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36

There are two great TED talks that together help shed some light on your question: David Deutsch (2005) "A new way to explain explanation", and Richard Dawkins (2009) "Why the universe seems so strange" At a fundamental level, science is about explanation (and sometimes using that explanation to make predictions). Thus, to most people, science is useless ...


10

I don't know of a study that tries to answer your specific question but you might want to have a look at illusory superiority, "a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their positive qualities and abilities and to underestimate their negative qualities, relative to others" (wikipedia). I can especially recommend the paper by Dunning and Kruger ...


8

This is referred to as The Forer Effect after Bertram Forer. Wikipedia describes it accurately: The Forer effect (also called the Barnum Effect after P.T. Barnum's observation that "we've got something for everyone") is the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored ...


7

In general, no. People with excellent memories can just as easily misapply the availability heuristic as people with poor memories. To see why, consider a situation where a reasoner is asked to estimate the relative frequency of murder and suicide. Because examples of murder or more "available" (i.e., more easily recalled) than examples of suicide, the ...


7

If you come to this question from the bayesian tradition, then there is only one place where you can sneak in bias: your prior. This dovetails nicely with the wikipedia definition: a pattern of deviation in judgment that occurs in particular situations, leading to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly ...


7

Bias can be quantified in many different ways. In human memory research carried out in the cognitive psychology tradition, there are simple ways to think about it. One basic measure of cognitive bias is merely called bias, and it's a measure of the absolute accuracy of an individual's probability judgments. You average probability judgments across a given ...


7

Confirmation bias (Wikipedia) also seems relevant: Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias, myside bias or verification bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect ...


7

Perhaps people are attracted to these theories in part because of the inability for mainstream science to answer anomalies. The occasion of governmental lying, hiding of technology, and corruption, helps reinforce the idea that there exists real Science that is not known to the mainstream. In the absence of trust, people contemplate the ...


7

The actual act of "Trying to see only the sentence which confirms his beliefs" would generally be called confirmation bias.


6

This sounds similar to the "curse of knowledge" phenomenon (also called the "curse of expertise" by at least one publication that I found). From Wikipedia: "The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias according to which better-informed people find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people." Some ...


6

Déformation professionnelle is probably the closest match: Déformation professionnelle is a French phrase, meaning a tendency to look at things from the point of view of one's own profession rather than from a broader perspective. It is often translated as "professional deformation" or "job conditioning". The implication is that professional training, ...


5

Murphy & Cleveland (1995) mention, that a good way to reduce rater errors in general is to inform raters of the existence and nature of these errors and then to simply urge to avoid them. While this reduces rater errors, it also decreases the accuracy of ratings, though. These findings come from the literature on performance assessment, where halo is ...


5

If you had asked about cognitive distortions, I probably could've answered straight away about one of those! I think it might be an illusion of transparency. Your example somewhat aligns to the definition provided by Gilovich, Medvec & Savitsky (1998): "... we refer to this tendency to overestimate the extent to which others can read one's internal ...


5

Your question is predicated on the assumption that Bayesian modeling has been successful in all domains. I think this is a stance that many (except hardened Bayesians) would disagree with. For instance, consider the classic Tversky & Shafir experiments on the violation of the sure thing principle: What are popular rationalist responses to Tversky & ...


5

I think there is a misperception at work in your question. There is a wide variety of objects that we never perceive in such a binary manner: colors, fruit (apples, oranges, plums, ...), weather, and basically every other concrete objects. The only things we perceive in a binary fashion are abstract ideas! Good versus evil. Liberal versus conservative. And ...


4

This might be a matter of social proof; people generally absorb folk knowledge in a less-impersonal way than formal knowledge (your grandmother says it works, instead of hearing/reading that it might work from a reporter who read the abstract of the paper that says so). I don't know if there has been formal work examining the role of social proof in the ...


4

There are now many full-length books that focus on this deep, complex question about human nature/psychology and note newer/ongoing/active research in the area, some of it cited in them. Why people believe weird things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time Shermer and Gould Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud Park ...


4

Message length is a peripheral cue in the elaboration likelihood model. This means that a message's length affects the likelihood that its recipient will be persuaded when the recipient is not scrutinizing the message's content attentively. When a message is evaluated through peripheral attention instead of central focus, simple heuristics that are easily ...


4

This isn't quite what you are looking for, but it's close enough that it might help you find additional information. Munro (2010) found evidence that people tend to discount the scientific possibility of studying something when presented with scientific evidence that goes against their current beliefs. In other words, if people were shown a result that went ...


3

Egocentrism? I can't even find the Family Circus comic where the boy is talking on the phone, playing with a yo-yo, and says, "Look what I can do, grandma!" Update: Huh, I didn't find that comic, but it's still a Family Circus comic that accompanies the topic. Grandma: "Tell me, Jeffy, what was this fun dream about last night?" Jeffy: "Don't you remember, ...


3

I've been going through your question a couple of times now and I find it quite tricky to get all the details. So please correct me, if I misunderstood you in some point. Basically you have a test and your subjects have to determine if a stimulus belongs to a certain category or not. Of the three possible features, one is a perfect indicator for a specific ...


3

It's not a bias. It is natural human nature. At least the 2 year old's case is. It's just like how you would not have thought of going to Six Flags (An amusement park) unless it was mentioned to you. When the 2 year old hears ice cream, the kid thinks of the sweet taste, or the pleasure ice cream brings. In the kid's case, the case is impatience or ...


3

Self-report methodology was one of my qualifying exam topics as a doctoral student of social and personality psychology, so I've got a ton of references to offer, but I confess I haven't read most of them very thoroughly (if at all), and I've forgotten where exactly I've read some of this. It's really a very broad topic as well, so I won't list most I know ...


3

One possible strategy is to phrase decision-making problems as questions in a foreign language. There's evidence that this attenuates at least certain kinds of cognitive bias (making you more rational and consistent) by distancing the cognitive and affective baggage that comes with the problem. See the following: Keysar, B., Hayakawa, S.L., & Sun, G.A. ...


3

A halo effect suggests that the overall impression of a rated object (e.g., a person) excessively influences the impression of facets of a person. This leads to correlations between facet ratings higher than would be expected were facets rated accurately. If someone is a nearly perfect person, then presumably the overall impression they create would be very ...


3

There are many reasons why stated intention can differ from behaviour (e.g., see Theory of Planned Behaviour). Social desirability is one possibility. However, there are many other factors. A person may not know who they are going to vote for or may not have decided. Factors may arise between the point in time when asked and when voting occurs that change ...


3

Not entirely sure what specific stats you'd be interested in, but Wikipedia has plenty on prevalences of specific mental disorders. For anxiety disorders, which include obsessive compulsive disorder: A review that pooled surveys in different countries up to 2004 found overall average prevalence estimates for any anxiety disorder of 10.6% (in the 12 ...


3

The problem with this question is that the answer depends on your definition of psychological health. In Civilization and Its Discontents Freud argued that civilization itself is a source of suffering and that basically all civilized human beings develop neurotic symptoms due to the repression of their drives. According to this theory the prevalence of ...


3

It seems like a casual version of the illusion of validity, but the illusion of validity is a more general bias that additional data generates additional validity. It's often used more in a lab setting then a debate setting, where an additional experiment may be included to lend support to a hypothesis, but the experimental outcome isn't actually surprising ...



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