The trouble with confidence is that it's a completely unreliable guide to decision making. Yet we tend to trust it implicitly, in ourselves and in others. This insight belongs to psychologist Daniel Kahneman - Nobel Prize winning cartographer of the human mind, and the author of Thinking, Fast, and Slow.
Kahneman's decades of research, much of it in collaboration with his close friend and colleague Amos Tversky, has mapped out two systems of thinking: the fast (intuitive) and the slow (deliberative). Experts in a subject - chess, for example - tend to make pretty good snap judments in their area of expertise. This is because they've internalized and automated whole chunks of knowledge and patterns of thought through years of practice. If a Grand Master in chess is confident in a move he's made quickly, there's a good chance he's right.
The trouble, says Kahneman, is that we're often confident in our intuitive judgments even when we have no idea what we're doing. And to make matters worse, we tend to evaluate the reliability of other people's decision making on the same basis - if they're confident, they must know what they're talking about.
http://bigthink.com/ideas/42361 from: http://bigthink.com/