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Published by:
Harvard Business Publishing (2009)
Chapter from:
"Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition"
40 pages


When making a decision in a high-stakes situation, we often start with a specific piece of information or trait and adjust as necessary to arrive at an answer. But our natural tendency is to stick with what we know, and the result is tunnel vision: the failure to open our minds to alternatives. In this chapter, Michael Mauboussin, an expert in behavioral finance, uses fascinating real-life examples (for instance, a doctor's failure to diagnose a healthy-looking patient who was actually on the verge of a heart attack) to illustrate the impact of tunnel vision on our thinking. He explains how, in a world that presents more alternatives than it used to, tunnel vision can lead to substantial but entirely avoidable mistakes. He urges readers to 'think twice' to consider hidden possibilities. This chapter is excerpted from ‘Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition'.


Decision making; Thinking; Strategic thinking

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