Members in the Media
From: The Atlantic

The Tricky Psychology of Holding Government Accountable

The Atlantic:

I spoke with Tetlock about when being held accountable leads people to make more careful decisions and when it doesn’t, and what lessons this suggests for the public’s ability to hold government accountable. A lightly edited and condensed transcript of our conversation is below.

Julie Beck: What are the conditions where being held accountable makes people consider other points of view, and when does it not really change how people make decisions?

Philip Tetlock: It virtually always influences how people make decisions, but it’s not always good. Accountability is a multidimensional concept. It refers to who must answer to whom for what under what ground rules. It’s not a single independent variable, to use the terminology of social science. So it’s not all that surprising that it has many different effects. In our work we found that only quite specialized, carefully crafted forms of accountability induce people to think more self-critically and make them more resistant to cognitive biases. Most forms of accountability do not have beneficial effects on judgment and choice.

Read the whole story: The Atlantic

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