Predicting the Future of Legal Products

Content might be king, but distribution is the kingdom. – Derek Thompson In Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction, Derek Thompson explains what makes a hit. He argues that consumers are looking to try new things but are also afraid of anything new. So the goal for making a hit new … Continue reading Predicting the Future of Legal Products

Appointing Judges: Can Statistics Help

The appointment process for judges is somewhat opaque. We may know how many judges there are in Canada, but why some lawyers are chosen over other lawyers remains a bit of a mystery. Can statistics help us identify who would make a good judge? Can it help us answer a very difficult question? Over the … Continue reading Appointing Judges: Can Statistics Help

Civil Cases: What motivates them?

“This is a civil case.  It is about money.  Every step of the way is bounded by cost-benefit analysis and proportionality.” Justice Myers in Whitty v Wells, 2016 ONSC 1278 Ideally every step taken is bounded by a cost-benefit analysis. However, sometimes other factors take precedent, including: Loss aversion. Loss aversion refers to the tendency to … Continue reading Civil Cases: What motivates them?

Anchoring Numbers

Research on priming shows that our thoughts and behaviour are anchored by external stimuli. This extends even to our thoughts about numbers. Daniel Kahneman writes in Thinking Fast and Slow that people’s minds are frequently influenced by a totally uninformative number. He tells the story of an experiment with German judges. These judges had an average of … Continue reading Anchoring Numbers

The Unconscious Mind

“Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love. The first was when it realized that our earth was not the center of the universe, but only a tiny speck in a world-system of a magnitude hardly conceivable… The second was when … Continue reading The Unconscious Mind

When to Trust Expertise

Many people profess to be experts. However, sometimes these “experts” are really just under an “illusion of skill” (Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow). Kahneman points to the stock market, where billions of shares are traded every day. “Although professionals are able to extract a considerable amount of wealth from amateurs, few stock pickers, if any … Continue reading When to Trust Expertise

Timelines and the Planning Fallacy

We frequently plot our goals onto timelines. But, in doing so, we often succumb to the planning fallacy. In the book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman explains that people have a tendency to underestimate how much time is needed to complete a task, like in a home renovation. “When forecasting the outcomes of risky projects…[we] … Continue reading Timelines and the Planning Fallacy