Monday, September 03, 2007

Are you an expert?

Are you an expert?

Do you have confidence in your ability to reasonably predict figures and outcomes when presented with new questions and problems, or are you (like most of us) overconfident in your ability to guess correctly?

Here's an interesting little quiz from that will help you find out.

But first, an explanation and some ground rules, taken from the quiz site:

The human mind tends to suffer from a number of well-documented cognitive failings and biases that distort our ability to predict accurately. We tend to give too much weight to unusual events that seem salient. And once we form a mistaken belief about something, we tend to cling to it. As new evidence arrives, we’re likely to discount contrary evidence and focus instead on evidence that supports our pre-existing beliefs.

In fact, it’s possible to test your own ability to make unbiased estimates. For each of the following 10 questions, give the range of answers that you are 90 per cent confident contains the correct answer. For example, for the first question, you are supposed to fill in the blanks: ”I am 90 per cent confident that Martin Luther King’s age at the time of his death was somewhere between ___ years and ___ years.” Don’t worry about not knowing the exact answer – and no using Google.

So now that you know what's in store, proceed on to the quiz.

When you finish, you'll find an answer key link to these 10 questions. Have fun, and feel free to share your results in the comments section (but please don't reveal any of the quiz answers).

You may also wish to share this link with some of your friends and associates; see how they fare in the forecasting/confidence game!