Sunday Snippet: Nicole Foss on Rationalization

“We are a rationalizing species, not a rational one, and there are always rationalizations for why it’s different this time – for why this time those outrageous valuations are justified. Well, its never different this time.”

Human beings are not computers. We do not have the rational decision-making skills of the Vulcans. We are inherently an emotional species and as much as we would like to think that we are rational, it is probably more accurate to say that we are rationalizing.

When faced with information that goes against our personal interests, we find a way to justify our existing standpoints. That’s precisely what Nicole Foss, also known as Stoneleigh, is expressing in the quote above. She is a co-editor at The Automatic Earth and the quote above comes by way of a recent interview conducted on the Keiser Report.

The context is the credit crunch and the “enormous property bubble” in the Canadian market, but the sentiment can easily be extended to many other aspects of our daily lives. How many times have you found yourself rationalizing your opinions and decisions in the face of conflicting information? Even when you know the past, you can sometimes doom yourself to repeat it.

While I think that Foss could be catastrophizing the issue — she says that property values will drop an average of 90% — she does bring up some very interesting points. At the same time, they’ve been saying that the housing bubble in Vancouver is on the cusp of bursting for years and this was even before the recession that hit economies around the world these last couple of years.

In any case, you can view the full Keiser Report interview with Nicole Foss over on YouTube. Her segment starts at about the 13:40 mark.