One US Presidential Election takeaway of note for me was the perception of veracity in the Republican party’s projections. When I woke up on Tuesday morning and read Nate Silver’s ultimate blog post at fivethirtyeight.com, I relayed to my wife that for President Obama to lose, there would have to be a foundational problem with state as well as national polling, not to mention the metric foundations of demographic data analysis. A loss for the President would not be based on several mistaken variables, but instead a systemic issue at the foundation of the algorithms and the theory behind them. Yet 12 hours later, Karl Rove famously melted down on the Fox News set, demanding answers from Fox’s number crunchers (and not receiving the answers he was hoping for). The obvious question — despite extensive evidence to the contrary, how could Rove be so bamboozled by the election outcome?
Chris Argyris developed a tool for understanding how individuals utilize information and form perceptions in his 1990 Ladder of Inference. Continue reading →