理性对阵智力

多伦多 — 2002年,来自普林斯顿大学的认知科学家丹尼尔·卡纳曼获得了该年度的诺贝尔经济学奖,表彰他和长期合作者阿莫斯·特沃斯基(已经于1996年过世)所作的贡献。他们的工作针是针对判断和决策的:二者决定了我们的思想和行为是否理性。他们探究了人们怎样做出选择和评估可能,还揭示了在决策过程中典型的基本错误。

他们所揭示的思维错误并不是客厅游戏里面的小过失。具有理性意味着确定适当的目标,并且基于个人的目标和信念来采取适当的行为,而且持有和可获得的证据相称的信念。它还意味着采用尽可能最佳的手段来达成一个人的生活目标。因此,如果违反卡纳曼和特沃斯基验证过的思考规律,就会带来实际后果:我们对生活的不满程度将会增大。在我自己实验室中进行的研究显示:在卡纳曼和特沃斯基研究过的判断和决策技能中,存在着系统性的个体差异。

具有讽刺意味的是,诺贝尔奖是针对就某些认知特征所作的研究而颁发的。而在行为科学最广为人知的脑力评估 —智力测验里,这些认知特征却完全无影无踪。科学家和外行人同样倾向于赞同“优质思维”包含着准确的判断力和决策力,这也是帮助我们达成目标的思维能力。但是智力测验中却找不到针对这种优质的(理性的)思维的测定方式。

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