Back in 2019, when I was just learning about Data Science, I came across Bayes’ Theorem. The first thing that came to mind when I started to understand the Theorem is how elegantly it got rid of a human bias I was long aware of. I remember the exact moment when my mind connected the dots between Data Science and Behavioural Science, which led me to write this (forgive me for this blatant self promotion) in one of my articles:
In reality, a lot of Data Science is based on ideas that were developed (or rediscovered) to get rid of cognitive biases that all humans have. This includes the loan-officer and the Data Scientist alike. With lesser biases, decisions we were previously getting wrong are being made correctly. For example we no longer have the problem of not giving loans to someone simply because a loan-officer did not like the way they dressed (but did not realize this was affecting his/her decision).
Thanks to that moment, Xabit has evolved as an organisation that thinks about Data Science as a tool that helps us get rid of human biases that ultimately lead to bad decisions. Since we’re not experts on behavioural sciences, we’ve based our ideas on people who are. Their works have inspired many of the the frameworks we use daily, so in this post, I thought it would be a good idea to share 3 books that we think are essential reads for anyone trying to do the same.
Anyone who has heard of the field of Behavioural Sciences knows Thinking Fast and Slow. It’s author, the father of Behavioural Sciences, Daniel Kahneman is a legend in the field. At 500+ pages, this one seems like a heavy read. Then again, 500 pages seems little when it comes to completely changing the world’s understanding of how the mind works.
This book by Richard Thaler, a long-time friend and colleague of Daniel Kahneman, provides a more practical (read less technical) perspective on how to use Behavioural Sciences in our daily lives. It’s the perfect read if you’d simply like to understand how our collective biases lead to us making bad decisions as a society.
From “how to make better decisions as a society” in Nudge, I suggest you move onto knowing “how to make better decisions as individuals” in Predictably Irrational.
Once you read the three books, give us a *nudge* and we’ll suggest a few more that have inspired Xabit’s thought-process.
Till then, keep Data. Decisions. Repeat-ing,