Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement
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The article is the original work of Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein on ‘Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement’, published by Harper Collins publisher in May 2021. The author does not need an introduction itself; his work has contributed to the discipline of psychology and has contributed to human understanding of human nature with flaws and errors.

The book overtly mentions human judgements and where they can go wrong. Authors note that there are two types of judgement- bias and noise. Bias in the sense that they are purposely off-target and noise are those who are expected to agree and end up at different points off target. The property of noise is the primary purpose of the book. To understand human judgement, both bias and noise need to be studied. However, bias has always occupied the centre of the stage where noise has been hardly recognised. The book has given ample examples of noise decisions offering better understanding for its reader.

From a readability point, the book is divided into six parts, from bias to noise. It discreetly tells that both private and public organisations can be shockingly noisy. Surprisingly, the books involve criminal sentencing (hence the public organisation) and involve insurance (hence the private organisation). Yes, both could not be any different but serve the same perspective on noise. While discussing the nature of human judgement, it can also point out that judgements can be susceptible in both scenarios. This leads to focusing on the quality of judgement. The predictive judgement that ignores the objective sayings blend with noise and limit the quality of judgement. This leads to its reader asking if noise is so omnipresent that why it has been noticed before? This is where human psychology takes from. This explains the interpersonal differences arising from personality, different considerations and different use of a similar scale of judgement.

No book is coherent until given an insight into what can be done? A reasonable questioning with answers. The book investigates the problem of the nose in every sector, for instance, government, business, education and medicine. By providing insight on solutions, it discusses and challenges applications used for preventing human error or noise.

Kahneman makes a point that eliminating noise ultimately can be competitive and expensive to do so. Eliminating noise can undermine morale and make people think that they are being treated like a machine. Thus, the book tries to create a balance by creating an argument over its elimination and existence of noise in organisations to make judgements.

The book is a take on ‘decision hygiene’ by breaking complex judgements into more straightforward assessments. This will help in bringing out the interpersonal judgements and agglomeration. It provides reasoning on the elimination and the need for less noisy judgements. The book is written from a psychological lens but is explained from the necessity of all organisations giving a professional outlook on decisions and judgements. In my opinion, the book provides a different perspective on judgement. It leaves a reader thinking about human nature is full of error, but it can be resolved by consideration.

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement
By Roshani Goel, Senior Qualitative Researcher, Sanrachana