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Jan 17

Bias

Robin Hanson, economist-philosopher talks about bias at Overcoming Bias.   This post, in particular, caught my eye:

A working paper by Ilan Yaniv says we do listen to others, but we weigh our opinion 70% and someone else’s equally qualified opinion 30%:

(There’s a lot more, but this is enough for me to make my observation)

When you talk with another, equally qualified individual, I think it’s not only unsurprising, but in fact appropriate to value your opinion higher than theirs.  After all, you have to live with the consequences of your decisions far more than some random other person.    If the other person had to face the same consequences as you did (for example a business partner) then I could see the two opinions being of equal value – and in fact, I’ve lived that exact scenario.

For me, evaluating the opinions of others is a combination of evaluating their knowledge, relative to mine, but also their effort expended in coming to their conclusion relative to mine, and the costs of error, relative to mine.

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