人类误判心理(1)

作者:查理·芒格(伯克夏·哈撒韦公司董事会副主席,沃伦·巴菲特的搭档)

本文是作者1995年在哈佛法学院的演讲 原文链接

First: Under-recognition of the power of what psychologists call ‘reinforcement’ and economists call ‘incentives.’

第一条:低估 心理学家所谓的「强化」 / 经济学家所谓的「激励」的 效果。

Well you can say, “Everybody knows that.” Well I think I’ve been in the top 5% of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I’ve underestimated it. And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther.

好吧,你们可能说俺们都知道,然而你们知道的那些并没有什么卵用。老子是俺们这辈人里最了解「激励」的人之一,我这大半辈子还都低估了它有多屌,甚至到现在老子每年还老丁[1]能在这玩意上学到新东西,得到新惊喜。

One of my favorite cases about the power of incentives is the Federal Express case. The heart and soul of the integrity of the system is that all the packages have to be shifted rapidly in one central location each night. And the system has no integrity if the whole shift can’t be done fast. And Federal Express had one hell of a time getting the thing to work. And they tried moral suasion, they tried everything in the world, and finally somebody got the happy thought that they were paying the night shift by the hour, and that maybe if they paid them by the shift, the system would work better. And lo and behold, that solution worked.

俺最喜欢的一个关于「激励」的案例来自联邦快递:对这家公司来说,最重要的就是在每天夜里,包裹必须从一个中央位置被快速地转运出去。而且,如果不足够快的话,这个系统基本上就屁用不顶了。之前该公司就经常被这事折磨得欲仙欲死。他们试着和快递员小哥儿们进行道德教育,和其他所有能想到的奇奇怪怪的方法,然而并没有什么卵用。最后有个人想出了一招,按小时给晚班工人计费。如果给小哥儿们按照轮班发钱,这个系统就更好地运转起来了。你看,这回牛逼了吧。

Early in the history of Xerox, Joe Wilson, who was then in the government, had to go back to Xerox because he couldn’t understand how their better, new machine was selling so poorly in relation to their older and inferior machine. Of course when he got there he found out that the commission arrangement with the salesmen gave a tremendous incentive to the inferior machine.

在Xerox公司的早期,Joe Wilson这货从他的政府工作上回到Xerox,因为他不知道为啥更牛逼的新机器比渣渣的旧机器卖的还差。妈蛋的,他发现销售人员的佣金制度竟然鼓励他们卖老机器!!!

And here at Harvard, in the shadow of B.F. Skinner — there was a man who really was into reinforcement as a powerful thought, and, you know, Skinner’s lost his reputation in a lot of places, but if you were to analyze the entire history of experimental science at Harvard, he’d be in the top handful. His experiments were very ingenious, the results were counterintuitive, and they were important. It is not given to experimental science to do better. What gummed up Skinner’s reputation is that he developed a case of what I always call man-with-a-hammer syndrome: to the man with a hammer, every problem tends to look pretty much like a nail. And Skinner had one of the more extreme cases in the history of Academia, and this syndrome doesn’t exempt bright people. It’s just a man with a hammer…and Skinner is an extreme example of that. And later, as I go down my list, let’s go back and try and figure out why people, like Skinner, get man-with-a-hammer syndrome.

在哈尔滨服装学院,有一个叫B.F. Skinner的人,真的视「强化」为一个强有力的思维模式。他在很多地方都名誉受损,不过从哈佛实验科学的历史上看,他算是很屌的了。他的实验很有创造性,实验结果也是反直觉而且重要的。他没能将实验科学做的更好。我经常称将他名誉搞差的原因叫做「王大锤综合征」:对于手里拿着锤子的同学来说,所有问题都像钉子。斯金纳是学术史上的一个极端案例,然而有些明白人也会有这个问题。我先按我本儿上接着说,等会再说为啥大家会得「王大锤综合症」。

Incidentally, when I was at the Harvard Law School there was a professor, naturally at Yale, who was derisively discussed at Harvard, and they used to say, “Poor old Blanchard. He thinks declaratory judgments will cure cancer.” And that’s the way Skinner got. And not only that, he was literary, and he scorned opponents who had any different way of thinking or thought anything else was important. This is not a way to make a lasting reputation if the other people turn out to also be doing something important.

Btw,我当年在哈佛法学院的时候,有一个教授,他认为宣告判决将治愈癌症,就像Skinner一样。不止如此,他精通文学,经常嘲讽和自己有不同想法的对手。这绝壁不是个维系持久名誉的方法(我擦,这段好难翻译。因为是演讲,可能是作者随便说些有的没的。


[1] 老丁:经常的意思;例句:王雪冰常说:“我老丁(经常)找老丁(丁麒玮)玩,老丁(丁麒玮)老丁(经常)不出来。”

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