What I learnt this week: Avoid a confirmation cock-up this Christmas #WILTW

This is the 84th #WILTW

This week Steve Harvey made a mistake. It was a pretty simple mistake.

He looked at a piece of paper to see who had a won a competition. He saw “1st”, saw a name next to it and so read out who he thought the winner was….

Miss Universe

The problem was that he didn’t see “runner up” and his error took place in front of 10 million viewers.

In retrospect it is easy to judge and wonder how he made such an error? But confirmation bias, like other forms of cognitive bias, is a subtle beast. I suspect, although I don’t know, that he was expecting to see ‘winner’ or ‘1st’  on the card. While in the cold light of day it is easy to see that Miss Universe is in bold on the right side it is possible that he never moved past seeing ‘1st‘ on the left.

In this case only Miss Colombia’s dreams were broken. In healthcare the consequences of confirmation, and other, biases can be far more serious. There are many great summaries of cognitive biases – this from a business perspective is one of my favourites.

via
via UK.BusinessInsider.com

And the below video contains a talk from  Pat Croskerry – somewhat of a international guru on the subject.

So whenever, or wherever, you are working this holiday period don’t let the amount of chocolate you have eaten lower your threshold for a cognitive error. You want to eat the turkey rather than be one…

What have you learnt this week? #WILTW

Thanks to a couple of my colleagues for highlighting this #WILTW.

Have a great holiday period and see you in the new year!

You can now follow WILTW on Facebook by liking this page . Browse previous posts here or insert your e-mail address in the box on the right hand side to receive future posts. 

3 thoughts on “What I learnt this week: Avoid a confirmation cock-up this Christmas #WILTW”

  1. Good learning for the week. You could also learn how to spell the word ColOMbia and even more you could learn the difference between Colombia and Columbia. Furthermore, the word Colombia is written correctly on the photo of the card you published. You could also learn to observe in more detail. Life is full of learning!

  2. As a loving friend Damo I often take the wotsit when it comes to your ability to turn something into a #WILTW. However, I like this. The card is very interesting. I presume they didn’t simulate the award ceremony. If only….
    Finally, I think Edna could be my friend. Second finally, Merry Christmas to you a yours xx

Leave a Reply