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Wrong: Why experts* keep failing us--and how…

Wrong: Why experts* keep failing us--and how to know when not to trust…

by David H. Freedman

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Excellent overview of the persistent problems inherent in relying on experts, regardless of their status. Although scientists are the most reliable experts, as careful study of the outcomes of expert advice, even from scientists, has shown, experts are often wrong. It's a jungle out there when it comes to knowing what advice is truly trustworthy, from diet and health advice to economic and political advice. The author concludes, that although there is no simple, straight-forward way to determine what expert advice is correct or not, there are some guiding principles that can b used. For example, f something is touted as a "breakthrough," it is actually more likely to be in error. When breakthroughs in science are published, it is often best to wait for further confirmation from additional studies before concluding that a breakthrough really is what it claims to be.

I did find the book discouraging to some extent, when he shares statistics on such things as levels of scientific fraud, which is probably more widespread than we often want to recognize. If scientists, who are the most trustworthy, are so prone to fudging, massaging or outright fabricating data, where are we to turn for sound advice. In the end it just means we need to always maintain a healthy degree of skepticism, while deciding what i true and what isn't, and always being ready to adjust as new evidence comes in. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
Much of this book was interesting and an enjoyable read. However, after a while it became overly redundant and lost my interest. ( )
  exfed | Dec 1, 2015 |
A great disappointment. Not at all helpful or informative. ( )
  sheherazahde | Mar 1, 2015 |
I like this book because it sums up my position on many of the "science findings" that come out regularly in the media: be skeptical. Be very, very skeptical. That said, I found the book suffered from some flaws, such as using dubious studies to back up points that the author wanted to make, although he did mention that it's highly probable that his entire book could be flawed due to that very type of thing. Definitely worth a read if you're not used to thinking critically, or if you'd like some pointers in that direction. ( )
  lemontwist | Feb 11, 2015 |
Freedman offers anecdotal evidence with a suggestion of "studies" that most expert opinions should not be considered as such. He tackles medicine, business practices, leadership, health among others. A bit repetitive but some entertaining insights, especially those relating to how involving more people in brainstorming and decision making do not improve the results. ( )
  CarterPJ | Sep 15, 2012 |
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Explains why experts often give wrong information, the reasons that bad advice gets the most attention, and how it has adversely affected society, and offers suggestions to eliminate this destructive cycle.

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