• Jack Cummins
    4.1k
    This thread topic is based on the discussion in 'Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment', by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, Cass R. Sunstein(2021). They argue that,
    'Some judgments are biased; they are systematically off target. Other judgments are noisy, as people who are expected to agree end up at very different points of view around the target.'

    The use of the idea of noise is referring to interference, which may include weather, as well as human moods and fatigue. This involves filtering information and clarity in the process, as well as biases. It comes into medicine, especially the subjective aspects of psychiatric diagnosis. Also, it comes into play in assessments in child custody, job interviews and performance appraisals. The authors argue that, 'In the case of professional judgments, the belief that others see the world much as we do is reinforced in multiple ways'. Here, they point to consensus agreements about language and rules.

    The authors argue that, 'measurement is in the human mind', and, 'Matters of judgment, including professional judgments, occupy a space between questions or facts or computations on the other hand, and matters of taste.'They also suggest that groups and organisations amplify the noise, and that both system and pattern noise is involved in errors.

    The topic area is important for considering human judgments in daily life. The argument in the book is that artificial developments may help with accuracy, although this is not a substitute, as, 'understanding the world depends on our extraordinary ability to construct narratives that explain events we observe.' This underlying problem is of human subjectivity and the authors suggest that awareness of noise as a critical aspect of human judgments is important.' Any thoughts?
  • Joshs
    3.2k


    This thread topic is based on the discussion in 'Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment', by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, Cass R. Sunstein(2021). They argue that,
    'Some judgments are biased; they are systematically off target. Other judgments are noisy, as people who are expected to agree end up at very different points of view around the target.'
    Jack Cummins

    I think Kahneman’s approach is fundamentally limited due to his attempt to explain human behavior on the basis of an objectively normative model. Cognition is not the computational representation of information, it is the subjective constural of valuative relations. Words like ‘distortion’, ‘bias’, ‘error’,’off target’ rely on normative abstractions serving as the criterion of accuracy and correctness.

    The authors argue that, 'measurement is in the human mind', and, 'Matters of judgment, including professional judgments, occupy a space between questions or facts or computations on the other hand, and matters of taste.'Jack Cummins

    Judgement is not a space between fact and value. Value is prior to fact , in that all facts are intrinsically valuative.
    n
  • Ciceronianus
    2.4k


    I think the notion that our judgments are "distorted and flawed" has become so commonplace among many of those of the Academy and their acolytes that it serves merely to discourage judgment, if it doesn't render judging anathema. It's a truism in any case. We judge all the time, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. We can make better judgments than we do. Let's try to do that rather than avoid making them or apologize when we do.
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    I have to admit that I was a little disappointed by the book because its arguments didn't go as deep as I thought that they could have done. Other than show subjective bias and interferences in the processing of information there was not much scope to the discussion.
  • unenlightened
    6.5k
    Your question calls for good judgement. The author's judgement as you report it here seems mechanistic, not good enough for you or me.

    Back in the 70s, there was a campaign for natural childbirth in the UK. Women often felt that child birth was over-medicalised, that the wishes of expectant mothers were being overridden, and that obstetric interventions such as forceps delivery, caesarian sections, induced contractions, etc, were overused because they were expressions of male power in a place where the previous tradition had been for female midwives to be in charge.

    The campaign had some success, and all sorts of innovations came in to re humanise childbirth and de-medicalise it; birthing pools more natural positions than lying on a bed, de- stressing the event to reduce pain and promote relaxation, and so on.

    50 years on, there is a scandal in several hospitals about excess neonatal and maternal deaths, caused by an ideological commitment to natural childbirth, overriding the mother's wishes and failing to implement those same interventions of caesarians, inductions and forceps that were being overprescribed before. So it goes.

    There is no recipe for avoiding both type one and type two errors, except this:

    Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?
    I do not believe it can be done.

    The universe is sacred.
    You cannot improve it.
    If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
    If you try to hold it, you will lose it.

    So sometimes things are ahead and sometimes they are behind;
    Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily;
    Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness;
    Sometimes one is up and sometimes down.

