Gustavo Ballvé on October 24th, 2010
Food for thought, Home, Mental models, Science

The doctor profiled in this NYT article met Amos Tversky (who worked with Daniel Kahneman on prospect theory) and became a different type of doctor – “perhaps the leading debunker of preconceived notions in the medical world”. Some of his research, in turn, helped pinpoint stupid/ illogical/ dangerous behavior in some circumstances that led to increased accidents, etc. – such as the 41% increased chance of driving accidents on Super Bowl Sunday (mainly because more people get drunk), which led to public policies and campaigns specifically designed to reduce the day’s mortality rate. The real benefit of reading this article is that it shows what skepticism, curiosity, intellectual honesty and the drive to find some kind of “truth” can accomplish in any field, especially one that lends itself to empirical examination/ fact checking. Great reminder of part of the required mindset of an analyst.

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