The Analysis of Deception
28 January, 2015
The title says it all - how managers use correlation and past performance to deceive themselves and arrive at conclusions that they have already thought of. The chapters give details and explanations of these various kind of delusions. Among these are Delusion of Correlation and Causality and the Delusion of Rigorous Research.
This is all fine. But after a few chapters, I realized it was too simplistic; take for instance "Almost all high-performing companies regress over time" which I found was just common observation. It would have been fruitful to discover why some companies do not regress. Companies like 3M and IBM have survived over many years without regressing - one would like to know why that did not happen. That is why I was not very impressed with this book.
The author has not explained how the halo effect is acquired by people or products, or how people can still keep their better judgement even in the face of so many deceptions. But then, every person looks at the world with individual eyes: can bias or deception really be avoided?
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