Leading Blog






04.22.21

Leading Thoughts for April 22, 2021

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Economist Tim Harford on the problem of using statistical metrics as a proxy to control or as a target to be improved:

“Social scientists have long understood that statistical metrics are at their most pernicious when they are being used to control the world, rather than trying to understand it. Economists tend to cite their colleague Charles Goodhart, who wrote in 1975: ‘Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes.’ (Or, more pithily: ‘When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.’) Psychologists turn to Donald T. Campbell, who around the same time explained: ‘The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.’”

Source: The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics

II.

Jon Acuff on the things we tell ourselves—our soundtracks:

“One of the greatest mistakes you can make in life is assuming all of your thoughts are true. We tend to believe that if it’s in our head, it must be accurate. If I think it, it must be real. Despite the wild things our thoughts have told us over the years, we trust them. When you start to ask a soundtrack this question—is it true?—I promise you’ll be shocked by how many lies you have cluttering up your head.”

Source: Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking

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Look for these ideas every Thursday on the Leading Blog. Find more ideas on the LeadingThoughts index.

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