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.

Random links

The impact of the ‘open’ workspace on human collaboration
"Contrary to common belief, the volume of face-to-face interaction decreased significantly (approx. 70%) in both cases, with an associated increase in electronic interaction. In short, rather than prompting increasingly vibrant face-to-face collaboration, open architecture appeared to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact instead over email and IM."
Depression and "toxic people"
A twitter thread on the different ways that society seems to treat the two, written in the wake of the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, despite the overlap between the categories.
Why the Most “Cultured” Among Us May Be the Most Resistant to Change
Researchers "analyzed millions of Yelp and Netflix reviews to reveal that people considered the most culturally adventurous are actually the most resistant to experiences perceived as “crossing the line.” That is, those dubbed “cultural omnivores” — because they eat Thai for lunch, play bocce ball after work, and stream a French film that night — are the very ones opposed to mixing it up. No hummus on their hot dogs, forget about spaghetti Westerns, and do not mention Switched-On Bach."

Everything is obvious, once you know the answer

Been reading through Duncan Watts' Everything is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer again, after being reminded of it via a tweet by Dean Eckles starting a twitter thread which provides more context on the tweet below:

Random links

Grassland plants show surprising appetite for carbon dioxide
Are plants likely to respond differently to increased CO2 than previously expected?
Reputational and cooperative benefits of third-party compensation
"We find that compensating victims leads to greater reputational and cooperative benefits than punishing perpetrators. In fact, even people who themselves prefer to punish (vs. compensate) still prefer social partners who compensate (vs. punish). We also find that the signal that is sent via third-party compensating may be an honest signal of trustworthiness. Finally, we find that people accurately anticipate that observers would prefer them to compensate victims than to punish perpetrators and that participants personal decisions about whether to compensate or punish is based in part on the belief that the social norm is to compensate."
Dr. Peterson and the Reporters
"One ingredient in the astounding fame of Jordan Peterson is his capacity to show just how lazy, obtuse, unprepared, smug, knee-jerk, and prejudiced are many journalists at leading publications. ... Peterson fans like his interviews because they have experienced that smugness before. To watch someone stand up to it, to hear him cite clinical data and hold firmly against a party line they know is dishonest and coercive—that goes a long way to explaining the Peterson phenomenon."


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