Bias Really is a Puzzle


Bias is like a puzzle that can never be perfectly solved. If life were like a Rubik's Cube we could never find a solution so that each of the six faces of the Cube had all nine squares the same color. Life is much more complex: it is more like a Rubik's puzzle which has been deliberately modified by a prankster by switching the places of the corner cubes.

 

To extend the analogy: while the modified puzzle could be manipulated so that one particular face had each of the squares the same color (the expert opinion approach favored by many social scientists), other faces would necessarily end up being hopelessly muddled (other people confused and dissatisfied). These two conditions are shown in the graphic below.

 

Studies show that expert opinions, in relation to forecasting, can be no better at making decisions than the proverbial monkey throwing darts; with the more renowned expert performing worse than the average. Human Bias is a the root of this poor performance.  

 

Our experience shows the preference for the Bias Puzzle approach and the use of Bias Aware Thinking and the Bias Management techniques described in this website. It requires one to accept that a perfect solution is not likely possible and this is represented in the graphic below on the left.