【英語要約】人は悪魔に熱狂する 悪と欲望の行動経済学


The author of this book is a data scientist. It is a profession that specializes in analyzing large amounts of data such as big data. At first, I was surprised to be questioning the data in that position. However, as I read on, I find that I am trying to use behavioral economics theory to unravel the "evil" side of humans who overlook data and become less visible. Because it is a data scientist who is always in contact with data, it seems that he naturally came to pay attention to the essence of human beings, which cannot be fully revealed by data itself.

Behavioral economics is an academic discipline that focuses on human psychology to explain economic phenomena. Traditional economics presupposes that humans behave rationally, as represented by the "invisible hand of God." On the contrary, behavioral economics presupposes human irrationality, which is the wrong behavior that cannot be explained only by reason or profit and loss accounts. The author seeks "anxiety" as to why humans are thus exposed to various biases, but the reason is shown by a compelling explanation.

Enthusiasm does not occur if it is premised on "people who make rational decisions" when launching new products and services. Then it is difficult to send out hit products. It is necessary to stimulate the “evil” of human beings in order to make us enthusiastic who are already enjoying a convenient and prosperous life. Behavioral economics is becoming increasingly important in the difficult times of diversifying consumer behavior and rapid change. Reading this book will give you a basic understanding.

Main points of this book

Point 1

Human beings, when biased in decision making, pick up options that they would not reasonably choose.

Point 2

Since humans have hidden hidden evils in their desires, even if they collect objectively visible data through questionnaires, they may not be able to use it properly for making correct decisions.

Point 3

Sometimes the laziness that the Japanese hate is the driving force behind innovation. On the other hand, innovation can be overvalued because it is over-expected.

Point 4

In order to make a correct decision, it is necessary to have a suspicious attitude even if the data looks correct.

[Must read point!] The power of "evil" hidden in humans

Be aware of the bias

The data is factual, but not always true. Even if we develop products with the intention of taking into account the needs of consumers based on the results of questionnaires, we may not be able to sell as expected. It is necessary to have the insight to draw out the essence sharply, make hypotheses while filling in the missing parts of the data with inferences, and verify the results to reach the correct conclusions.

Humans are not rational in the first place. A healthy person can eat a thick hamburger that can not stand hunger. By making distortions (biases) in decision-making, you will pick up options that you would not reasonably choose. Behavioral economics aims to investigate such biased human psychology.

Not only "good" as a good decision-making is hidden inside human beings, but also the desire of "evil" lurking in anxiety lurks. This "evil" drives people into enthusiasm, and it is the essence of human beings to defeat it. As long as you don't understand it and look at the world in a simple framework such as "good wins over evil," no matter how much you learn the theory of data processing, you will not be aware of the "lie of data" and will not come to the insight to see the essence ..

In fact, when we analyze hit products in the world, we can see that it is almost always the human evil and annoyance. Predicting hits in terms of human evil is far more likely to succeed than looking at huge amounts of data to predict hit probabilities.

"Evil" created by human desire

American psychologist Abraham Maslow divided human desires into five stages, and placed "physiological desires" at the bottom. Appetite is one of them. All-you-can-eat stimulates this desire, which is located at the lowest rank of humans, and by satisfying this, it is possible to pursue higher-level needs such as self-actualization.

On the other hand, humans have a greedy and demonic side that they do not want to lose. If you go to all-you-can-eat, you will only be asked for menus that seem to be expensive, or you will eat too much more than you need. Surely, eating so painfully that it's pointless to ruin may ruin the delightful atmosphere of a meal. However, it is human psychology that it is not enough to do just that.

Then, in Maslow's five-step theory of desire, the “approval desire” is the second highest position. This is a desire that is synonymous with "conscious system" in modern times. I want to be recognized by others, or I want to recognize myself as a valuable being. By doing so, we aim for a state of self-establishment. In particular, the desire to approve others is awkward, and humans become completely greedy until they are recognized by the other person. On SNS, run like behaviors with "likes," "followers," and "play counts."

The need for approval is a form of anxiety, but thinking "to be recognized by others" is not a bad thing. Some people use it as a spring to make efforts and seize success. In any case, many people are more likely to support the demonic products and services that satisfy the desire for approval.

Anger changes society

From the scientific data, global warming is certainly progressing. But humans try to escape anxiety by "normality bias," which clings to their knowledge and underestimates the risk that it is "still OK." This bias may also be why some people think that the Earth is not under a crisis like climate change.

Greta Thunberg, who has thrown a stone in a situation where global warming is never resolved, is being criticized as "just an unrealizable theory." Only when we know that her argument is a data-supported canon, do some adults react. However, the debate over global warming countermeasures became clearer about the power of her "devilish feelings" of "anger" than calmness.

The power of anger to gender discrimination also changes the world. In August 2018, it was discovered that many universities, including Tokyo Medical University, were improperly adjusting their scores based on their gender. Surprisingly, some survey results show that 65% of the doctors involved are aware of the uniform deductions for women in medical school entrance exams. The biggest reason for this is the issue of female doctors leaving their jobs. In order to solve the doctor shortage that is becoming more serious in Japan, he decided that he should avoid women doctors who need maternity leave and childcare leave based on "plausible opinions" and led to an erroneous conclusion.

The "devil of bias" is involved in such discrimination and "evil of society". We can be more angry to change the "current situation" that is permissively sloppy.

You can't move society with just beautiful things

In order for the real intention to be convincing

Communication that is characteristic of the adult world is that it uses the front face and the back face, which are different from the ones taken by Tatemae.

