Archive for the ‘Biases’ Category

Biases: The “halo effect” … rock on, sister!

April 27, 2018

We covered the Halo Effect in class this week, so I’ve got an excuse to dust off one of my favorite posts …

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I’ll explain the picture later, but first, the back story.

A couple of interesting dots got connected last week.

image

First, I started watching The Voice.

I liked the talent and the bantering among the coaches, but wondered why they used the turning chairs gimmick.  You know, judges can’t see the the performers, they can just hear them.

Became apparent when Usher turned his chair and was surprised to see that the high-pitched soul singer was a big white guy.

Hmmm.

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Second, for the course I’m currently teaching, I’ve been reading a book called The Art of Thinking Clearly — a series of short essays on cognitive biases – those sneaky psychological effects that impair our decision-making.

(more…)

Biases: The “halo effect” … rock on, sister!

September 20, 2016

Since Alicia Keys debuted as a coach on The Voice last night, I have a semi-legitimate excuse for reprising one of my all-time favorite posts … topic is a cognitive bias called the “halo effect”.

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I’ll explain the picture later, but first, the back story.

A couple of interesting dots got connected last week.

image

First, I started watching The Voice.

I liked the talent and the bantering among the coaches, but wondered why they used the turning chairs gimmick.  You know, judges can’t see the the performers, they can just hear them.

Became apparent when Usher turned his chair and was surprised to see that the high-pitched soul singer was a big white guy.

Hmmm.

=====

Second, for the course I’m currently teaching, I’ve been reading a book called The Art of Thinking Clearly — a series of short essays on cognitive biases – those sneaky psychological effects that impair our decision-making.

(more…)

Star gazing … how reliable are online user ratings?

May 20, 2016

When we’re buying something on Amazon, we all glance at the user ratings, right?

5-stars, it’s a keeper … 1 star it’s a bummer.

Real reviews from real users.

What could be more accurate?

clip_image002

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Some researchers tried to answer that question.

Since Consumer Reports has been in the quality testing business for decades with a reputation for rigor, objectivity and impartiality … So, to test the reliability of user ratings, the researchers took the Consumer Reports’ scores for 1,272 products and compared them to more than 300,000 Amazon ratings for the same items.

Their findings may surprise you …

(more…)

Biases: The “halo effect” … rock on, sister!

September 24, 2015

Two coinciding events this week: I’m prepping my fall course in business analytics — with some emphasis on decision biases — and, AGT is over (finally) and The Voice’s new season started.

So, it’s time to dust off one of my favorite posts …

======

I’ll explain the picture later, but first, the back story.

A couple of interesting dots got connected last week.

 

image

First, I started watching The Voice.

I liked the talent and the bantering among the coaches, but wondered why they used the turning chairs gimmick.  You know, judges can’t see the the performers, they can just hear them.

Became apparent when Usher turned his chair and was surprised to see that the high-pitched soul singer was a big white guy.

Hmmm.

=====

Second, for the course I’m currently teaching, I’ve been reading a book called The Art of Thinking Clearly — a series of short essays on cognitive biases – those sneaky psychological effects that impair our decision-making.

(more…)

Problem Solving: A matter of perspective …

June 12, 2015

According to ChinaSmack.com, most Hong Kong elementary school applicants are able to answer this admissions test question in the allotted 20 seconds.

Can you?

Psst: It’s ok to use scratch paper and a pen or pencil.

 

image

 

Stumped?  Here’s the answer and the teaching point …

(more…)

What are your chances of dying from ___ ?

May 26, 2015

OK, here’s a test for you  …

image

Rank the the following by the odds that somebody who is in the group or who is exposed to the risk is likely to die.

Make #1 the highest risk of dying in the next year; make #7 the lowest risk circumstance

  • For women giving birth
  • For anyone thirty-five to forty-four years old
  • From asbestos in schools
  • For anyone for any reason
  • From lightning
  • For police on the job
  • From airplane crashes

And the answer is …

(more…)

Biases: The “halo effect” … rock on, sister!

April 12, 2015

We’ve covering the Halo Effect in class this week, so it’s time to dust off one of my favorite posts …

======

I’ll explain the picture later, but first, the back story.

A couple of interesting dots got connected last week.

 

image

First, I started watching The Voice.

I liked the talent and the bantering among the coaches, but wondered why they used the turning chairs gimmick.  You know, judges can’t see the the performers, they can just hear them.

Became apparent when Usher turned his chair and was surprised to see that the high-pitched soul singer was a big white guy.

Hmmm.

=====

Second, for the course I’m currently teaching, I’ve been reading a book called The Art of Thinking Clearly — a series of short essays on cognitive biases – those sneaky psychological effects that impair our decision-making.

(more…)

What are your chances of dying from ___ ?

March 17, 2015

OK, here’s a test for you  …

image

Rank the the following by the odds that somebody who is in the group or who is exposed to the risk is likely to die.

