Ambiguity Effect – The Known vs. Unknown
Would you rather bet on the known vs. the Unknown? 90% of the time, we’d go for the known not because we know it is the best option but because it is what we are familiar with. This is what is called the Ambiguity Effect.
In making decisions, we are always biased towards going with what we are familiar with than not. However, this can also vary so that even if you are familiar with both options, you will choose the one you are more familiar with.
The ambiguity effect has little to nothing to do with mathematical or statistical accuracy and more with familiarity. In proverbial parlance, the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know.
As much as the debates supporting the familiar choice are overwhelming, it is still a flawed system in that it does not allow you to explore the other option(s). Furthermore, discarding an option because you are not familiar with it alters the decision-making process.
We do this every time in the name of playing safe. So the world system has consciously rewired many of us to avoid ambiguity. Meanwhile, we are naturally wired to adapt to ambiguity.
For instance, the early men navigated the harsh terrains of the earth to bring us to where we are today in terms of advancement. There was a lot of ambiguity, and if they avoided that ambiguity (if they had a choice.) We would not be anywhere close to whatsoever advancement we enjoy today.
If you crosscheck your life events, you’d realize those significant life events were random and unplanned.
While I am not saying that the less familiar option is the best, I am only advocating that you explore it rather than discard it for unfamiliarity.
So until you have put in the hard work of analyzing each option and putting them through the required test, you’ve not made the right decision. At best, you’ve made the easier decision.