Behavioral Grooves Podcast

Why Is Noise Worse Than Bias? Olivier Sibony Explains

May 23, 2021

NOISE is set to be the next behavioral science bestseller. Daniel Kahneman, Cass Sunstein and Olivier Sibony describe noise as the unwanted variabilities in our judgments. In our exclusive interview with co-author Olivier Sibony ( we delve into the fundamentals of noise. What different types of noise are there? Where do we find noise? Why does bias get more attention than noise? And finally, Olivier’s favorite topic; how we can mitigate noise by using decision hygiene and actively open minded thinking.

Olivier Sibony is a professor, writer and advisor specializing in the quality of strategic thinking and the design of decision processes. Olivier teaches Strategy, Decision Making and Problem Solving at HEC Paris. He is also an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School in Oxford University. Olivier’s research centers on improving the quality of decision making by reducing the impact of behavioral biases. He is the author of numerous articles in academic and popular publications, including Before You Make That Big Decision, co-authored with Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman.

Our interview with Olivier is, as I’m sure you will agree. absolutely mesmerizing. Learning about the extent of noise in our lives from Olivier and from the new book, is truly enlightening. As their cleverly crafted catchphrase says "wherever there is judgment, there is noise, and more of it than you think."

Thankfully, the brilliant team of authors have included lots of ways to combat the noise around us. And we know that our discussion with Olivier is just the first of many that we will have around this groundbreaking topic.

Behavioral Grooves strives to bring you insight and research from world-leading experts in behavioral science, like Olivier. And we do this without the use of paid advertising. If you would like to support our continued ad-free work, please consider becoming a Behavioral Grooves patreon by visiting thank you.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

Topics We Discuss

  • (4:38) Welcome to Olivier Sibony and speed round questions
  • (7:51) The difference between bias and noise
  • (11:32) Why has bias received more attention than noise?
  • (14:15) Where noise can be found?
  • (22:32) What is Decision Hygiene?
  • (26:35) How to implement mitigation techniques against noise?
  • (29:32) Actively Open Minded Thinking and what it means for leadership and education
  • (38:45) What are the different types of noise?
  • (44:18) The role of moral philosophical foundations and noise
  • (49:28) Music 
  • (54:06) Grooving Session and Bonus Track

Olivier Sibony’s Books

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Kahneman, Sibony and Sunstein, 2021

You're About to Make a Terrible Mistake: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them 


Olivier Sibony 

Languedoc wine 

Rhones Valley wine 

Dr Itiel Dror 

Apgar Checklist 

John Maynard Keynes 

Max Bazerman “Better, Not Perfect: A Realist's Guide to Maximum Sustainable Goodness” 

Bentham's Utilitarianism 

Kant's Deontological Approach 

Noise: How to Overcome the High, Hidden Cost of Inconsistent Decision Making 

Behavioral Grooves Patreon

Musical Links 

Yo-Yo Ma cellist “Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major” 

Billy Evans “My Foolish Heart” 

Keith Garrett “I Grew Up Today” 

Oscar Peterson “C Jam Blues” 

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