Perhaps the greatest technological achievement in industrial and organizational (I–O) psychology over the past 100 years is the development of decision aids (e.g., paper-and-pencil tests, structured interviews, mechanical combination of predictors) that substantially reduce error in the prediction of employee performance (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). Arguably, the greatest failure of I–O psychology has been the inability to convince employers to use them.
We have come up with a solution that is really, really, I think very good. Now I have to tell you, its an unbelievably complex subject, nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.
– US President Donald Trump, demonstrating how the incompetent lack the cognitive tools to understand their own shortcomings or accurately assess others.
We all have understandings of our own strengths and weaknesses, abilities and expectations, forming a self-image, or a mental model of the person we are. But these often become hardwired, with a whole bunch of cognitive effects together with the difficulty in getting objective information making it rather difficult to re-evaluate your own understandings. Outdated beliefs in your own ability or lack thereof can act to drive your career in suboptimal directions or inhibit your confidence, as well as impacting on your own direction in the world. I’m going to run through an example which has belted this home for me and inspired this post.