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Posts tagged "Confirmation Bias"

Confirmation Bias and the Wisdom of Humility

“The Sigh of the Oppressed Creature, the Heart of a Heartless World”

Another Week Ends: The Shortcomings of Reason, La La Land Parodies, Technological Glitches, Militant Veganization, Performance Art, Existential Billionaires, Extreme Church Makeovers, and a “Hostage Situation”

1. Lots of interesting links this week! First up, The New Yorker published “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds,” a fascinating piece by Elizabeth Kolbert. Discussing at length the phenomenon of ‘confirmation bias’ — which suggests that we believe those facts that support our beliefs and reject those that challenge our beliefs — Kolbert ultimately confirms (bada bing!) much of what our […]

Confirming Confirmation Bias with Michael Lewis

I’ve been enjoying Michael Lewis’s new book, The Undoing Project, which picks up where Moneyball left off: When it comes to sports recruitment, if the numbers are more reliable than human judgment, the next question is why? What’s going on in the human mind that makes even the experts’ top picks hit-or-miss? One answer is the inevitable confirmation bias. The following definition […]

How to Lose an Argument: Biased Assimilation in Rational Thinking

I think we owe ourselves a congratulations. We made it through the holidays! It isn’t always easy. Spending time with family, occupying the same dinner table, digging into the same refrigerator, watching the same movies with a group of people we never chose our relation to. Perhaps, at some point, a belligerent relative staggered through […]

Yesterday’s News

“Shellshocked” is the only way to describe the feeling at our bus stop the morning after the election. Parents hobbled out of their homes, disoriented and bewildered, in obvious need of more caffeine. My neighbor hailed me and my son as we made the walk to the bench where the kids all congregate. “Well,” he said, […]

Know Thy Bias! A Guide for the Delusional

Behold! A sneak peek into the Mental Health Issue that’s probably arrived at your (cooler friend’s) house this week. If it hasn’t, well, there’s still time…but they are selling out!  In the midst of an election year, and in the middle of a mental health issue, we’d be remiss not to visit the wide world […]

Surviving November

As we come to the close of a particularly vicious election cycle, we bring out of the archives our “Surviving November” series from four years back. Based on Jonathan Haidt’s work, The Righteous Mind, DZ delves into the moral psychology of political strife, and what hope we might be able to gather in spite of it. […]

The “Trigger-Warning” Life

Universities have historically always been on the leading edge of American cultural change. The university has, or at least tries to be, the place where new ideas are tested, refined, and put into meaningful action. Today’s college students become tomorrow’s leaders, which is to say that the recent explosion of “trigger warning” policies are not […]

Mockingbird at the Movies: 12 Angry Men (Minus One)

You can watch the focal length elongating in 12 Angry Men. This makes the close-ups (which come more and more frequently as the film furthers) become more personal, more detached from the judicial background. Also you can see that the camera shots, while doing this, are also beginning to take a different angle. The courtroom […]

Argumentative Apes and the Wisdom of Foolishness: A Social Science Roundup

Two weeks ago, New Scientist wrote an excellent article alluding to many of the social science themes we cover. We’ll start with two thought-experiments noted in the article that illustrate human selfishness or irrationality: 1. Imagine an outbreak of disease threatening a small town of 600 people.  Given budget constraints, we can develop treatment A, which […]

Anne’s A, Burt’s B, and the Conclusive Convenience of the “Myside”

Libertarian economist Daniel B. Klein published an article in the Wall Street Journal that made some strong statements about the left-leaning, based on research he thought was well-founded. Flocks of conservatives and libertarians write back in sweeping jubilation, thanking Klein for affirming what they already knew was true; flocks of liberals fling back scathing rebuttals […]

A Momentary Lapse of Reason(ing): Arguments, Justification and Good News

Have you heard of The Argumentative Theory of Reasoning? It is a recent breakthrough in the study of cognition, and a theory we can really get behind. Essentially an attempt to answer the question, why are human beings so good at reasoning in some areas and so bad at it in others? The researchers, who […]