Business, Equivocation, and Neuroscience

I've been reading Donald Trump's book How to Get Rich, which is a decent book but nothing to rave about. One of the chapters is entitled "Don't Equivocate." Trump thinks that equivocation makes you seem unsure of yourself and thus is bad for business. I agree. Business is all about strategy and execution, both of which require decision making, not equivocation. But, in light of modern neuroscience, how confident can we really be in our decision making capabilities?

I've written before about cognitive biases (here and here). And there are plenty of other books out there that talk about what poor decision makers we humans are. I read somewhere that 25% of people place themselves in the top 1% when it comes to their ability to get along with others. That isn't possible. We tend to see causal links and patterns that don't exist, and we are poor at understanding mathematical probabilities. (How many people, after flipping a coin on heads 8 or 9 times in a row feel like you are "due" for tails, even though we all know it is a 50/50 chance?) I've caught myself making many of these judgement mistakes, even after I have read about them.

The reason I equivocate is not because I can't make a decision. I'm not one who is afraid of dealing with the consequences of making the wrong choice. I equivocate because I constantly wonder what cognitive biases are at play in the decision that I am not aware of. There really is no way to be sure that I am free and clear of these biases, short of being as educated as possible about them. I know that most people don't equivocate for the reasons I just mentioned. I still can't help but feel that Trump is somehow calling me out. Maybe I should stop doing it so much, or maybe not. I can see the pros and cons of both sides…