Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We like cocky!

Check out this New Scientist article. It suggests that the public, at large, likes absolutes uttered by overconfident individuals. Jim Cramer, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh and company, immediately come to mind.

If you are trying to persuade, it probably means that a nuanced, multifaceted argument is probably going to lose out to a black-white pronouncement. This has policy implications as the article points out:
There are times, however, when this link breaks down. With complex but politicised subjects such as global warming, for example, scientific experts who stress uncertainties lose out to activists or lobbyists with a more emphatic message.
On the other hand, one of the reasons I like to listen to Warren Buffett, for example, is also because he can distill complexity into something simple that I can understand.

So I guess, the knife cuts both ways.


Anonymous said...

Is that why Matt Millen was able to make the Detroit Lions the worst football team of all times by confidently declairing he was on the brink or turning them around?

Hey Suchin!

Sachin Shanbhag said...

@dan: more than quite likely. how are you doing?