The Assessment Process & The Illusion of Validity

When assessing candidates for their potential to be officers in the Israeli Defence Forces, Daniel Kahneman (2011) coined the phrase ‘the illusion of validity’, which he states was his first cognitive fallacy.

Daniel states: “I coined the term “illusion of validity” because the confidence we had in judgments about individual soldiers was not affected by a statistical fact we knew to be true — that our predictions were unrelated to the truth.”

“…as it turned out, despite our certainty about the potential of individual candidates, our forecasts were largely useless. The evidence was overwhelming. Every few months we had a feedback session in which we could compare our evaluations of future cadets with the judgments of their commanders at the officer-training school. The story was always the same: our ability to predict performance at the school was negligible. Our forecasts were better than blind guesses, but not by much.”

Read the full article here.

Reference

Kahneman, D. (2011) Don’t Blink! The Hazards of Confidence. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/magazine/dont-blink-the-hazards-of-confidence.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1. [Accessed: 07 August, 2016].

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