Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

    This Event has been already started.

    Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

    • 28 Sep 2021
    • Amphithéâtre Simone Veil
    • France

    The Event

    Join us for a conversation with Olivier Sibony about the New York Times bestseller, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment.

    Co-written with Daniel Kahneman and Cass R. Sunstein, Noise explores a surprising but prevalent phenomenon in decision-making contexts: the tendency to find inconsistency where one might otherwise expect uniformity.

    Consider legal pronouncements rendered by judges on similar cases. One might anticipate a certain level of variability between judgments, but the authors catalog countless instances of differences so severe that even the "rule of law" ends up seeming like a lottery in many cases, with life and death outcomes often driven by the arbitrariness of personality and circumstance. Even in situations in which judges are asked to evaluate identical cases, the level of inconsistency between professional judgments is alarming.

    Moreover, this tendency extends well beyond the legal context. Sibony and his coauthors elaborate on the causes and consequences of decision-making noise in situations ranging from hiring practices to cancer diagnoses. In the authors' terms, "wherever there is judgement, there is noise, and more of it than you think." However, the situation is not as dire as it might first seem because there are ways to both counter and make use of this noise, as Sibony will illustrate while drawing on his decades of experience in consulting.

    The conversation will be moderated by Darren Frey (MTS, 2004), Lecturer at Sciences Po and Director of Ensemble Insight.

    This is a joint event between the Harvard Club of France and the Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation.

    WHEN: September 28, 7:15pm - 9:00pm
    WHERE: Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation, Amphithéâtre Simone Veil, 28 rue des Saints Pères, 75007 Paris
    COST: Free, but participants must register.
    IMPORTANT: Pass Sanitaire is mandatory to attend the event.

    Register for this event


    FreyOlivier Sibony is Professor of Strategy (Education Track) at HEC Paris and Associate Fellow of Oxford University's Saïd Business School. Previously, he spent 25 years with McKinsey & Company in France and in the U.S., where he was a Senior Partner. He is the author of four books, including Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment (2021), co-authored with Daniel Kahneman and Cass R. Sunstein, and You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake (2020). He has also written numerous articles on cognitive biases and strategic decision-making, both in peer-reviewed journals and in practitioner-oriented outlets (Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, etc.) He is a frequent keynote speaker and facilitator of top management and board meetings, and serves as a member of corporate, advisory and investment boards. Olivier Sibony is a graduate of HEC Paris and holds a PhD from Université Paris Sciences et Lettres-Dauphine.

    FreyDarren Frey is a Lecturer of Applied Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences at Sciences Po (School of Management and Innovation) and director of Ensemble Insight, a decision-making consultancy. He has worked in both the public and private sector, including as Director for Sanofi's Analytics and Data Science Engine and as consultant at UNESCO, and has written popular and technical articles on reasoning and decision making (Science, Journal of Neuroscience, etc.). Frey received Masters degrees from Edinburgh, Harvard, and Paris I|V, and a PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of Paris.

    The event is organized by Anne-Caroline Urbain, President, and Sonia Pujol, Harvard Faculty Liaison