    Therefore the sage avoids extremes, excesses, and complacency.
    — Lao Tau - 29
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    I now see the need for (a) god(s). Given the OP's main idea (distortion in judgment of humans), it's quite obvious we need someone nonhuman to preside over disputes between human and human.

    Kinda like Gödel's incompleteness theorems: no system can prove its own consistency and all systems will always be incomplete. We need (a) god(s), by definition superior to us and thus not limited by the flaws in human cognition.

    A good idea god(s) is/are but, at the same time, extremely dangerous. We're playing with fire, we're gonna get burned!
  • 180 Proof
    8.4k
    We can make better judgments than we do. Let's try to do that rather than avoid making them or apologize when we do.Ciceronianus
    :fire:

    And yet, however "distorted" or "noisy" it is (via e.g. misunderstandings, expectations, biases, delusions, etc), judgment is the enabling-constraint of every adaptive behavior and practice.
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    I definitely agree that it is worth striving for making the best and fullest judgments possible. It probably involves looking at all the factors and not being superficial. The book didn't seem to me to give enough consideration to the ways of overcoming 'noise' and bias in specific ways, other than recognizing that it occurs.
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    Actually, given the constraints of 'noise', human beings often make fairly good judgments.

    I don't feel able to write anymore. I think that I am coming down with flu because I can't eat properly today and just fell asleep, so I will go to bed and look at the thread when I am feeling a bit better.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    I definitely agree that it is worth striving for making the best and fullest judgments possible. — Jack Cummins

    Jack hits the bullseye!

    I work in a small office and over the years I've learned a valuable lesson: perfection is impossible BUT we must, at all times, do the best given the available information & resources. Maximize gains with what you have (real) and not what you'd like to have (imaginary)! What say you Jack? A good judge should be able to say more.
  • Wayfarer
    15.8k
    The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science, Peter Harrison

    Peter Harrison provides an account of the religious foundations of scientific knowledge. He shows how the approaches to the study of nature that emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were directly informed by theological discussions about the Fall of Man and the extent to which the mind and the senses had been damaged by that primeval event. Scientific methods, he suggests, were originally devised as techniques for ameliorating the cognitive damage wrought by human sin. At its inception, modern science was conceptualized as a means of recapturing the knowledge of nature that Adam had once possessed. Contrary to a widespread view that sees science emerging in conflict with religion, Harrison argues that theological considerations were of vital importance in the framing of the scientific method.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    Fall of Man

    Have we picked ourselves up from the ground? Are we still falling? Did we die from the fall? What is it? pray tell!
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    flu — Jack Cummins

    Get well soon Jack!
  • 180 Proof
    8.4k
    Are we still falling?Agent Smith
    Desperately trying to mend broken wings while free fallin'.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1lWJXDG2i0A :cool:
  • Wayfarer
    15.8k
    there's a .pdf synopsis of the Peter Harrison book out there on the internet although the biblical overtones area a gauranteed turn-off for most of the audience here.

    Nevertheless, pressing ahead, in ancient and pre-modern culture, there was a definite link between sagacity (the attributes of sages) and judgement, including (but not limited to) moral judgement. For example a few months ago, I provided a link to one of the publishers who had a collection of ancient philosophical texts for modern reader (here.) So I would suggest that the Peter Harrison book is related to that genre (with the caveat, of course, that according to Biblical authority, all the other purveyors of ancient wisdom were pagans).

    I will say, I haven't read the book Jack mentions although it does look interesting.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    Desperately trying to mend broken wings while free fallin'.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1lWJXDG2i0A :cool:
    180 Proof

    :lol:
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    @Jack Cummins

    From my college days, if memory serves, errors are of two kinds:

    1. Haphazard/random errors: +/- (too much or too less) with no clear winner. Jack Cummins probably refers to these as noise.

    2. Systematic errors: Bias, either always excessive or always deficient.

    Both are errors in measurement/judgment

    Systematic errors are a double whammy: not only are there errors but now the errors are, let's just say, unfair (partiality).