Make #1 the highest risk of dying in the next year; make #7 the lowest risk circumstance

  • For women giving birth
  • For anyone thirty-five to forty-four years old
  • From asbestos in schools
  • For anyone for any reason
  • From lightning
  • For police on the job
  • From airplane crashes

And the answer is …

(more…)

Problem Solving: A matter of perspective …

February 26, 2015

According to ChinaSmack.com, most Hong Kong elementary school applicants are able to answer this admissions test question in the allotted 20 seconds.

Can you?

Psst: It’s ok to use scratch paper and a pen or pencil.

 

image

 

Stumped?  Here’s the answer and the teaching point …

(more…)

Problem Solving: A matter of perspective …

February 22, 2015

According to ChinaSmack.com, most Hong Kong elementary school applicants are able to answer this admissions test question in the allotted 20 seconds.

Can you?

Psst: It’s ok to use scratch paper and a pen or pencil.

 

image

 

Stumped?  Here’s the answer and the teaching point …

(more…)

Blizzard miss: Meteorologists apologize … some blame climate change.

January 28, 2015

I often ask: ”Do weather forecasters feel guilty accepting their pay?”

Most people would say: “They certainly should”.

After clearing the streets of NYC for “an unprecedented blizzard of epic proportions”, weather forecasters had to eat crow when the snow-that-would-end-the world turned out to be, well, a garden-variety winter snow storm.

At least one weather-dude had the decency to apologize.

According to CNBC:

“Gary Szatkowski, the meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s office in New Jersey, stunned people in the wee hours Tuesday with a heartfelt apology for the blown forecast.”

clip_image001

How did the forecasters get things so wrong?

(more…)

Morning bias: To get ahead, set your alarm earlier.

January 22, 2015

Excerpted from Quartz: “No matter what the boss says about flextime, get to work early”

Being a “morning person” may be more than virtuous. It may literally be a criteria for career success.

Managers rate workers who get an early start higher than those who get in and stay late, no matter how many hours they work in total or how well they do their jobs.

Apparently, managers have a “morning bias” … that confuses starting time with conscientiousness and productivity.

image

 

Managers perceive employees who start later as less conscientious, and consequently less hard-working and disciplined, and that carries through to performance ratings.

Here’s the proof …

(more…)

Problem Solving: A matter of perspective …

June 20, 2014

According to ChinaSmack.com, most Hong Kong elementary school applicants are able to answer this admissions test question in the allotted 20 seconds.

Can you?

Psst: It’s ok to use scratch paper and a pen or pencil.

 

image

 

Stumped?  Here’s the answer and the teaching point …

(more…)

Morning bias: To get ahead, set your alarm earlier.

May 19, 2014

Excerpted from Quartz: “No matter what the boss says about flextime, get to work early”

Being a “morning person” may be more than virtuous. It may literally be a criteria for career success.

Managers rate workers who get an early start higher than those who get in and stay late, no matter how many hours they work in total or how well they do their jobs.

Apparently, managers have a “morning bias” … that confuses starting time with conscientiousness and productivity.

image

 

Managers perceive employees who start later as less conscientious, and consequently less hard-working and disciplined, and that carries through to performance ratings.

Here’s the proof …

(more…)

What are your chances of dying from ___ ?

April 4, 2014

OK, here’s a test for you  …

image

Rank the the following by the odds that somebody who is in the group or who is exposed to the risk is likely to die.

Make #1 the highest risk of dying in the next year; make #7 the lowest risk circumstance

  • For women giving birth
  • For anyone thirty-five to forty-four years old
  • From asbestos in schools
  • For anyone for any reason
  • From lightning
  • For police on the job
  • From airplane crashes

And the answer is …

(more…)

Biases: The “halo effect” … rock on, sister!

March 25, 2014

I’ll explain the picture later, but first, the back story.

A couple of interesting dots got connected last week.

 

image

First, I started watching The Voice.

I liked the talent and the bantering among the coaches, but wondered why they used the turning chairs gimmick.  You know, judges can’t see the the performers, they can just hear them.

Became apparent when Usher turned his chair and was surprised to see that the high-pitched soul singer was a big white guy.

Hmmm.

=====

Second, for the course I’m currently teaching, I’ve been reading a book called The Art of Thinking Clearly — a series of short essays on cognitive biases – those sneaky psychological effects that impair our decision-making.

(more…)

What are your chances of dying from ___ ?

July 16, 2013

OK, here’s a test for you  …

image

Rank the the following by the odds that somebody who is in the group or who is exposed to the risk is likely to die.

Make #1 the highest risk of dying in the next year; make #7 the lowest risk circumstance

  • For women giving birth
  • For anyone thirty-five to forty-four years old
  • From asbestos in schools
  • For anyone for any reason
  • From lightning
  • For police on the job
  • From airplane crashes

And the answer is …

(more…)