“We are normally blind about our own blindness. We are generally overconfident in our opinions . . . We exaggerate how knowable the world is. . . people don’t think very carefully. They’re influenced by all sorts of superficial thinking in their decision-making. . .”
Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow
Making an unqualified statement about your decisions is as difficult as having dinner with your future in-laws. Having an idea is so threatening to other people we must qualify it with an “I think” disclaimer. It’s that or be labeled as not being nice – or worse, racist.
Try saying, “I think the third quarter figures indicate greater investment in marketing is needed.” You might as well say, “The third quarter figures indicate greater investment in marketing is needed but my Ichthyology degree from Thunder-Bolt Community College and Stock Car Racing Track, doesn’t really give me much credibility on the subject.”
“I think.” in a sentence asks permission to say something, as if you would modify it if no one agrees. Really, would The Terminator have scared anyone by saying “I think I’ll be Baaak.”