How the above areas of interest impact on judgement and decision making

There could be a 4th heuristic (simulation) in addition to availability, representiveness and anchoring. Simulation is about the power of unrealised situations contaminating people's minds. As we go through life, people run simulations of the future, eg what ifs. Judgements and decisions can be based on these imagined scenarios, but some scenarios are easier to imagine than others. The mind develops its own mental rules on how to handle past and future events.

Investigate how people create alternatives to reality by undoing reality, ie discover the rules of imagination like constraints on the freedom of fantasy. Sometimes it is a odd mixture of fantasy and reality. Sometimes it has been called "counterfactual emotions" like regret, frustration, envy, etc. The emotions of unrealistic possibilities are the product of 2 variables

i) the desirability of alternatives

ii) the possibility of the alternatives

"... Experience that leads to regret and frustration were not always easy to undo. Frustrated people need to undo some feature of their environment, while regretful people need to undo their own actions..."

Michael Lewis 2016

"...the basic rules of undoing, however, apply alike to frustration and regret...... they require a more or less plausible path leading to the alternative state..."

Daniel Kahneman as quoted by Michael Lewis 2016

Envy is different as it requires no imagination.

"...To experience envy, it is sufficient to have a vivid image of oneself in another person's shoes; it is not necessary to have a plausible scenario of how one came to occupy those shoes..."

Daniel Kahneman as quoted by Michael Lewis 2016

"...Imagination wasn't a flight with limitless destination. It is a tool for making sense of a world of infinite possibilities by reducing them.......the rules of undoing. One rule was that the more items there were to undo in order to create some alternative reality, the less likely the mind to undo them..."

Michael Lewis 2016

"...the more consequences an event has, the larger the change that is required in eliminating that event..."

Daniel Kahneman as quoted by Michael Lewis 2016

For example, people find it easier to undo the events around somebody killed by a bolt of lightning rather than by a massive earthquake; there are more events to undo around the earthquake than the lightning.

Another rule - events become gradually less changeable as they recede into the past, ie with the passage of time, the consequence of any events accumulated and left more to be undone. The more to be undone, the less likely it is to happen.

The most important rule is around to how to handle what was surprising or unexpected

"...in undoing some event, the mind tended to remove whatever felt surprising or unexpected - which was different from saying that it was obeying the rules of probability......it was easier to undo the unusual part of the story..."

Michael Willis 2016

For example, someone is killed in a car accident when they take a different route from normal. Most people think about if only the person had taken their normal route, rather than other possibilities like leaving earlier or later

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