The End of Average: The Science of What Makes Us Different
In this ground-breaking book perfect for readers of The Power of Habit and Quiet, Harvard scientist Todd Rose shows how our one-size-fits-all world is actually one-size-fits-none.
Each of us knows we’re different. We’re a little taller or shorter than the average, our salary is a bit higher or lower than the average, and we wonder about who it is that is buying the average-priced home. All around us, we thione-size-fits-none.Each ...more
Conclusion: he needs to read more.
The basic premise is that the explosion of data collection in the late 19th century led to the concept of "an average person" which was great for elevating culture out of the pre-industrial age, but hurt the individual because no human being is average. The proposed solution is to embrace that individual on their own terms, using a multi-dimensional match of their mix of skills against the mix of needs from industry. The p ...more
Rose's point is compelling: by trying to adapt to an average person, we essentially make sure no one fits the mold. This has obvious implications for education, with grade-level concerns, questions about age appropriateness, IEP qualifications, and those darn letter grades that are due from teachers next Wednesday at 11 p.m.
However, Rose s ...more
The central premise of this book: No one is average.
If you design a cockpit to fit the average pilot, you've designed it to fit NO ONE.
Averages have their place. If you are comparing groups of people, the average can be useful.
But the moment you need to make a decision ...more
What initially got my attention was when Rose newer thinking discrediting the importance of social science thinking based around means and standard deviations. For example when one consults studies of larger populations for guidance on hiring particular individuals. What is soug ...more
Averages can be useful when comparing two groups of people, but they are useless when comparing individuals. In fact, they can be worse than useless because they create the illusion of knowledge.
The first part of the book tells the story of how averages were used in physics to reduce measurement error and the concept was carried over to measuring people. ...more
The book conveys this history, a set of guidelines for instead catering to each individual, and examples of businesses and schools that have, in specific ways, chosen measurements and approaches other th ...more
While there is much talk of personalised learning, micro-credentialing, and competency-based learning, ...more