Is it Probable or Certain?

2431704208_1a05a40e0e‘It is probable that the event will not be on, because it is raining.’

‘I don’t think he will change his mind’.

It is unlikely that will occur.’

I often hear people say things that  they regard as probable, but they interpret them as certain. Therefore, they act on their assumptions, rather than testing the facts. In my research on amazing people, I found most were very good at testing assumptions. As a result, they reduced doubt and increased certainty.

Scientists like Dr Louis Pasteur and Dr Marie Curie spent their lives gaining verification of their ideas.

This is what should be taught in schools. Encourage opinion, but insist on research to support the views expressed.

This is important in business. Guessing is no substitute for assessing. Opinions without facts mean perceptions triumph over reality. One major business leader would stop a manager after hearing an opinion to ask for the facts. Eventually, his team realized they needed to get the details before giving a report.

However creativity and imagination must be valued. Walt Disney proved that if you can dream it then you can create it. The reality of Disneyland followed his ideas.

The most important thing is to help people understand practical probability. So, I ask people to what extent do they know their opinion is true. So, if they say,’ I doubt whether the event will be on’, is that 10% doubt or 99%. It makes a difference. Also, a couple of phone calls can change the percentages. As a result, what action will you take? For example, at what level of percentage would you go to the event – 60% 80% or 100%?

In my view, all schools and businesses should teach Practical Probability as a way of distinguishing doubt and certainty.