Hanlon's Razor

Hanlon's Razor

What is it?

Hanlon's Razor is a principle or heuristic that suggests one should not attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence or ignorance. In other words, it advises against assuming harmful intentions when a more likely explanation is simple error or oversight.

How can it be useful to you? When faced with situations that seem intentionally harmful or negative, but could be explained by simple mistakes or ignorance.

The Forgotten Email

You notice that a coworker forgot to include you in an important email thread. Before jumping to the conclusion that they excluded you on purpose, apply Hanlon's Razor. It suggests that it's more likely they just made a mistake or forgot to add you to the recipients list.

The Late Invitation

You receive an invitation to a friend's party, but it seems like it was sent at the last minute. Instead of assuming they didn't want you there, Hanlon's Razor encourages you to consider that they may have accidentally overlooked your name while sending out invites or had your contact information wrong.

The Incorrect Change

After shopping, a store cashier gives you the wrong change. Instead of immediately assuming they're trying to cheat you, Hanlon's Razor suggests it's more plausible they made a simple error in counting the money.

Remember, Hanlon's Razor is a tool for understanding that not all negative outcomes are the result of malice. It encourages a more compassionate, understanding view of ot ...