Dr. Emre Soyer Masterclass in Munich “The Dark Side of Experience”

Written by Xiansu Chen ( MBA´15D)

On 23rd July, 2019 Emre Soyer’s (PhD) masterclass “The Dark Side of Experiences” took place in Munich. The title of the speech was a candidate of his soon-to-published book.
Emre Soyer started with the recent tennis match between Federer and Nadal and took this as a scene where instant feedback is available as the player gets to see the reaction of the ball and occasionally also from his coach. However, this is not always the case in everyday life, especially when it comes to complex decision making. Since we do not get immediate response, we tend to resort to our past experiences. This can lead to biases, blind spots or even hurdles to make an informed and wise decision. Thus, it is advisable to be particularly careful about experiences. Knowing where these come from is a good start.
Emre Soyer illustrated with lots of examples from his work and research the dark side of experiences along four chapters from his book: freedom (Many options have been deliberately omitted or emphasized to influence our decision-making process. In that sense the degree of freedom is rather limited), creativity (e.g. How to calm down people when a flight gets delayed? a guy dressed as a pilot telling they have to wait helped more than any other information or compensation), causality (he introduced the concept of base rate. If the base rate is low, it is more about the luck, about being at the right place at the right time. We won’t be able to conclude with insight what really caused the difference) and happiness (things that I don’t want and don’t have either) An engaging and interactive lecture, in which he managed to give us within a short period of time pills (base rate) as well as big ideas to gauge our perception of the world more objectively. Knowing where the dark side resides and why it is there certainly will help to be more aware of the pitfalls, be more creative and most important of all, make better decisions that can lead to more happiness. Over time the data that everybody collects, interprets and applies will reinforce intuition.
One take away from his class was a graph that really was food for thought and laugh at the same time. In the graph there were only four types of things in the world, things that I want but don’t have; things that I want and do have; things that I don’t want but have; things that I don’t want and don’t have either. Emre explained that people tend to focus too much on the first type. However, a dirty workaround to get a little bit happier is just to think a little more about the last type: things that I don’t want and don’t have either. I tried it personally and it worked like wonder.
Oh, one last piece of recommendation from Emre Soyer is the movie Money Ball, which I will watch some time.

IAAG Annual Conference in Main & Rheingau

Save the date ! QUO VADIS HEALTH CARE?

Annual Conference 27. – 29. September 2019

in Mainz & Wiesbaden!


Meet with your fellow INSEAD alumni in the picturesque city of Mainz. Celebrate an exclusive Gala evening in the famous Kurhaus Wiesbaden and enjoy the scenic views of the Rheingau region close to some of Germany´s largest Health Care players.

With digitalization disrupting one industry at a time, health care is likely to be next in line. A broad scope of economic and societal questions is arising – will Artificial Intelligence and the exponentially increasing amount of available data help us to prevent diseases rather than treating? Will we live to 120 years and beyond? Will medicine be tailored and personalized?
What will be the implications on society? The focus topic “Quo Vadis Health Care?” invites you to enlarge your horizon and learn from a range of diverse speakers.

We encourage you to reach beyond the intriguing insights of the Health Care sector by fostering an inspiring dialogue with your fellow IAAG alumni and experts from corporate, consulting and academia