Hot answers tagged

46

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

Interesting question! Theory of mind is the ability to attribute mental states, motivations, etc. to others and recognize that others have separate intentions, states, and motivations from his or her own. The specific phenomenon that you are describing may stem from this concept called naive realism, or the idea that we see the world as it truly is, and ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

I have been quite astonished by this nonsensical yet lasting quarrel. You didn't find how they disagree because they don't disagree. The sole difference is that if asked "are human rational ?", Gigerenzer answers "yes", Kahneman answers "no". However, their model of human reasoning are consistent with each other. They just don't use the word "rational" in ...


7

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


7

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 ...


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

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

"Fixing" (compensating for) a cognitive bias means "improving the result", so by definition, the result is always better. The drawback, as stated, is in the time spent getting there. Having said that, there is a lot of research on rational / conscious thought vs. heuristic / unconscious decision-making, and this research reveals many scenarios where ...


6

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 & ...


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, ...


6

The broad topic is norm theory. Kahnemann & Miller (1986) give a nice overview of the topic. The specific effect is a contrast effect. Higgins & Lurie (1983) have an experiment which matches the situation nicely. In their experiment, subjects read a series of short stories describing the sentences handed out by various judges for similar crimes. ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


5

I understand confirmation bias as including this. The Wikipedia page you link has a section on "persistence of discredited beliefs" that corroborates my perspective: Confirmation biases can be used to explain why some beliefs persist when the initial evidence for them is removed.[45] This belief perseverance effect has been shown by a series of ...


5

There are two possibilities. One is that we do tend to wake up more at the climax of dreams, and that somehow our dreams can sync up with external input like an alarm clock so that the climax of the dream occurs at the same time as the alarm going off. The second is that this doesn't actually happen; the alarm is just as likely to go off at the climax of the ...


5

Short answer: Yes, but not really... Self-enhancement: Self-enhancement (sometimes referred to as positive illusions) refers to a general preference for positive self-views (in men and women alike). It includes several common strategies, such as: The "above average effect" (aka illusory superiority), self-serving bias, and optimism bias. Optimism bias ...


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

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

Addressing your first question (like @Josh, I would advice moving the other point to a new question), Morsanya & Handley (2008) (I can't find an open-access copy, sorry) have recently argued that heuristics have to be learned and acquired over time. They presented a group of children aged 5 - 11 with several multiple-choice reasoning tasks, consisting of ...


4

The question is asked – and Arnon's answer is given – based on the assumption that biases play a role only in "momentous" descisions, that is decisions that are relatively rare and can profit from rational consideration. But biases play a constant role in navigating your everyday life. For example, you don't do the Pepsi Challenge every time you buy food. ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible