'... a cross-cultural study, found that Japanese students expected to finish their essays 10 days before deadline. They actually finished 1 day before deadline. Asked when they had previously completed similar tasks, they responded, "1 day before deadline."'
'This is the power of the outside view over the inside view.'
Is it? This assumes that the "outside" '1 day before deadline' represents an actual forecast of the time needed to complete a task. But what does it mean to "complete" an essay? The deadline itself FORCES completion to take place, ready or not. If say three days before the deadline the faculty announced a one week extension, I think you would find that most of the essay durations would extend another week, so as to still be "1 day before deadline." So the previous outside estimates become little better than the inside ones.