Learning How to Think
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF / New York Times
Ever wonder how financial experts could lead the world over the economic cliff?
One explanation is that so-called experts turn out to be, in many situations, a stunningly poor source of expertise. There’s evidence that what matters in making a sound forecast or decision isn’t so much knowledge or experience as good judgment — or, to be more precise, the way a person’s mind works.
More on that in a moment. First, let’s acknowledge that even very smart people allow themselves to be buffaloed by an apparent “expert” on occasion.
The best example of the awe that an “expert” inspires is the “Dr. Fox effect.” It’s named for a pioneering series of psychology experiments in which an actor was paid to give a meaningless presentation to professional educators.
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