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Judgment and Decision Making by Baruch Fischhoff

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4

FOR THOSE CONDEMNED TO STUDY THE PAST

Reflections on historical judgment

Baruch Fischhoff

Learning from the past looks easy, but there are a thousand pitfalls.

I often think it odd that history should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention.

Catherine Morlund

Benson (1972) has identified four reasons for studying the past: to entertain, to create a group (or national) identity, to reveal the extent of human possibility, and to develop systematic knowledge about our world, knowledge that may eventually improve our ability to predict and control. On a conscious level, at least, we behavioral scientists restrict ourselves to the last motive. In its pursuit, we do case studies, program evaluations, and literature reviews. We even ...

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