“Prejudices are — especially because they are formed quickly and easily — often convenient in the everyday world but fail when the situation becomes more complicated,” Dirk Helbing concludes. In order to illustrate this, the researchers took interferences into consideration as they exist in the real world. What happens, for instance, if participants are wrongly assessed and certain traits do not necessarily have anything to with the behaviour? Then prejudiced players are unable to adjust their strategy. The longer they play, the more they come up short in comparison. Differentiated strategies fare better. And what happens if the participants simply behave randomly? In this instance, the result deteriorates for all strategies. However, the more players act randomly, the more dismally players with prejudices perform…”While it is efficient to react to a single trait in the beginning, you must not stop learning new things in a complex world; otherwise, you miss many good opportunities,” explains Helbing. However, developing a differentiated — and in the long run successful — judgement takes time. “The most successful strategy is to begin with simple rules of thumb and then keep refining them,” says Helbing. People who gain a wide range of experiences and are willing to adapt their behaviour accordingly perform the best. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a character who makes a snap judgement based on prejudice and that decision goes wrong.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a prejudice that you have that has caused you to make a bad decision.

Art Prompt: Snap Decision

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about prejudice and how it affects decisions in critical situations.

Photo Credit: m_dougherty on Flickr

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