Category Archives: Blog

MIT – The way we evaluate the performance of other humans is one of the bigger mysteries of cognitive psychology. This process occurs continuously as we judge individuals’ ability to do certain tasks, assessing everyone from electricians and bus drivers to accountants and politicians. The problem is that we have access to only a limited set of data about an individual’s performance—some of it directly relevant, such as a taxi driver’s driving record, but much of it irrelevant, such as the driver’s sex. Indeed, the amount of information may be so vast that we are forced to decide using a small subset of it. How do those decisions get made? Today we get an answer of sorts thanks to the work of Luca Pappalardo at the University of Pisa in Italy and a few pals who have studied this problem in the sporting arena, where questions of performance are thrown into…

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