Tim Tebow And The Illusion Of Validity
As a diehard Florida Gator fan, I am rooting for Tim Tebow to succeed as an NFL quarterback but my expectation is he will fail. I do not think he has, or will have, the passing skills necessary to be a good NFL QB. That said, who really knows? Merrill Hoge? Trent Dilfer? Really? This morning I listened to Dilfer say that Tebow's problems are "quantum mechanics." I kid you not. That is what he said. It is not inspiring of confidence. Yet, I think we should all be wary of "the illusion of validity." I had a great day picking games Saturday. It was a fluke. But the "illusion of validity" creeps in to my psyche. What is the "illusion of validity?" Via Kevin Drum, Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman explains (and, yes beware of the "illusion of validity" here too):
I thought that what was happening to us was remarkable. The statistical evidence of our failure should have shaken our confidence in our judgments of particular candidates, but it did not. It should also have caused us to moderate our predictions, but it did not. We knew as a general fact that our predictions were little better than random guesses, but we continued to feel and act as if each particular prediction was valid. I was reminded of visual illusions, which remain compelling even when you know that what you see is false. I was so struck by the analogy that I coined a term for our experience: the illusion of validity.
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