Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Self judgement

I recently heard a lecture that was talking about who most accurately judges the quality and promise of creative work. In a study they measured who was most correct in their determination on the value of creative work. First of all we have to suspend our disbelief in order to accept that they have some absolute way to measure this creative work in order to judge how others do in their own measuring. This seems pretty dicey, but I can suspend my disbelief. I have to do it about ten times a day anyway. One more won't kill me.

So this study found that managers are really bad at measuring creative work. They're scared of looking bad and down value everything. They down value it something like two levels too low, the bastards. The creator of the work, though, is also bad at valuing the work. They're so wrapped up in it that they over value it at two levels better than it is. The people who are most accurate are peers. Peers value the creative work of other creators with fairly good accuracy.

Now this is all pretty interesting in its Goldilocks way. But when I heard about all this I was most interested in the second evaluator. I was interested in how we evaluate our own creative work. And most particularly I was interested in how accurate my own evaluation is of my own work.

What, I wanted to know, does this study say about how good my own work is? How good, for instance, is this that I'm writing now? I was delighted to find it tells me how good through a simple mathematical analysis.

Assuming (remember our suspension of disbelief) there is an absolute quality to this piece of creative work, we know from the study that I am, because I am writing it, valuing it at two levels better than it actually is. So demoting how good I think this is by two levels we come out with...

Oh my god, I'm a genius!

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