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Thread: Cognitive Biases

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
    The "In-Group" bias is definitely a major contributor to nationalism.

    (I loath nationalism...)

    A point that I don't think has been made yet is that many biases run in conjunction with each other... this can (obviously) compound some issues. Just using some biases that have already been posted, combine Anchoring, Confirmation bias, and In-Group bias: finding any objective reality is going to be rough.
    Interesting point. Do you think there is such a thing as objective reality?
    What we each experience is the cognitive processing of electro-chemical nerve impulses fed into our brains, filtered through the perceptual constructs of our learned experience, values and beliefs.
    Is the cognitive system so flawed that an objective reality is beyond the human ability to perceive?

    Just because we both see a thing and agree a label for a thing, does that mean that we both truely see that thing the same way?

    I qoute a study from Harvard Business School to my students. They asked the general public some basic general knowledge questions and told them only to answer if they were absolutely sure they were correct. If they were correct, they were then asked follow up questions on that topic to find out how much more they knew about it.

    Of the facts that people were absolutely sure were correct, less than half actually were correct and when asked the follow up questions, for half of those they did not really understand the topic in any detail.
    If that is representative, half the information I rely on in my head is just plain wrong and of the stuff that is right, half of that I don't understand as well as I think I do.
    I tell them to question their assumptions and question the source of their facts at all times, including everything that I tell them.

    P.S. I quite agree about Nationalism, as a rule the person stoking up nationalistic pride is trying to use it to stop people stopping and thinking about the issue at hand; like a magician using misdirection to stop you looking where they don't want you to.

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  3. #62
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    It's an interesting topic, with interesting questions and answers. I will do my best to answer...

    Do I think there is such a thing as objective reality...
    Depends on the situation I guess. I don't mean to dance around the question, so allow me to elaborate...

    I think in math there are real answers that are objective. When it come to right and wrong all viewpoints are subjective.
    Did I clean the kitchen? The answer has a truth that is objective.
    Did I clean the kitchen well? Subjective
    SHOULD I clean the kitchen? Subjective

    But reality itself... no, I don't think there is any such thing as a completely objective reality.

    Is the cognitive system so flawed that an objective reality is beyond the human ability to perceive...

    Well, I don't know that this is the question to ask... I mean virtually any experience that you have creates subjectivity, I don't think that is a "flaw"?

    Just because we both see a thing and agree a label for a thing, does that mean that we both truely see that thing the same way?
    Definitely not... beauty is in the eye of the beholder for example.

    "When someone looks at me and earnestly says, "I know what I saw," I am fond of replying, "No you don't; you have a distorted and constructed memory of a distorted and constructed perception, both of which are subservient to whatever narrative your brain is operating under." - Steven Novella

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  5. #63
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    Fundamental Attribution Error



    You judge others on their character, but yourself on the situation.

    If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, you know why you’re being a bit slow; but if you observe someone else being slow you don’t have such knowledge and so might presume them to just be a slow person.

    It's not only kind to view others' situations with charity, it's more objective too. Be mindful to also err on the side of taking personal responsibility rather than justifying and blaming.

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  7. #64
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    Placebo Effect



    If you believe you're taking medicine it can sometimes 'work' even if it's fake.

    The placebo effect can work for stuff that our mind influences (such as pain) but not so much for things like viruses or broken bones.

    Homeopathy, acupuncture, and many other forms of natural
    'medicine' have been proven to be no more effective than placebo.
    Keep a healthy body and bank balance by using evidence-based
    medicine from a qualified doctor.

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  9. #65
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    The placebo effect has some really interesting features. It works even when the person knows the treatment is a placebo and has no active ingredients. It also has an opposite - the nocebo effect - in which expectations of side effects occur even where there is no active ingredient in the treatment.

    The mind is a very powerful force in sickness and in health. Psychosomatic factors account for a significant proportion of illness and suffering.

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    Halo Effect



    How much you like someone, or how attractive they are, influences your other judgments of them.

    Our judgments are associative and automatic, and so if we want to be objective we need to consciously control for irrelevant influences. This is especially important in a professional setting.

    If you notice that you're giving consistently high or low marks across the board, it's worth considering that your judgment may be suffering from the halo effect.

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  13. #67
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    Bystander Effect



    You presume someone else is going to do something in an emergency situation.

    When something terrible is happening in a public setting we can experience a kind of shock and mental paralysis that distracts us from a sense of personal responsibility. The problem is that everyone can experience this sense of deindividuation in a crowd.

    If there's an emergency situation, presume to be the one who will help or call for help. Be the change you want to see in the world.

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    Availability Heuristic



    Your judgments are influenced by what springs most easily to mind.

    How recent, emotionally powerful, or unusual your memories are can make them seem more relevant. This, in turn, can cause you to apply them too readily.

    Try to gain different perspectives and relevant statistical information rather than relying purely on first judgments and emotive influences.

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  17. #69
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    Belief Bias



    If a conclusion supports your existing beliefs, you'll rationalize anything that supports it.

    It's diffcult for us to set aside our existing beliefs to consider the true merits of an argument. In practice this means that our ideas become impervious to criticism, and are perpetually reinforced.

    A useful thing to ask is 'when and how did I get this belief?' We tend to automatically defend our ideas without ever really questioning them.

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