Cognitive Bias In Mount Everest Tragedy
General manager must learn important lessons of leadership and decision-making process from this mount Everest tragedy that took place in 1996.
In Mount Everest tragedy, we see the cognitive bias such as sunk cost effect, overconfidence bias, recency bias.
Sunk cost effect- It is the cost that is initially incurred and it can’t be recovered, your future decision should be make without thinking of the past expenditure which already incurred but when you reach near the finish line it is the basic human tendency that they kept sunk cost resources -time, money and effort which they put in to obtain their respective objective in their decision making process, this make them difficult to pave back when success is near even it being risky and difficult to achieve. In this case, Hall already set the parameter of 1:00 to 2:00 pm initially to setback despite how close you are from the top but at what happen in south pole summit some climber proceed forward knowing that the set policy and that lead to suffer most of them, only because they kept sunk cost in their decision making process.
Overconfidence bias: It usually happen that some point of time people developed a sense of overconfidence in their judgement. In case of Mount Everest, we see Hall and Fisher, they seem to be overconfidence because they perform the task of high peek climbing several time but they have to be kept in mind that when you climb or perform the task, then there is certain chance that you have to be faced some unpleasant situation, that may be different in which you may not have prior experience, you need to be in a mood of learning from new experience, in this case Hall recognize the risk but then also he ignore it.
Recency bias: In this bias, decision maker rely heavily on the fact and information that are occurred recently as compared to the events that has already been occurred and make their decision and judgment according to that. In Mount Everest case, Hall and Fisher took the data from some past seasons and conclude that climber enjoy the climbing at this point of season. As many climbers suggest that storm of Mount Everest are unusual and suppressing, so there is always a need of prior planning and discussion then come to conclusion.