Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday post: The framing trap

A young pries asked his bishop, "May I smoke while praying?"
The answer was an emphatic "No!"
Later, encountering an older priest puffing on a cigarette while praying, the younger priest scolded, "You shouldn't be smoking while praying! I asked the bishop, and he said I couldn't."
"That's strange," the older priest replied. " I asked the bishop if I could pray while I'm smoking, and he told me that it was okay to pray at any time."

As this old joke shows, the way you ask a question can profoundly influence the answer you get. The same is true in decision making, If you frame your problem poorly, you're unlikely to make a smart choice.

--from Page 200 of Smart Choices by Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa. 1999 Harvard Busincess School Press.

No comments: