THE TL;DR KEY POINTS
We all make countless judgments, and our important life decisions depend on them.
My new book, “Human Judgment”, investigates these judgments, and it is now available to purchase online here.
The book concerns two topics to do with human judgment, as implied by the subtitle: How accurate is it, and how can it get better?
It has two somewhat newsworthy items, one bad and the other good.
The bad news is that the science suggests that human judgment is often much more inaccurate than we might hope or expect. For example, some researchers estimated as many as 40,000 to 80,000 US citizens will die because of preventable misdiagnoses—and that’s each year. If they are right, that’s a yearly death toll at least 13 times higher than the September 11th terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, medicine is not unique too: judgmental inaccuracy can afflict a number of other areas in society as well. As another example, some researchers estimate at least 4.1% of death sentence convictions in the US are actually false convictions; this implies that some people are trialed, convicted and executed for horrific crimes that they never actually committed. So that is a few of numerous studies painting a less than ideal picture of human judgment: we make inaccurate judgments about medical diagnoses, about criminal convictions and about a number of other areas.