Gut instinct and wisdom
A parole board talks with a convicted rapist and ponders whether to release him. A clinical psychologist ponders whether her patient is seriously suicidal. A physician notes a patient’s symptoms and decides whether to recommend an invasive test. A school social worker ponders whether a child’s overheard threat was a macho joke, a onetime outburst, or a signal indicating a potential school assassin.
All these professionals must decide whether to make their judgments subjectively or objectively. Should they listen to their gut instincts, their hunches, their inner wisdom? Or should they rely on the wisdom embedded in formulas, statistical analyses, and computerized predictions?