    If you want to make mistakes, the moral of the story is, make random ones!
  • Tom Storm
    4k
    I have always thought that human judgements are flawed and also located within worldviews or value systems, so they are not much more than positions held based on presuppositions which may or may not appeal to others. Do we have any reason to believe that a judgement is much more than the production of a kind of art form?
  • Wayfarer
    15.8k
    Do we have any reason to believe that a judgement is much more than the production of a kind of art form?Tom Storm

    that's a judgement.
  • Tom Storm
    4k
    Indeed. And flawed too, right?
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    I am feeling a bit better, but the problem of human error is still one which remains. I am not suggesting that many aspects of the human limitations of judgments are not ones to be tackled philosophically. It may be that the elimination of error and bias is the most which human beings can strive towards. Clarity of thought and aspects of objective approaches in evaluating information may be of utmost importance in the best possible attempts at careful judgments.
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    The question of whether a judgment is beyond an art form is outstanding. It could be asked how various perspectives are considered here, especially those of the arts and sciences. How may such approaches be evaluated in relation to the larger picture of philosophical truth?
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    Medical judgments, like law have such an 'official' status. Many dare'nt question them. I am not coming from the view that effort and expertise is not involved in such judgments. However, in some instances the judgments may not be full enough and the lack of the fullest depths of judgments in human affairs, including medicine and law, may lead to compromised views of possible options and the scope of understanding the complexities of life, and choices.
  • Tom Storm
    4k
    I take the view that we probably don't have access to absolute truth or reality. These ideas are likely to be constructions of human minds. What we do have is language and ideas which may or may not be useful in certain contexts. Judgement is really an umbrella term for a range of different activities. How do you compare the judgement of a priest about the question of sin to that of a geographer and the prediction of earthquakes? Is judgement just opinion in formal clothing, or is it expertise being practiced? Depends on the example and worldview, right?
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    I am feeling a bit better, but the problem of human error is still one which remains. I am not suggesting that many aspects of the human limitations of judgments are not ones to be tackled philosophically. It may be that the elimination of error and bias is the most which human beings can strive towards. Clarity of thought and aspects of objective approaches in evaluating information may be of utmost importance in the best possible attempts at careful judgments.Jack Cummins

    But one thing these images have in common is that they're all what's called diffraction limited and that means they can't get any sharper because of the effects of light diffracting off of the telescope hardware and the internal optics of the instrument. So really these images are as sharp and as best focused as the laws of physics and optics will allow. — Christian Ready

    We're on the same page Jack.
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    The issue may be about the best lens of perception, for judgment. It may be about recognizing biases and interference as a potential problem, and as a means of overcoming these problems. It is not possible to go beyond subjectivity in the process of evaluating and interpretation, but it may be that it more that can be understood about these aspects, which infringe on judgment, may allow for a certain amount of distance in understanding. Human beings are not able to step outside of subjectivity, but the awareness of subjectivity may be an important starting point for thinking about how interpretation and evaluations are made.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k


    True, what you say. I still don't know how to tell these (mass hysteria/folie à plusieurs & objectivity) apart. If I'm mad then it's not ok; if everyone's mad, it's ok! Religions are deliberately bracketed out of the definition for delusions. Go figure!

    I don't know what else to say Jack.
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    The nature of language may be a source of discussion, especially in understanding the lack of objectivity in judgments. It may be that many people think that they are being objective, but there may be more to it. There may be blindspots in judgments. Perhaps, the awareness of the psychological aspects of judgment may be important in understanding this area of philosophy. The understanding of where is coming from may be a starting point for escaping the attachment to opinions and a more rigorous and less slanted view, especially in relation to aspects of social and political life. Bias may be curtain for hiding behind, and it may be that once the curtains fall down the obstacles present in judgments may enable greater clarity of thought.
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    The task may be to try to see beyond delusion, which may involve greater awareness of the processes of evaluating information, as a path towards a certain amount of critical awareness.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    Indeed. And flawed too, right?Tom Storm

    @Wayfarer

    Is everything broken? :cry:

    Toys...Broken Toys
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