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• - Take a look at this Lego structure.

• Note that it's a solid base down here

• and then a singular support piece,

• before finally, on top,

• we have this flat singular roof light piece.

• It's almost like a one-legged table up at the top.

• And now I'm gonna take this little Lego figure

• and put him dangerously

• just underneath the overhang that is not supported.

• Now, how would you change this structure,

• assuming it was real so that I could put

• a heavy masonry brick on top of this corner,

• without this structure collapsing onto the figure?

• Danger, danger!

• If you do it successfully, you'll earn \$1.

• Okay, rich!

• But every extra piece you use costs you 10 cents.

• Now, many suggest putting support blocks here or here.

• And I'll tell you why that's really interesting

• in just a minute.

• But first I want you to take a look at this puzzle.

• Your goal is to make it completely symmetrical,

• both horizontally and vertically

• by switching any of the squares,

• while making as few changes as possible, as fast as you can.

• Let me show you a couple more and I want you to think

• of your decision as fast as possible.

• What would you do to make these symmetrical?

• Okay, one final question.

• What would you do personally to improve

• or make this mini golf course better

• without spending a ton of money?

• What's really interesting about all these puzzles

• is that when you ask people to do them,

• the majority tend to add to the puzzles

• in order to solve them.

• In the Lego example, people are most likely to add a block

• here or here for extra support.

• Around 59% of people choose to add something.

• And in the block puzzle, people tend to add green squares

• instead of taking them away.

• On the mini golf course, 79% of people choose to add to it

• as opposed to taking something away.

• But the truth is in a lot of these cases,

• subtraction is just as valid of a solution

• if not more efficient.

• With our Lego model,

• by simply removing this single piece here--

• Ah!

• The entire structure becomes supported

• And by taking away green blocks,

• you can reach symmetry just as easily.

• This is actually a known phenomenon in humans.

• We tend to find additive solutions to problems,

• even when subtractive solutions are more advantageous.

• Now, of course, the title of this video,

• depending on which one I chose,

• may have tipped you off and impacted your decision.

• Regardless, studies have shown this pattern exists

• in the majority of humans.

• And it's not just math problems.

• Have you ever tried to declutter your home?

• You know we all have this drawer where everything goes

• that you don't know where it goes, no judgment.

• to help organize and manage the mess

• instead of simply paring down

• or getting rid of things you don't need or use anymore.

• When university presidents ask for suggestions

• that would allow the university

• to better serve its students and community,

• only 11% of responses involve removing

• an existing regulation, practice or program.

• And this kind of problem solving is often the cause

• of extra red tape and unnecessary positions

• or in the case of your own work,

• instead of editing it down.

• People create New Year's to-do resolutions

• and even watch more YouTube educational videos

• But I'm not complaining about that last one,

• like, please keep watching our videos.

• You can distill your knowledge at another time, okay?

• The most interesting part of these studies

• was that they realized it's not that we think

• subtractive solutions are not as valuable,

• but there's actually a bias in the human mind

• where we simply don't think of them as often.

• In those exact same studies,

• when researchers more specifically prompt people

• that they can add or subtract pieces,

• the percentage of subtractive solutions increases,

• meaning humans have a natural bias to ask,

• "What can I add here?"

• This is known as a heuristic,

• a mental shortcut that allows people to solve problems

• and make judgements quickly and efficiently

• instead of having to mentally process every situation fully.

• But that doesn't mean it's always right,

• or the best solution, it's just a quick one.

• And this mental shortcut can actually be overcome

• with some extra cognitive effort.

• So why are we like this?

• One theory suggests that subtractive solutions

• may just be less appreciated.

• You might get less credit for them,

• you might feel less creative,

• and you may face social or political implications

• if all you're doing is rolling back

• somebody else's decisions.

• That's kinda like criticizing a solution

• Not to mention the brain may assume the other pieces

• or things are there for a reason.

• Say you're coding, I literally don't understand coding

• so please bear with my fantasy version.

• You don't wanna delete some segment of code

• that you inherited,

• not knowing what ungodly errors might pop up.

• So working in an additive form may feel less risky.

• Finally, there's something called the sunk-cost bias,

• where you're more likely to continue something

• you've invested money or time into,

• regardless of signs that you should stop.

• What's even more interesting is that in these studies,

• the number of people using additive solutions

• increased when they were under cognitive load.

• So if they were doing the block puzzle and they were told

• the entire time they were doing it,

• more people would use additive solutions.

• Why am I randomly outside, you may ask,

• it's 'cause I thought adding

• more dynamic to the video would make it better.

• Yes, I'm a hypocrite.

• This entire bias has changed my mindset so much

• and I cannot stop thinking about it.

• The amount of time I have spent adding extra meetings,

• extra emails, putting more in a script

• and even in my personal life,

• just adding things all the time

• in order to solve things is wild.

• And I definitely suggest you think of your own life.

• It may even be why culture

• has come up with popular phrases like "Less is more,"

• or people like Marie Kondo became so famous.

• We need these little reminders

• to combat our natural instincts to add things.

• And I mean, why spend more money

• and affect your financial situation,

• when you could just be reminded to pause

• and evaluate whether a subtractive solution

• might be equally or better suited to your problem?

• It also rings true for human consumption in general.

• We all know we have a sort of addiction to consumption.

• We're taught having more money,

• more stuff, more status is good,

• that the economy or corporations should grow indefinitely,

• even at the cost of people and the environment.

• We're facing unprecedented climate effects

• from this consumption pattern already.

• And while a lot of the additive solutions

• are super exciting and necessary like solar and wind,

• there's a much bigger conversation around simply using less.

• All this to say that next time you're faced with a problem,

• just take a second and pause,

• and remember that less is more,

• or it's at least worth considering as a solution.

• We actually chatted to one of the lead researchers

• studying this phenomenon over on our podcast,

• channel on screen or link in the description,

• where we go over even more strategies on the science of less

• Now, if you need some help subtracting

• the excess from your life,

• and you wanna focus on the important things,

• then today's sponsor, Skillshare, is perfect for you.

• And they're offering the first 1,000 people

• who click the link in our description

• a free trial of Skillshare premium membership.

• They actually have an awesome class right now

• called Productivity for Creatives,

• Build a System that Brings Out Your Best by Thomas Frank,

• which will guide you

• through how to optimize your working styles

• through mindset, environment, and delegation.

• I've also taken a ton of other courses from animation

• to Photoshop, to nature photography,

• and now even TikToK courses.

• I'm getting old, I need help on TikToK.

• But honestly, there are just so many different options.

• It's really an online community where you can learn

• something brand new from the comfort of your own home,

• and they're dedicated to the best user experience

• and they're constantly launching new premium classes.

• For the first 1,000 of you

• that click the link in our description,

• you will get a free trial of premium membership.

• Every time you check out our sponsor or try them out,

• it helps our show, so we appreciate it a lot.

• Make sure you like this video, subscribe,

• and we will see you next time for some more science.

• Peace.

- Take a look at this Lego structure.

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B1 additive lego people bias extra solution

# Why 59% Of People Can't Solve This

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Summer posted on 2021/06/25
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