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Duncan_Sabien comments on Making intentions concrete - Trigger-Action Planning - Less Wrong

25 Post author: Kaj_Sotala 01 December 2016 08:34PM

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Comment author: Duncan_Sabien 01 December 2016 08:54:43PM 22 points [-]

I'd add onto this that over several years of teaching Trigger-Action Planning at CFAR workshops, our organizational conception of them has shifted a bit. These days, when I'm responsible for teaching TAPs, I highlight a couple of things more strongly than you have above:

  • TAPs are best used as a "summon sapience" spell. They're more valuable for noticing opportunities than for brute-forcing behavior change (e.g. a TAP of "when I feel the metal of the door handle in my hand, I'll LOOK AT the stairs" seems better than "when I feel the metal of the door handle in my hand, I'll TAKE the stairs). Once you're regularly noticing the absence of the behavior you want, it should either a) automatically correct itself, or b) be the inspiration for doing some tinkering with your motivation.

  • TAPs fail in two places: trigger doesn't fire, or action isn't chosen/taken. Thus I'd change your "three requirements" a little bit to be more like: has a specific, concrete, and relevant trigger; has a simple, effortless, atomic action; does actually further your goals.

Thanks for writing this up, especially including references and footnotes!