Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why Smart People Are Stupid : The New Yorker

From Why Smart People Are Stupid : The New Yorker:
intelligence seems to make things worse. The scientists gave the students four measures of “cognitive sophistication.” As they report in the paper, all four of the measures showed positive correlations, “indicating that more cognitively sophisticated participants showed larger bias blind spots.” This trend held for many of the specific biases, indicating that smarter people (at least as measured by S.A.T. scores) and those more likely to engage in deliberation were slightly more vulnerable to common mental mistakes. Education also isn’t a savior; as Kahneman and Shane Frederick first noted many years ago, more than fifty per cent of students at Harvard, Princeton, and M.I.T. gave the incorrect answer to the bat-and-ball question.
I was pleased that I got the bat-and-ball question right, but that may just be because I did a lot of time behind cash registers in my youth.