Expert judgement and humanities


Expert judgement has been used since the actuarial profession was founded. A recent discussion paper “Expert Judgement” issued by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) written by the Solvency & Capital Management Working Party, aims to provide a framework regarding expert judgement processes. The background of this paper is the change within the regulation of insurers (Solvency II) and more generally the change in regulatory frameworks on a large scale.

This discussion paper echoes the recent stakes of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) – the worldwide association of professional actuarial associations – which develops the International Standards of Actuarial Practice (ISAPs) for strengthening the actuary’s professional judgment.

Echoing this call for fostering the professional judgement, I propose to complete technical skills with humanities and social sciences. I argue that the use of humanities and social sciences would strengthen the actuarial practices. The reasons of my proposal are twofold.

  1. Humanities and social sciences are useful for helping actuaries to develop critical thinking:

IFoA – Related to this are the disciplines and skills of critical thinking which push those asking the questions to provide a clear purpose and implications for the advice and for experts to articulate the bases for their judgements and the underlying data, information, evidence, concepts, ideas, and interpretations which underlie their view.

  1. Humanities and social sciences are useful for helping actuaries to build trustworthiness:

ISAP 1 # 1.1 – This ISAP provides guidance to actuaries when performing actuarial services to give intended users confidence that (…) the assumptions and methodology (including, but not limited to, models and modelling techniques) used are disclosed appropriately.

Why humanities and social sciences are important for achieving trustworthiness?

Trustworthiness depends on two things: motivation and competence. Let us elaborate on this.

  • Firstly, an example: trustworthy physicians are capable to make an accurate diagnosis, to know the side effect of the drugs they prescribe, capable to recognize the boundaries of their own capacities, capable to see how their knowledge is up to date.
  • In the same vein, trustworthy actuaries must be capable to make an accurate diagnosis on risk models, to know the side effect of the risk models they prescribe, capable to recognize the boundaries of their own capacities to master risk models, capable to see how their risk models are up to date.

To achieve this goal, humanities and social science can be useful toolboxes for actuaries. Why?

  1. The history of risk modelling allows to detect the generation of models.
  2. The epistemology of risk modelling allows to detect the appropriateness of assumptions:

ISAP 1 # 2.7.2 – The actuary should consider the appropriateness of the assumptions underlying each component of the methodology used. Assumptions generally involve significant professional judgment as to the appropriateness of the methodology used and the parameters underlying the application of such methodology. Assumptions may (…) be implicit or explicit and may involve interpreting past data or projecting future trends.

  1. The sociology of risk modelling allows to understand the role of models.

Until now, the actuary’s competences are mainly made of high skills in mathematical and actuarial sciences. But new competences are needed to scrutinize risk models with expert judgement. Hence my recommendation is: because of this, the actuaries have not to outsource epistemic responsibility.

OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Christian Walter (11 juin 2016). Expert judgement and humanities. EpistemoFinance. Consulté le 15 juillet 2024 à l’adresse

Christian Walter

Actuaire agrégé, chercheur en philosophie et sciences sociales, spécialiste des représentations du hasard en finance et dans les modèles de risque / Fully qualified actuary, academic researcher in philosophy and social sciences, specialised in the representation of chance in finance and risk models

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur comment les données de vos commentaires sont utilisées.

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search