survivorship bias

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Survivorship bias and the enduring appeal of bad ideas

2019-12-24T13:28:16+00:00October 9th, 2018|Featured|

Survivorship bias occurs when we draw conclusions only from examples which have passed some sort of selection criteria and systematically discount those which have not. During World War II, British bombers were suffering a fairly awful attrition rate. Understandably, the RAF were keen to try to improve the survivability of their aircraft. Most of the bombers that limped back to base showed signs of heavy damage around the cockpit and wing tips and so the prevailing opinion was that if these sections of the aircraft were reinforced more planes would survive. Then, along came statistician, Abraham Wald who pointed out that [...]

Can we improve school interviews? Part 3: The interview lesson

2017-05-11T17:48:54+01:00May 11th, 2017|psychology|

In Part 1 of this series I reviewed some of the evidence on what makes for effective interviews, and in Part 2 I looked specifically at creating a less biased, more structured formal interview. In this post I'm going to lay out my thoughts on the usefulness of the interview lesson. One of the peculiarities of teaching is that teaching a sample lesson has become a ubiquitous part of the interview process. The received wisdom is that we can work out a lot of what we want to know about a prospective employee's teaching ability by watching them teach a class [...]