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Combating Bias with Bias

By Chris | March 6, 2008

I’m reading Colin Camerer’s overview of Behavioral Economics. My mom doesn’t have an email address, so the following passage made me laugh:

Microsoft had a hard time getting its programmers to take customer complaints seriously (despite statistical evidence from customer help-lines), because the programmers thought the software was easy to use and couldn’t believe that customers found it difficult (a “curse of knowledge”). So Microsoft created a screening room with a one-way mirror, so programmers could literally see for themselves how much trouble normal-looking consumers had using software. The trick was to use one judgment bias—the power of visually “available” evidence, even in small samples— to overcome another bias (the curse of knowledge).


Topics: Behavioral Economics | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Combating Bias with Bias”

  1. Jason Rakowski Says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Jason Rakowski