s analytic training branch. He taught analytic methods at Georgetown University and founded Analytic Prowess, which conducts workshops for government and private organizations. 

 

Summary

Most people make errors in decision-making due to flaws in their “analytic techniques” or to the innate proclivity of human beings to believe what they “prefer to be true.”

Most people make analytical mistakes due to the tendency to believe what they would like to be true. But if you know the barriers you face and the cognitive traps you can fall into, you can significantly improve your insight. When you set out to diagnose and solve a problem, knowing how to systematize or configure your diagnosis and choices can makes a big difference.

“Analysis” means breaking a difficult issue into its components and subcomponents. One way to structure an investigation is to sort the factors that affect your decision in an orderly way. Conventional methods work for everyday problems, but often they aren’t helpful when you’re facing the 10% of problems that involve significant issues or decisions. Most people want to make sensible choices in their personal and business lives. They may face complicated issues that defy simple resolution. Often they may want to sidestep the problem, even if temporarily. They accept incomplete remedies because they lack an organized method...


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