Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Think About Searching, #10

Two more pitfalls when we search.  During the last time you had to go out and find information:
1. Did you get distracted by all the facts?
2. Did you stop your search early?

As we read about a topic that we are unfamiliar with, we can get sidetracked or even misled by the facts.  This is sometimes called the "anchoring effect."  If we first go to a website with very high prices, then we may, unconsciously, assume that the product we are searching for is costly and we may settle for a medium priced brand instead of looking for a low priced one.  We need to be aware of the context or parameters for our issues before we make a judgement.  Let the facts frame our thinking, instead of convenience.

In "loss aversion," we may accept the first answer we find, relieved that we found anything ( unconsciously fearful that we will not find what we need).  We may assume that what we are reading is all there is - but, in fact, there may be other sources and better information that we have not uncovered.  As we gain fluency in searching, we can look for clues to reassure ourselves that we have done our due diligence.  But be aware of our tendency to stop short and settle for the first reasonable answer we find.

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