Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein Want You To Turn Down That Noise

Have you ever asked a coworker how long one task would take and their answer is different every time, even when the task stays the same? Or a boss who was good with one time-off request and horrible about another? Or a parent who told you that you couldn’t go out on a Friday night, while the other told you that you could?

Then you’ve experienced noise! Noise is a difference in judgments where there should be sameness.

We see this all the time in teams and even within ourselves.

What’s the effect of noise in your day-to-day life?

Well, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, professor of strategic decision-making Olivier Sibony, and legal scholar Cass R. Sunstein are here to show you.

In their book, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, they’ll introduce you to the science behind why noise leads to inconsistent decisions and help you create plans to minimize it in your own life.

By doing the book in Pique, you’ll get to experience noise for yourself, by reflecting on it in your own life, and even seeing how it plays out in a number of activities. After dipping your toes into the research of this little-known flaw, you can read Noise to go a step further on minimizing noise in yourself and your organizations, as well as getting to read more of the fascinating, scientific methodology in the work of Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman and his collaborators.

What can you expect?

Instead of just reading about noise, in Pique, you’ll get to experience what noise feels like in yourself and chart a plan on how to minimize it in future decisions. 

One way you’ll do that? Experience the wisdom of the crowd.

Each one of us is noisy. But, it turns out that by polling a number of people with quantitative questions and averaging their guesses, you can eliminate noise and get relatively close to the truth.

In 1907, Francis Galton asked 787 fair attendees to guess the weight of an ox. While none of the individual villagers guessed the weight of the ox (which was 1198 pounds for the ox curious among us), the mean of their guesses was 1200, just two pounds off. The median was very close as well at 1207. 

If this surprises you, you’re not alone! Galton’s demonstration surprised him too! Despite his surprise, researchers have found the same result in hundreds of situations. As the authors of Noise note, “Whether people are asked to guess the number of jellybeans in a transparent jar, to predict the temperature in their city one week out, or to estimate the earnings per share (EPS) of various stocks, the median answer of a large number of people is likely to be close to the truth.”

In Pique, you’ll experience the wisdom of the crowd and consider how you might apply it to your own quantitative decision-making.

Feeling ready to turn down the Noise?

We all constantly make decisions. By being aware of noise, you can consciously work to minimize it in your own decision-making and the decision-making of others. Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass Sunstein will help you expand your knowledge of this profound psychological phenomenon and apply it to your life. 

Head into the app to get started!