An illustration of the author wearing a face mask and the text "Black Lives Matter" in a speech bubble

Credibility Shortcuts

We often use shortcuts to measure the effectiveness, quality, or value or something. We don’t want to test out the speaker system that we see online, we want to buy it and have it work just as we’d imagined when it arrives.

So, we use online rating systems, review articles, and random questions asked on social media to serve as a proxy for actually examining whether or not whatever it is we’re buying is solid.

Same goes for hiring people. 

We use resumes, shiny LInkedIn profiles, and AI filters to make it easier to select people we think will be a good fit.

But in a world where trust is at an all-time low, we need to reconsider what metrics we’re using to evaluate things. When you find out that the New York Times Bestseller List, the Oscars, the number of followers someone has on Instagram, and Amazon reviews can all be gamed with massive amounts of money, it erodes trust in all systems.

And if this is true, then we need to consider alternative forms of credibility and/or rethink how important it is to spend more thought and care in how we’re making decisions.

Replacing a home appliance is probably not as important as hiring someone, so make sure that the amount of energy you’re putting towards these two different problems is commensurate with how important (and costly) it is to get it right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *