Sunday, June 11, 2006

Overconfident experts

There has been a lot of writings lately about how experts are not nearly as expert as they think (Arnold Kling, James Surowiecki). The Arnold Kling article specifically discusses economists and how this overconfidence can harm public policy when governments rely on their recommendations. This is a considerable problem.

Since Human Factors has so much to say on naturalistic decision making (of which economics is a prime example), such as the fantastic research on recognition primed decision making, I think it behooves us to think about applying some our work to the public policy domain. Yes we are helping the military, law enforcement, etc., but why not macroeconomic and industrial policy at the federal level. Not only can we have a huge effect on our nation(s), but we would also increase the visibility of our field.

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