Don’t Trust Your Instincts

I’ve advocated trusting instincts and suspecting advice before. Of course, there are times where you really shouldn’t trust your judgment, particularly when it comes to complicated statistical judgments. Robin Hanson, makes the case that your instincts really aren’t better than prediction markets. Here is a preview:

Imagine someone said:

Of course I believe in science – I’m no nut job. I’m a modern guy. But scientists sometimes get it wrong, so we can’t just believe everything they say – we have to use our judgement. For example, my judgement tells me that astrology just makes sense. Well not today – today’s horoscope suggests I drink less, while I know I can handle my benders. But usually my horoscope feels right. And usually I feel no objection to what scientists say. Which is what I mean when I say that I believe in science.

Yes, every source errs sometimes, making it seem oh so sophisticated to say you don’t take sides, you just use your judgement in each case. But that is often just an excuse to believe whatever you feel like.