Making the Right Decision via Thresholds

Source: Business Insider, Feb 2016

At issue could be a concept known as “thresholds” — the idea of how many people need to be doing a thing before you feel comfortable doing it yourself. A radical is a person with a threshold of zero — they’ll do it no matter what, even if no one else is doing it.

“When people turn their back on the data, it’s not because they are ill-informed or stupid, or that they do not have the proper incentives. It’s because we are social human beings,” Gladwell says.

In other words, humans want to feel part of the crowd.

So when it’s your job to convince someone in a more important role to try a new approach, based on the data, your job is to really make the decision-maker “feel socially comfortable,” Gladwell explains.

Make it clear to them they are not alone. So when, in that pivotal moment, they are aware that if they do the unexpected thing, they are not first person to try it.”


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