Saturday, December 2, 2017

A link between behavioral investing and politicians


I bought this kindle book on behavioral investing (“Thinking, fast and slow” by Nobel Price winner Daniel Kahneman) which started out with explaining the interaction between intuitive automatic thinking (referred to as System 1) and conscious, often reasoned, thinking (system 2).  It supports a bit my thinking about presidents and prime ministers being often on the edge if not entirely psychopathic. No normal being would endure the scrutiny nor the demands of being liked and voted for by a majority of the population. You’d have to be a psychopath to go through that. That is one of the reasons I do consider governments with the greatest distrust.
So here is what the book says about psychotherapists dealing with psychopaths: 
This is what he [my teacher] told us: “You will from time to time meet a patient who shares a disturbing tale of multiple mistakes in his previous treatment. He has been seen by several clinicians, and all failed him. The patient can lucidly describe how his therapists misunderstood him, but he has quickly perceived that you are different. You share the same feeling, are convinced that you understand him, and will be able to help.” At this point my teacher raised his voice as he said, “Do not even think of taking on this patient! Throw him out of the office! He is most likely a psychopath and you will not be able to help him.” Many years later I learned that the teacher had warned us against psychopathic charm, and the leading authority in the study of psychopathy confirmed that the teacher’s advice was sound.
Furthermore, we were not being taught to be generally suspicious of our feelings about patients. We were told that a strong attraction to a patient with a repeated history of failed treatment is a danger sign…. and advised not to believe it or act on it.
Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kindle Location 547). Doubleday Canada. Kindle Edition.

I think there is a striking resemblance between psychopath identification and my perception of national politicians. I do not know how far this can be extrapolated to the lower levels of government. I suspect that where-ever there are a large number of people involved, say several hundreds of thousands or a million people or more you should be aware of this and distrust what those people that charm so many are really trying to do. Well, back to reading....

BTW. So you think Trump is a psycho? Well so probably are the Clintons and the entire Bush Family. Seen any parallels with House of Cards?  Don't you think most lead characters in that series are psychos?  Reality is often stranger than fiction.

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