The Myth of Experience

By Emre Soyer and Robin M. Hogarth

The Myth of Experience book cover
Added March 1, 2021

A transformative look at experience and the many ways it misleads, deceives and curtails us. Society venerates experience. Our personal experience is a key component of who we are. We judge others by theirs and are judged by ours. From doctors to teachers to presidents to chefs, in our society, the more experience the better. But while we value and trust experience above all else, we overlook its inherent downfalls. In The Myth of Experience, Hogarth and Soyer explore why a reliance on experience can ultimately hinder individual and societal decision-making. Drawing on concepts of behavioral science and economics, they highlight how experience can misrepresent the past, limit creativity, restrict freedom and reduce happiness. In doing so, they transform the conventional wisdom behind experience and provide a guide on how to improve our use of it. When organizations and decision-makers develop a healthy criticism towards experience, effective strategies develop and growth can occur. Told in an engaging narrative with cases from history and everyday life, alongside their own cutting-edge discoveries in behavioral science, Hogarth and Soyer illustrate the flaws of experience as a decision-making tool and the instances where our most trusted ally could really be our enemy, in the workplace and beyond.

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