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Education Opinion

Vivid Doesn’t Mean Accurate

By Alexander Russo — May 08, 2007 1 min read

One of the things that drives me crazy in journalism and in policymaking is what the New Yorker’s James Surowiecki calls the “vividness heuristic” (It’s the Workforce, Stupid!): “the tendency to give undue weight to particularly vivid or newsworthy examples.” His example is CEOs deciding to downsize based on the few successes that downsizing has created, ignoring the widespread reality that downsizing doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference. Try and avoid glomming onto the vivid and ignoring the larger truth. Please.

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