The ‘Othello error’ is named after Shakespeare’s play Othello, in which the character Othello mistakes his wife’s faithfulness for infidelity and tragically kills her. Similarly, the ‘Othello error’ is an error made when someone is absolutely convinced of something that is actually false. In other words, it is the error of being too sure of one’s self in a situation where certainty is not justified.
Examples of the Othello error can range from the personal to the professional. In a personal setting, it could be a mistake in judgment of character or intentions, such as trusting someone who is not trustworthy or misinterpreting someone’s words or intentions. In a professional setting, it could be a mistake in static analysis or risk assessment, such as making assumptions about potential outcomes without taking into consideration the full range of possibilities.
The Othello error is an important concept to be aware of, as it can lead to consequences ranging from minor inconveniences to much broader repercussions. Understanding the concept of the Othello error and applying it in an informed way can help individuals and organizations avoid costly and sometimes disastrous errors.