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[CIA] אנשים בונים גרסאות "מציאות" פרטיות משלהם, על בסיס נתונים שנאספים ע"י החושים. אולם, הקלט החושי נגרס ע"י תהליכי חשיבה מורכבים, האחראים על ההחלטה לאיזה מידע תינתן זכות קדימה, כיצד יאורגן המידע, כיצד יפורש ואיזו משמעות תינתן לו. כיצד אנשים רואים, עד כמה מהר יראו ואיך הם יעבדו את המידע לאחר שיראו אותו, כל אלה מושפעים ממאורעות עבר, השכלה, ערכים תרבותיים, המערכת הסביבתית והנורמות הארגוניות. ניתן לדמות את התהליך הזה כראיית העולם דרך עדשה, או מסך, בעלי פוקוס משתנה, שעלול לעוות את התמונה. "עדשות" אלה ידועות בשמות רבים: הלך מחשבה (mind-set), מודלים מחשבתיים, הטיות או הנחות אנליטיות.

מחקרים רבים הראו כיצד כל נבחן ונבחן תופס ומפרש את המציאות בצורה שונה, בהתאם להנחות ולתפיסות שלו עצמו.

לדוגמא, מה אתם רואים בציור למטה? (אחרי שבחנתם אותו, עברו להערה שבתחתית דף זה. האם "ראיתם" את הציור בצורה נכונה? אם כן, יש לכם יכולת אנליזה מיוחדת, או שיש לכם מזל, או שראיתם כבר את הדוגמא הזו בעבר).

הדוגמא הפשוטה הזו מדגימה אחד מעקרונות הבסיס של התפיסה האנושית: אנחנו רואים רק את מה שאנחנו מצפים לראות.

Mind, Reciprocity and Markets in the Laboratory, Vernon Smith, 2001
"In 1952 Hayek, perhaps the 20th century's most versatile and deep intellect, articulated a model of perception subsequently corroborated by neurobiology, that experience is not formed, as we might think, by our receipt of signals reflecting fixed attributes of external phenomena. Rather, perception involves an interaction between current stimuli, and our past experience of similar conditions. Mental categories are formed dynamically out of the relative frequency of concurrence between memory and current experience. All perception is memory: what is stored are external stimuli modified by processing systems conditioned by past experiences".
Nonrational Actors and Financial Market Behavior, ZECKHAUSER, PATEL and HENDRICKS, 1991.
"Barn door closing, in the horse protection sense, refers to undertaking behavior today that would have been profitable yesterday. Investors seek to reproduce actual or imagined past investment successes by investing today in the same way".
"barn door closing" meaning that investors often do something today that would have been profitable yesterday. Why investors buy high and sell low can be mostly attributed to pride-seeking behaviour as well as the fear of regret. Pride-seeking refers to the need to feel good about decisions. Fear of regret leads to avoidance of the pain and responsibility of poor decisions. Correspondingly, pride-seeking leads investors to buy high, by investing in funds with the latest hot track record, so that they can be winners and feel good. Fear of regret, meanwhile, causes investors to sell low as they hold on to losing funds too long in the hope of avoiding the inevitable loss.
Once Burned, Twice Shy: Naive Learning, Counterfactuals, and the Repurchsae of Stocks Previously Sold, Odean, Barber and Strahilevitz, 2004
We establish two previously undocumented patterns in the purchase selections of individual investors and confirm a related pattern. These patterns hinge on investors' previous experience with a stock. We demonstrate that investors prefer to (1) repurchase stocks that they previously sold for a gain, (2) repurchase stocks that have lost value subsequent to a prior sale, and (3) purchase additional shares of stocks that have lost value subsequent to being purchased. We argue that the first trading pattern results from a simple form of learning whereby investors repeat actions that previously resulted in pleasure while avoiding actions that previously led to pain (i.e., they repurchase their previous winners but not their previous losers). We argue that the second trading pattern is tied to counterfactuals. Investors who buy a stock at a higher price than they previously sold it for are painfully aware that they are worse off than if they had simply never sold that stock. Investors who buy a stock at a lower price than they previously sold it for experience the pleasure of knowing they are better off than if they had never sold that stock. We argue that the third pattern can also be understood in terms of counterfactuals. Investors who purchase additional shares of a stock at a higher price than they originally paid are aware that they would have been better off making a larger initial purchase, while those who purchase additional shares at a lower price are better off than if they had made a larger initial purchase. Furthermore, by purchasing additional shares at a lower price, investors increase the likelihood that they will be able to sell their shares for more than the average purchase price. From a Prospect Theory perspective, investors are lowering their reference point for this position. Buying stocks that have gone down in price since they were sold, or first purchased, is inconsistent with the general preference of investors for buying stocks with strong recent performance. Investor returns do not reliably benefit from any of the three patterns we document.
האם ראיתם שמילה אחת (בציור המסומן figure 1) מופיעה פעמיים בכל משפט? ההבחנה הזו נעלמת בדרך-כלל מן העין בגלל שהתפיסה שלנו מושפעת מניסיון העבר שלנו כיצד נכתבים משפטים ומהציפיה לראות תבנית דומה.