May 23, 2021

Why Is Noise Worse Than Bias? Olivier Sibony Explains

NOISE is set to be the next behavioral science bestseller. Daniel Kahneman, Cass Sunstein and Olivier Sibony describe noise as the unwanted variabilities in our judgments. In our exclusive interview with co-author Olivier Sibony (https://oliviersibony.com/about/) we delve into the fundamentals of noise. What different types of noise are there? Where do we find noise? Why does bias get more attention than noise? And finally, Olivier’s favorite topic; how we can mitigate noise by using decision hygiene and actively open minded thinking.

Olivier Sibony is a professor, writer and advisor specializing in the quality of strategic thinking and the design of decision processes. Olivier teaches Strategy, Decision Making and Problem Solving at HEC Paris. He is also an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School in Oxford University. Olivier’s research centers on improving the quality of decision making by reducing the impact of behavioral biases. He is the author of numerous articles in academic and popular publications, including Before You Make That Big Decision, co-authored with Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman.

Our interview with Olivier is, as I’m sure you will agree. absolutely mesmerizing. Learning about the extent of noise in our lives from Olivier and from the new book, is truly enlightening. As their cleverly crafted catchphrase says "wherever there is judgment, there is noise, and more of it than you think."

Thankfully, the brilliant team of authors have included lots of ways to combat the noise around us. And we know that our discussion with Olivier is just the first of many that we will have around this groundbreaking topic.

Behavioral Grooves strives to bring you insight and research from world-leading experts in behavioral science, like Olivier. And we do this without the use of paid advertising. If you would like to support our continued ad-free work, please consider becoming a Behavioral Grooves patreon by visiting https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves thank you.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

Topics We Discuss

  • (4:38) Welcome to Olivier Sibony and speed round questions
  • (7:51) The difference between bias and noise
  • (11:32) Why has bias received more attention than noise?
  • (14:15) Where noise can be found?
  • (22:32) What is Decision Hygiene?
  • (26:35) How to implement mitigation techniques against noise?
  • (29:32) Actively Open Minded Thinking and what it means for leadership and education
  • (38:45) What are the different types of noise?
  • (44:18) The role of moral philosophical foundations and noise
  • (49:28) Music 
  • (54:06) Grooving Session and Bonus Track

Olivier Sibony’s Books

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Kahneman, Sibony and Sunstein, 2021 https://amzn.to/3heyr5r

You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them https://amzn.to/3u8LBnp 

Links

Olivier Sibony https://oliviersibony.com/about/ 

Languedoc wine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languedoc-Roussillon_wine 

Rhones Valley wine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rh%C3%B4ne_wine 

Dr Itiel Dror https://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucjtidr/ 

Apgar Checklist https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2015/10/the-apgar-score 

John Maynard Keynes https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Maynard_Keynes 

Max Bazerman “Better, Not Perfect: A Realist's Guide to Maximum Sustainable Goodness” https://amzn.to/3f4vvqm 

Bentham's Utilitarianism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism 

Kant's Deontological Approach https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-deontological/ 

Noise: How to Overcome the High, Hidden Cost of Inconsistent Decision Making https://hbr.org/2016/10/noise 

Behavioral Grooves Patreon https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves

Musical Links 

Yo-Yo Ma cellist “Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1prweT95Mo0 

Billy Evans “My Foolish Heart” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2LFVWBmoiw 

Keith Garrett “I Grew Up Today” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PerFVC6KbU 

Oscar Peterson “C Jam Blues” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTJhHn-TuDY 

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Episode 211: A Thousand Thanks: A Lifetime of Experiments and Gratitude with AJ Jacobs  https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/a-thousand-thanks-with-aj-jacobs/

Episode 204: How Shellye Archambeau Flies Like an Eagle  https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/shellye-archambeau-like-an-eagle/

Episode 176: Annie Duke on How to Decide https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/annie-duke-on-how-to-decide/

Episode 147: Gary Latham, PhD: Goal Setting, Prompts, Priming, and Skepticism  https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/gary-latham-phd-goal-setting-prompts-priming-and-skepticism/

Episode 38: Linnea Gandhi: Crushing On Statistics https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/linnea-gandhi-crushing-on-statistics/

 

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