Length: 464 pages
First Published: 2021
Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients—or that two judges in the same courthouse give different sentences to people who have committed the same crime. Suppose that different food inspectors give different ratings to indistinguishable restaurants—or that when a company is handling customer complaints, the resolution depends on who happens to be handling the particular complaint. Now imagine that the same doctor, the same judge, the same inspector, or the same company official makes different decisions, depending on whether it is morning or afternoon, or Monday rather than Wednesday. These are examples of noise: variability in judgments that should be identical.
In Noise, Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein show how noise helps produce errors in many fields, including medicine, law, public health, economic forecasting, food safety, forensic science, bail, child protection, strategy, performance reviews, and personnel selection. And although noise can be found wherever people make judgments and decisions, individuals and organizations alike commonly ignore its role in their judgments and in their actions. They show “noise neglect.” With a few simple remedies, people can reduce both noise and bias, and so make far better decisions.
About Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli psychologist and economist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Kahneman is also the author of Thinking, Fast and Slow and co-author of Noise. He currently lives in New York City.
About Olivier Sibony
Olivier Sibony is a professor, writer and advisor specializing in strategic thinking and design processes. He is the author of You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake! and co-author of the books Cracked It! and Noise. He currently lives in Paris, France. Visit the author’s website →
About Cass R. Sunstein
Cass R. Sunstein is an American legal scholar, author, and professor. His works include The World According to Stars Wars, Nudge (with Richard H. Thaler), Law and Leviathan, and Noise (with Daniel Kahneman and Olivier Sibony). He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.