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Jordan G

That's kind of creepy. I'm not (entirely) doubting the ability for a survey to accurately predict which candidates are less likely to file for disability claims, I'm just wondering on what basis do the survey developers and business owner suggest that such claims are illegitimate. Some workers may have higher feelings of loyalty to their companies such that they are less likely to file disability claims, but that a company would rather higher "yes men" than payout potentially legitimate claims caused (on the job) to their workers should be an ethical concern to the survey developers, the article’s author, and WSJ's readers.

I question the degree to which we, as a society, privilege quantitative data and prediction models. We seem to accept all such products as if they were providing given, a priori observations requiring no further dissection, investigation, or rigor. We're going to get ourselves into a lot of trouble soon, I'm afraid.


Jordan: I haven't read Nathan Silver's book but it seems like he's bucking the trend to tell us why most predictions fail.

Phil H

Surely it's self-defeating to create a model of the ideal candidate? Sure, you can create a list of ideals and compare applicants against it. If you ignore experience there, you'll get no experienced people because they're more expensive.

Presumably they have measured existing employees and done the statistical analysis on what were the strongest predictors of quality. That then hinges on what factors were measured -- was race one of them? It also depends on the appropriateness of the quality measure.

If you measure the number of calls handled per hour I can show you a room full of monkeys that will make your model ecstatic.

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