When should you trust your gut?

It reminded me of the following chunk of the book Superforecasting on how the lack of immediate feedback can lead to overconfidence for police office in their ability to question suspects:

Effective practice also needs to be accompanied by clear and timely feedback. My research collaborator Don Moore points out that police officers spend a lot of time figuring out who is telling the truth and who is lying, but research has found they aren’t nearly as good at it as they think they are and they tend not to get better with experience. That’s because experience isn’t enough. It must be accompanied by clear feedback.

When an officer decides that a suspect is or isn’t lying, the officer doesn’t get immediate feedback about the accuracy of her guess (like the suspect saying, “You’re right! I was lying!”). Instead, events proceed. Charges may be laid, a trial held, and a verdict delivered, or there may be a plea bargain down the road. But this can take months or years, and even when there is a resolution, a huge range of factors could have gone into it. So an officer seldom gets clear feedback that tells her, yes, her judgment was right, or no, it was wrong. Predictably, psychologists who test police officers’ ability to spot lies in a controlled setting find a big gap between their confidence and their skill. And that gap grows as officers become more experienced and they assume, not unreasonably, that their experience has made them better lie detectors. As a result, officers grow confident faster than they grow accurate, meaning they grow increasingly overconfident.

Looking at it again I was mildly amused that female pronouns were used in the paragraph above. I've been kind of meaning to write up something on how politically correct assertions re: gender differences don't seem to be fully aligned with the underlying research. The quote above at least gets into some of the situational elements that, regardless of a person's gender, can tend to produce overconfidence.