Calgary, AB, Feb. 16, — Converge Consulting Group Inc. Partner Robert Gerst, will be presenting, What Matters: How statistical significance demolishes productivity, competitiveness, and effective public policy, at the 20th Annual International Deming Research Seminar at Fordham University, New York City, March 3-4.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of The Bell Curve, a publishing phenomena claiming to provide scientific evidence of significant differences in intelligence among human races. Blacks, for example, were said to be intellectually inferior to whites, destined to lower social, educational, and economic achievement. Gerst details the statistical confidence trick of The Bell Curve that so successfully duped the public, leading media and news outlets including The Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and social scientists including members of the American Psychological Association.
Gerst goes on to show how this same confidence trick, misusing statistical significance to mean practical importance, is corrupting: (i) academic research in psychology, biology, ecology, education, health, economics, medicine, (ii) business analysis, including market surveys, customer research, process improvement efforts, operational & organizational analyses, employee engagement research, and (iii) government studies, including public accountability reporting, policy research, and program evaluation.
“Executives and HR departments, for example, use the same junk-science as The Bell Curve, to measure employee engagement and improve productivity, and then wonder why productivity and engagement drop,” said Gerst. “Billions have been spent on, Value Added Assessments in education, Six Sigma programs in business, performance evaluation and accountability reporting in government. They’re playing the same statistical con as The Bell Curve and getting the same quality of results.”