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RobinZ comments on Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People - Less Wrong

70 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 April 2007 06:01PM

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Comment author: RobinZ 21 October 2011 06:45:05PM *  20 points [-]

There's a better counterargument than that in Tetlock - one of the data points he collected was from a group of university undergraduates, and they did worse than the worst experts, worse than blind chance. Thinking for yourself is the worst option Tetlock considered.

Comment author: Peterdjones 21 August 2012 12:23:38PM 0 points [-]

Thinking for yourself is the worst option Tetlock considered.

Worse for making predictions, I suppose. But if people never think for themselves, we are never going to have any new ideas. Statistical extrapolation may be great for prediction, but it is poor for originality. So we value thinking for oneself. But the hit-rate is terrtlble. We have to put up with huge amounts of crap to get the gems. Most Ideas are Wrong, as I like to say when people tell me I'm being "too critical".

Comment author: RobinZ 21 August 2012 04:16:18PM 2 points [-]

Worse for making predictions, I suppose.

Oh, it's less general than that - it's worse for political forecasting specifically. Other kinds of prediction (e.g. will this box fit under this table?), thinking for yourself is often one of the better options.

But, you know, political forecasting is one of the things we often care about. So knowing rules of thumb like "trust the experts, but not very much" is quite helpful.