The Tyranny of Metrics

The Tyranny of Metrics

Jerry Z. Muller

What has come to be called “Campbell’s Law,” named for the American social psychologist Donald T. Campbell, holds that “[ t] he more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” 9 In a variation named for the British economist who formulated it, we have Goodhart’s Law, which states, “Any measure used for control is unreliable.” 10 To put it another way, anything that can be measured and rewarded will be gamed.

Link · 314