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Conference Proceedings

Project Evaluation 2012

Conference Proceedings

Project Evaluation 2012


Reliability of Expert Judgements and Uncertainty Assessments

One idea I would like members to take away: human factors are big contributors to poor uncertainty assessments, and thus decisions - perhaps more than technical issues. Formal decision-making tools (eg probability theory, expected monetary value (EMV), Monte Carlo simulation, decision trees, etc) require the elicitation of expert opinions and uncertainty assessments. But our heads are just not wired for' logical reasoning under uncertainty. Years of behavioural research on how people deal with uncertainty and its consequences reveal a variety of cognitive biases leading to error-prone heuristics. Inappropriate attitudes towards risk are major value destroyers and the way most organisations assess people's performance tends to exacerbate these undesirable effects!This presentation will start by exposing a common misunderstanding about the true nature of uncertainty - the fact that it is in our heads, not in the systems we deal with. This has profound implications for uncertainty assessment. Clarification of this misconception, combined with a decision-driven focus, can free experts to express their knowledge with greater integrity and lead to more of a value-creation mind-set.Outcomes of recent research on the presence and impact of heuristics and biases, specifically within oil and gas industry, will be reviewed. This research was motivated by criticism that the general research results would not apply to experts dealing with their own subject matter. The results suggest otherwise. A cognitive-science perspective can offer practical suggestions on how to avoid them and thus lead to improved outcomes for individuals and corporations.Although the topic is serious, the talk will be interactive, light-hearted and accessible to a broad audience._x000D_
*This is an abstract only. No fullpaper was provided for this abstract.*CITATION:Begg, S, 2012. Reliability of expert judgements and uncertainty assessments, in Proceedings Project Evaluation 2012, pp 3-4 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
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  • Published: 2011
  • PDF Size: 0.045 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P201204001

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