Chief Economist Steve Rick of CUNA Mutual Group discussed the reasoning behind why people don’t trust experts as the RECONVERGE:G2 symposium continued Tuesday afternoon.

He began his presentation with an entertaining competitive intelligence quiz for attendees concerning a matter of CI-related issues surrounding bias, assumptions, prior knowledge, and other variables relevant to information gathering and sharing.

Quiz takeaways:

• Wisdom is limited to an awareness of your own ignorance; you are only educated when you understand how ignorant you are.

Think about what you know, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.
• Dunning-Kruger effect is the phenomenon wherein people of low cognitive ability mistakenly assess their knowledge as greater than it really is.

• Using all information to make a business forecast is referred to as rational expectations. The more you have at information at your disposal, the better your forecasting will be.

• Highly competent people may erroneously presume that other people will have a similar understanding of subjects they are well versed in. Don’t assume others have the same knowledge and understanding that the expert does.

• The guiding principle of empiricism—nothing in the intellect unless first in the sense; the ability to abstract universal meanings from empirical data. It is hard to describe an event to someone who has no similar experience. Use case studies to help others relate.

• Confirmation bias is the natural tendency to accept evident that confirms what we already believe. It is the tendency to accept facts that only strengthen our preferred explanations, and the tendency to dismiss data that challenge what we already accept as truth.
Awareness of this bias is a key thing. Look for opposing views; seek multiple perspectives.

• Occam’s Razor is the most likely explanation is the one that requires the fewest number of logical leaps or shaky assumptions—“the simplest is always the better” or “keep it simple, stupid.”
Always being from the simplest explanation for anything you see.
Beware of unintended consequences and know conspiracy theories are usually wrong—they violate Occam’s Razor.
• Sturgeons Law shows that 90% of everything is crap/crud. Technology has created a world where everyone is an expert. The internet has accelerated the collapse of communication between experts and laypeople.

• Metacognition is the ability to step back, look at what you’re doing and then realizing you are doing it wrong.

Good marketers know when an ad campaign is going to flop, incompetent people who overestimate their abilities. Pairing up an incompetent with one with metacognition leads to argument. Self-question things we do.

• We all must be on the same page before we can have a principled debate.

• The wisdom of crowds is the tendency for a lot of wrong guesses to be milled into one big right guess.

• In folding a piece of paper in half over and over and over again 103 times the resulted thickness of the piece of paper would extend the width of the known universe.
The idea is, intuition often fails us. Sometimes experts need to be consulted.
Also, consider that businesses can experience exponential growth.