I see the God complex around me all the time in my fellow economists. I see it in our business leaders. I see it in the politicians we vote for — people who, in the face of an incredibly complicated world, are nevertheless absolutely convinced that they understand the way that the world works.

Tim Harford

Quotation #18045

About This Quote

“Trial, Error and the God Complex.” TEDGlobal 2011. Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation.

Source: "Trial, Error and the God Complex." TEDGlobal 2011. Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation. Additional Information: This quote is from economics writer Tim Harford's 2011 TED Talk on something he calls "The God Complex," a disorder Harford describes as being debilitating to individuals and corrosive to societies. This quote means that it is common for people in positions of power to have the God Complex -- that is, they have the arrogance to believe with 100 percent certainty that they understand things that are entirely beyond their understanding. Says Harford, these leaders need to abandon the God Complex in favor of systematic ways of determining things, namely trial and error. Watch the full TED Talk here: Tim Harford - Trial, Error and the God Complex