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Charlie Munger On Misjudgment – Day 2

|Includes: Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A)

The following is a daily publication by section of a Munger speech at Harvard in which he explained patterned irrationality, much of which he learned from Robert Cialdini's Influence.

I hope readers will contribute examples and opportunities in the comment section.

2. My second factor is simple psychological denial.

This first really hit me between the eyes when a friend of our family had a super-athlete, super-student son who flew off a carrier in the north Atlantic and never came back, and his mother, who was a very sane woman, just never believed that he was dead. And, of course, if you turn on the television, you'll find the mothers of the most obvious criminals that man could ever diagnose, and they all think their sons are innocent. That's simple psychological denial. The reality is too painful to bear, so you just distort it until it's bearable. We all do that to some extent, and it's a common psychological misjudgment that causes terrible problems.