Decision Making
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Episode 48
Featuring Annie Duke
How can we tell if we’re making a good decision? Is there a sure bet way of overcoming uncertainty and fear? Here, poker champion Annie Duke outlines why success depends on our ability to shift our thinking from a need for certainty to the goal of accurately assessing what we know. In other words, why we need to think in bets.

We make millions of decisions over the course of our lives. Most of these seem to be small and of little consequence, and so we make our choices and act with little care or thought. Other decisions require more care and consideration, as their significance will, for better or worse, have a lasting impact on our life: What job offer to accept, what life partner to choose, how to invest in retirement.

 

When faced with these truly important decisions, many people become crippled by their fear and doubt. What if it’s a bad prediction? What if I am missing information, and so my choice is wrong? Often, such fears have a cascade effect, they trickle down and impact our ability to make even the smallest judgement, leaving us paralyzed.

 

However, there is a way to increase the likelihood that we’re making a sure bet.

 

According to Annie Duke, a World Series of Poker champion and the author of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts, regardless of whether the choice is small or large, the key to solid decision-making rests in our ability to shift our thinking from a need for absolute certainty to “a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't.” In other words, people need to look at every decision as though it were a bet.

 

Ultimately, Duke argues that by adopting this way of thinking — by assessing how sure we are of something, tracing the possible outcomes, and analyzing the odds of failure — we can ensure long-term success for ourselves, our loved ones, and our business partners.

 

Calling on her degrees in behavioral and cognitive psychology, and her years of experience in professional poker, throughout the episode, Duke speaks with host Demetri Kofinas about how we can  eliminate fear and unproductive emotions from our decision-making processes, embrace uncertainty, and make better decisions.

 

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod

Annie Duke is an experienced corporate speaker and consultant on the behavior of decision making.

 

On February 6, 2018, Annie’s first book for general audiences, “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts” was released by Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

 

As a former professional poker player, she won more than $4 million in tournament poker. She has won a World Series of Poker bracelet, the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, and the NBC National Poker Heads-Up Championship.

 

She has written five books, raised four children and raised more than $18 million for charities. Annie is a cofounder of HowIDecide.org, a member of the National Board of After-School All-Stars and a member of the NationSwell Council.

 

In 2016 she joined the board of directors of the Franklin Institute, one of America's oldest and greatest museums. She has also won a televised championship in rock-paper-scissors.

 

Connect with Annie on FacebookTwitterYouTube or LinkedIn. Her website is: www.AnnieDuke.com where you can also sign up for her newsletter or read her blog with her periodic analysis of all things data, pop culture, politics and more.

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