Ian David Moss Profile picture
Smarter decisions for a better world. Strategic advisor to foundations, government agencies, impact investors, donors. Newsletter: https://t.co/tABfQkG89K
26 Aug 19
So the ironic thing about this is that the list of cognitive biases (and Cynthia's suggestion about how to use it in conversation) itself purports to be an objective representation of reality. It's based on a particular scientific tradition and paradigm of constructing knowledge.
Now, it happens to be a paradigm that I share and believe in. My point is that if you're going to claim that objectivity doesn't exist, then it seems a bit...paradoxical to speak as if you are the holder of True Knowledge about other people's judgments and behavior.
Personally, I find it more helpful to think of objectivity as existing on a continuum. We don't need to pretend that The Lancet and InfoWars are epistemological twins. And I think aspiring towards objectivity is great as long as we realize that we can never fully achieve it.
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20 Aug 19
You can always rely on @nonprofitssay to tell the hard truths, and it turns out that this particular one is backed up by research. Thread:
Earlier this year I highlighted a study from @CEPData and @Eval_Innovation that revealed the futility of many foundations' evaluation efforts. The numbers from that report are eye-popping, but it's admittedly only one study. How much stock to put in it? 1/
Fortunately, there are other studies out there. And on the whole, they strongly reinforce the point that people with influence over social policy simply don't read or use the vast majority of the knowledge we produce, no matter how relevant it is. 2/
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17 May 19
You probably know Daniel Kahneman's classic volume *Thinking, Fast and Slow* as a comprehensive catalogue of cognitive biases and errors in judgment. But it's more than that: it's also about the meaning of life. 1/
If you DON'T know the book, here's a very quick overview. Its most basic message is that we instinctively simplify the world to make sense of it, and if we aren't careful, the methods we use can lead us astray. 2/
Kahneman describes intuitive (subconscious) thinking processes using the term "System 1," while "System 2" refers to conscious and deliberate thinking. Each of these represents a composite of mental habits and capabilities rather than literal biological systems. 3/
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3 Apr 19
Would you believe me if I told you that most of the folks who commission evaluations of social programs have trouble getting people--including even their own colleagues!--to use them? Well, it's true. And we need to talk about it. 1/
In 2015, @Eval_Innovation and @CEPData surveyed evaluation and program executives at 127 US and Canadian foundations with $10m+ in annual giving. The result was the report "Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices," available for download here: evaluationinnovation.org/wp-content/upl… 2/
There's a lot of interesting information in the document, but for me the most striking page is the one addressing the challenges respondents have encountered in their foundations' evaluation efforts: evaluationinnovation.org/wp-content/upl… 3/
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4 Feb 19
Last month a friend asked me "what's the best resource you've read thus far on human decision-making?" 1/
After thinking about it, I decided to recommend her one of the first such resources I ever encountered, seven years ago: Doug Hubbard (@hubbardaie)'s How to Measure Anything. 2/ amazon.com/How-Measure-An…
While I don't agree with every word of it, How to Measure Anything is quite possibly the most important and useful book I've ever read on any topic. Here's why. 3/
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