#16: Podcast announcement, Gambler's fallacy, Faulty generalization

UX Career Podcast Announcement

This has been on my to-do list for a long time.

After observing different design leaders sharing their advice with the younger designers, and realizing that my experience and takeaways were not aligned with that advice, I got curious. These were very senior folks in the industry and some of their insights often contradicted each other.

After thinking more about the root cause of such discrepancy of advice, I concluded that the explanation lies in the personal journey of each particular individual. Every person has a unique path. The path that has formed their mind and mental models. Every path has unique lessons learned that influence how people think, make decisions, and what they find important when evaluating job candidates.

For the last few weeks, I have been interviewing design managers with diverse backgrounds and experiences. I decided to use these conversations to kickstart my UX Career podcast. The core goal of this series is to showcase the variety of opinions and expectations on the top questions related to getting a job in UX. The secondary goal is to give you the answers to the questions you have been pondering (what is a good resume and portfolio, how to stand out from others, how design managers review job applications, etc.)

The first episode is up:

Listen to episode #1

Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify


Gambler's fallacy

People tend to think that if an event has been happening more frequently than normal it is less likely to happen in future, even though these events are independent.

As the name suggests, this phenomenon is associated with gambling. A good example - rolling the dice. The belief is that if the dice roll has been a six more often than usual, then the next one will unlikely to be a six. In reality, there is no statistical dependence between different throws, but the perception is present. Also, known as the Monte Carlo fallacy. The term originated in this casino back in 1913 when an extremely rare event happened - the ball fell in back 26 times in a row. Let’s assume that the mechanism was not rigged =) The gamblers lost a lot of money due to this fallacy.

Analyzing my thinking in retrospect (board games, not gambling 😎) - I fell for this incorrect belief… Am I a flawed human being? 🤔 …

Of course, I am 😂

Faulty generalization

People tend to draw a conclusion about something on the basis of one or a few instances.

One of the common examples of this thinking is generalizing based on a stereotype, ethnicity, skin colour, etc. I’ve seen this behaviour and logic too many times. One recent example is related to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Just because the main story points to the idea that the virus originated in China, some people start treating people of Asian descent around the world like they are at fault and these particular individuals infected the world with this virus. A very sad and disturbing trend.

Another illustration of this bias is when there is an existing stereotype about a particular group of people (often, due to mass media and Hollywood efforts) and when you meet a person from that group, it’s easier to assign this stereotype to this person, too. Here is a question for you - when you meet a person from Russia, do the thoughts of playing the balalaika and drinking vodka with bears on the streets come to your mind? 🤣 There may be some instances of such behaviour =) but the tendency to jump to faulty conclusions based on a few instances of this behaviour is real for many people. Keep this in mind when meeting with a Russian next time 😎


Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. They don’t represent any of my current or previous employers’ views.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler%27s_fallacy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faulty_generalization

Photo Credit: Aghyad Najjar from Pexels