Differentiating between bias and noise

Differentiating between bias and noise

Imagine four different targets - each shot by eight guns.

  • Target 1 has eight holes closest to the bullseye - showing low bias and low noise.
  • Target 2 has eight holes close together but above the bullseye - demonstrating high bias but low noise.
  • Target 3 has eight holes widely distributed around the bullseye, showing low bias and high noise.
  • Target 4 has eight holes widely distributes, showing high noise and bias. 

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Have We Been Ignoring the Biggest Flaw in Human Judgment?

psychologytoday.com

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  • Individual differences, such as the tendency to judge targets roughly or harshly.
  • Using vague or imprecise judgement scales.
  • Random variation in the order judges views evidence.

How to reduce noise:

  • Apply a uniform set of decision rules, leaving no room for subjectivity.
  • Different members of a team should judge different dimensions individually.
  • Judges should first write down their evaluation before any discussion.
  • Use ranking to make relative judgments instead of a scale where everyone can be rated the same.

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Daniel Kahneman is notable for his work on biases in human judgement that affects everyday life for all of us.

For example, courtroom judges exercise judgmental biases when one judge is more lenient than another. Business people make judgments whether a candidate is more qualified than another candidate. Bankers judge who will get a loan.

Kahneman argues that judgmental biases are only part of the problem. The other is that judgments are often noisy. Ask ten different judges to suggest a sentence, and you'll get ten different answers.

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Things that should be taught in every school
  1. Personal finance: credit cards, savings and retirement;
  2. Relationships: communication, consent, sexuality;
  3. Logic and Reasoning: Logical progressions; 
  4. Self-Awareness: thinking about thoughts and feelings;
  5. Skepticism: nothing is certain, there are no things completely reliable.

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5 Things That Should Be Taught in Every School

markmanson.net

Prejudice is inside us all

Prejudice stems in part from cultural learning, our parents, our schools, and social messages in the media. Prejudice is also deeply embedded in our thought networks.

The good news is that we can combat it.

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Prejudiced thoughts run through all our minds — the key is what we do with them

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The Way We Delude Ourselves

Cognitive Biases are a collection of faulty and illogical ways of thinking which are hardwired in the brain, most of which we aren’t aware of.

The idea of cognitive biases was invented in the 1970s by two social scientists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, with Kahneman winning the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for the same.

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The Cognitive Biases Tricking Your Brain

theatlantic.com