In a new study, Matthew Holden, a CEED postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Queensland, shows that when people making environmental management decisions, they typically make worse choices than statistical models would—even when the models are wrong.
The study "was born out of an existential crisis of mine," Holden says. He had been working on mathematical models aimed at helping others make better decisions about invasive species, organic agricultural pest control, and fisheries management. But, Holden writes, "there was always this little devil in the back of my mind saying, 'Is what you're doing really providing useful advice to managers, given that we know that your models are simplifications of the real world and hence wrong?'
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