While quoting the most likely outcome, i.e., the mean, or median or mode of a probability distribution, may be a rough prediction, a more honest representation of the prediction would quantify the full range of possible outcomes. For example, the most likely outcome of 150 days is an accurate portrayal of the expected target date in the two upper graphics of the figure in my last post. However, by expressing how sure we are of that guess—a coin flip in one case and a confident commitment in the other—we are much more honest and transparent in communicating that information to others.
Posts Tagged ‘honest precision’
When a person is selling a product or an idea, it is natural to present a positive bias that reflects well on their perspective. While the best scientists, teachers, and judges may epitomize some of the exceptions to this statement, there are still enough counter-examples that we must be wary of the natural bias of our human nature. We all need to remember that rose-colored glasses are built into human reasoning and communications.