However, whether it's tired just by taking a stand, I've been receiving "real intention" talk on TV and in the comedy world. Many people think of Takafumi Horie when it comes to popularity in the world of business articles and business books because of his "honest intention" and "poisonous tongue." In fact, when Horie-san analyzes the title and obi of a book that is included in the author's name, three features are highlighted. The word "no" is often used in the negative sense, words related to money such as "rich" and "earn" appear frequently, and negative words such as "stupid" and "dislike" appear.

This "real intention", which is not just for every beauty, is the reason why it is enthusiastically supported. However, behind the success of Mr. Horie is also superhuman effort. That leads to the enhancement of one's authority. It can be said that the source of persuasive power, which can be called satanism, lies in efforts and success.

Lazy is a source of innovation

In Japan, it is easy to say that "easy" when you get out of hand and "good" to try hard. However, the black companies value the people who rest without taking advantage of it. Admitting that the "devil" of "laziness" is lurking in us, and thinking about an efficient way to work to get a proper rest, it will lead to a significant increase in productivity.

This laziness is a source of innovation. With the advancement of women into society and the increase in dual-income households, outsourcing of household chores and delivery services are receiving great attention. However, the Japanese show a rejection reaction when the call for "Let's enjoy" is put too much forward. In order to generate business "enthusiasm", it will be necessary to devise ways to recommend "laziness" within a range that is easily accepted.

Enthusiasm is not born for every beauty

Interest in “SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)” is increasing, and many companies are taking the initiative in strengthening their efforts. For example, due to the trend of "de-plasticization," in July 2020, retail stores throughout Japan started to charge for plastic bags.

However, according to the World Economic Forum, the percentage of people who have heard the word "SDGs" in Japan was 49%, the lowest of 28 countries. At least the general consumers in Japan may have taken a cynical attitude that the SDGs are beautiful. No matter how rational and good themes are, logic alone does not move the public. In order to bring excitement to the SDGs, an emotional story is needed.

Humans cannot make logical judgments if they empathize with the subject and their emotions are strongly shaken. Empathy creates excitement. When people come into contact with an ideal without this mechanism, people act with calm and logical judgment. You can't sell things for every beauty.

What is the essence of innovation?

Innovations created to improve society are not always accepted by society. In many cases, the expectations for new technology have become too high and overestimated, causing an "innovation promotion bias."

"AI Misora ​​Hibari'' showing the possibility of AI, after appearing in the NHK Red and White Singing Battle, received a lot of confusion and criticism from viewers despite its high degree of completion That is new to memory. The idea that AI is taking jobs is an overkill. With the spread of AI, some individual tasks may be automated, but it should be remembered that new tasks and occupations may be born.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that the use and penetration of new technologies such as AI will bring about changes in existing society and advance digitalization and automation. Western countries have begun to devote resources to retraining to deal with this, but in Japan there are some cowardly decision-makers who are frightened by new things and cannot cope with digitization. This frustration with "Unchanging Japan" may have led to extreme support for innovation.

To use data to make the right decision

Magical power of probability

Humans are creatures that are weak to probability. If there is a gacha that hits a rare item with a 1% chance, it will not change with a 99% chance each time, but you will intuitively think that you may hit it 100 times. This is called the "gambler's fallacy". Although it is almost completely random, it makes a mistake when trying to find trends such as "flow" and "luck."

If many people buy at the same lottery counter so that a large line can be formed, it is natural that high-priced prizes will continue. Even so, I suddenly line up. Humans tend to ignore probability and make decisions. The outbreak of "gacha" may be a result of an insight into the human nature of weak probability.

There is also a way to generate excitement by using rankings. At first glance, it seems to be reliable and valid, and in fact, you can easily create a ranking that can trick people by collecting data that is convenient for you. As represented by the "tabe log," many Japanese people tend to agree with the opinion that the surroundings are "good," and tend to accept only the ranked results without confirming the facts. Rankings thus reduce reluctance to buy.

The magical power of fortune-telling

Various fortune-telling has been known since ancient times regardless of the east and west of the western world. No matter how much science advances, many believe in divination. It is said that fortune-telling is statistics, but the human face and palm are also a collection of past empirical rules and lack scientific reproducibility.

However, there are people who fortune-telling the "effects" such as comfort. Shiitake fortune-telling is a typical example of this, in which easy words enhance self-affirmation. Given that it can lead to good results, whether or not fortune-telling will no longer be an essential issue. Fortune-telling is popular as a service that relieves dissatisfaction by focusing on subjective happiness rather than objective data.

The magic of correct data

"FACTFULNESS" (Nikkei BP) has become a global bestseller. The title is a word that refers to the "habit of reading the world based on data and facts."

But are the things shown in this book really based on "facts"? For example, the World Bank's statistical data, which is used as a reference for national income, is data that involves political compromise and a lot of arbitrariness. Not all numbers represent reality.

We may unconsciously assume that humans can make correct decisions based on the correct data. However, humans sometimes make irrational decisions, distorting both memory and thought. Rather, it is necessary to make the right decision by assuming that the data is wrong. The same is true for the recorded data of books that have been a huge hit.

Because of the uncertainty of one's judgment, people tend to try to "justify".

Recommendation of reading

In order to understand the needs of consumers, we make full use of questionnaires and collect data to develop products based on the data. It is already a standard product development method, but it is surprisingly difficult to correctly understand consumer needs. As the author reveals, the "evil" aspect of humans, which does not appear in the questionnaire, makes people's hearts crazy.

This book explains how data scientists active on the front lines view data and information from a behavioral economic perspective. Just looking at the data from different angles will give you the experience of opening a completely different world. You can see that you can get closer to the essence of each thing by focusing on not only the data in front of you but also your desires and anxieties.