Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

Conversation with Olivier Sibony
Tuesday, 28 September - 7.15pm - 9:00pm
  • © Coverbook Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment.© Coverbook Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment.

Join us for a conversation with Olivier Sibony about his new book, New York Times bestseller, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment.

Co-written with Daniel Kahneman and Cass R. Sunstein, Noise explores a surprising but prevalent phenomenon in decision-making contexts: the tendency to find inconsistency where one might otherwise expect uniformity.

Consider legal pronouncements rendered by judges on similar cases. One might anticipate a certain level of variability between judgments, but the authors catalogue countless instances of differences so severe that even the “rule of law” ends up seeming like a lottery in many cases, with life and death outcomes often driven by the arbitrariness of personality and circumstance. Even in situations in which judges are asked to evaluate identical cases, the level of inconsistency between professional judgments is alarming.

Moreover, this tendency extends well beyond the legal context. Sibony and his coauthors elaborate on the causes and consequences of decision-making noise in situations ranging from hiring practices to cancer diagnoses. In the authors’ terms, “wherever there is judgement, there is noise, and more of it than you think.” However, the situation is not as dire as it might first seem because there are ways to both counter and make use of this noise, as Sibony will illustrate while drawing on his decades of experience in consulting.

The conversation will be moderated by Darren Frey (MTS, 2004), Lecturer at Sciences Po and Director of Ensemble Insight.

Olivier Sibony is Professor of Strategy (Education Track) at HEC Paris and Associate Fellow of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. Previously, he spent 25 years with McKinsey & Company in France and in the U.S., where he was a Senior Partner. He is the author of four books, including Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment (2021), co-authored with Daniel Kahneman and Cass R. Sunstein, and You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake (2020). He has also written numerous articles on cognitive biases and strategic decision-making, both in peer-reviewed journals and in practitioner-oriented outlets (Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, etc.) He is a frequent keynote speaker and facilitator of top management and board meetings, and serves as a member of corporate, advisory and investment boards. Olivier Sibony is a graduate of HEC Paris and holds a PhD from Université Paris Sciences et Lettres-Dauphine.

Darren Frey is a Lecturer of Applied Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences at Sciences Po (School of Management and Innovation) and director of Ensemble Insight, a decision-making consultancy. He has worked in both the public and private sector, including as Director for Sanofi’s Analytics and Data Science Engine and as consultant at UNESCO, and has written popular and technical articles on reasoning and decision making (Science, Journal of Neuroscience, etc.). Frey received Masters degrees from Edinburgh, Harvard, and Paris I|V, and a PhD from the University of Paris.

Introduction by Natacha Valla, Dean of the School of Management and Innovation, Sciences Po.

The event is a joint event between the Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation and the Harvard Club of France.

Registration mandatory and digital covid certificate required

Date de l'événement : 
Mardi, 28 Septembre, 2021 - 19:15 - 21:00
Lieu : 
Amphitheater Simone Veil (28, rue des Saints Pères - 75007 Paris)
Retour en haut de page