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Thread: Cognitive Biases

  1. #21
    Too Daze Gone baddfingerz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    He can post anything he wants here within reason.
    If you and I and everyone else can talk about our stuff here, so can he.
    Yes, he can - and so can I.

    And my question was rhetorical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
    I enjoy these, and I am interested in how the mind works and I am interested in sharing that information. If you aren't interested you are permitted to not read the thread. Seriously, it's okay.
    And I thank you, Atheist. I wouldn't be reading this thread if I wasn't interested.

    [Maybe my core beliefs are, unwittingly, being challenged]




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  3. #22
    jumping on eggshells sp88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baddfingerz View Post
    We all know where this is leading.
    all the same, it's important to discuss whether elvis is actually still alive and living in a cave in maryland
    "i know enough to know what's instantly forgettable"

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  5. #23
    Too Daze Gone baddfingerz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sp88 View Post
    all the same, it's important to discuss whether elvis is actually still alive and living in a cave in maryland
    Man, I wish we all had audio contact at least





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  7. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
    I really don't think these are common sense. Some of them might be common sense to some people I guess, but they certainly aren't common sense in society on the whole.
    I agree that nothing is 100% objective. Experience creates subjectivity virtually by definition. With that being said, we can (theoretically) inspect the facts or data and make decisions based solely on those facts & data, but we have to do our best to remove our biases to do that.

    (Evolution is a fact, vaccines work and don't cause autism, we really landed on the moon, there is no compelling evidence that aliens have visited the planet, the earth is 4 billion + years old, not 6-10 thousand... and so on...)

    People cling to beliefs for emotional reasons, and their biases make it easy to stay the course.
    Our biases get in the way of rational thought (or critical thinking if you prefer).

    When you are studying any matter or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed, but look only and solely at what are the facts. - Bertrand Russell
    Those same cognitive biases apply to the scientifcally minded as much as to the theologically minded or the conspiracy theorists.
    The illusion that science is dispassionate and objective has been repeated far too often. History is littered with scientists who revelaed a truth that questioned accepted scientific doctrine and were shunned or riddiculed as a result.
    I was in a conversation about evolution recently and when Darwin came up I mentioned that things aren't clear cut. I was planning to go on to mention the theories of Lamarck (non-linear evolution) or some of the current research into the quantum aspects of evolution that Darwin would have had no way of knowing about or incorporating into the origin of the species. I was set upon before I could say anything though, I was called a creationist, a god botherer and the root cause of unreason in the world.

    Rokeach proposed that our psychology is based on cognitive bias, each belief built on other beliefs that support it like the layers of an onion. Tackling a belief at the surface only causes conflict and distrust, we need to peel back the layers of the onion and find the roots of each belief if we are to change them.

    Difficult enough to do for ourselves, even if we are the most self aware and reflective people on the planet. Almost impossible to force someone else to do if they are unwilling.

    What worries me more is the extent that these psychological ideas have become tools for political and economic organisations to influence public opinion.
    E.g. I take an belief that I am sure is commonly held; "Crime is bad", I then present arguements that build on your beliefs to sway you to my position; "there are immigrants commiting crime"; therefore "cracking down on immigrants will reduce crime"

    In the UK we publish figures for Crime and figures for the fear of Crime. We are often told that while crime is falling, fear of crime is rising and government needs to do something about it. Making what we believe more important than what is true.

    P.S. Elvis is not in a cave. There is a man works down the chip shop, swears he's Elvis

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  9. #25
    Super Moderator Misrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbiec View Post

    P.S. Elvis is not in a cave. There is a man works down the chip shop, swears he's Elvis
    He's a liar and I'm not sure about you

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  11. #26
    jumping on eggshells sp88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misrule View Post
    He's a liar and I'm not sure about you
    you'd better hope people actually remember the song and don't just think you're being needlessly abrasive

    "i know enough to know what's instantly forgettable"

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  13. #27
    Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BondJmsBond View Post
    "It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” - Mark Twain



    Oh my... so perfect. Well Done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arbiec View Post
    Those same cognitive biases...
    That was a lot to say... I can't respond to it all, but would like to hit on your early points and possibly give a different perspective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arbiec View Post
    Those same cognitive biases apply to the scientifically minded as much as to the theologically minded or the conspiracy theorists.
    I agree with you 100%, cognitive biases apply to all people. But some people realize it, and some don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arbiec View Post
    The illusion that science is dispassionate and objective has been repeated far too often.
    Science is dispassionate and objective. People (scientists) are not. The distinction is relevant and important.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arbiec View Post
    History is littered with scientists who revealed a truth that questioned accepted scientific doctrine and were shunned or ridiculed as a result.
    I will assume that this is true. But scientists never burned anyone at the stake.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arbiec View Post
    Difficult enough to do for ourselves, even if we are the most self aware and reflective people on the planet. Almost impossible to force someone else to do if they are unwilling.
    So true. There is a woman who studies logical fallacies and cognitive biases, and she wants to create a new category... The G.I. Joe Fallacy (Knowing Is Half The Battle) (Americans will understand this tongue-in-cheek joke).

    The problem with knowing these biases, is that we can easily recognize them in other people, but we seldom perceive them in ourselves. The same is true of logical fallacies. And of course you are right, if people are simply unwilling to reflect on their biases, then discussion is futile.

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  15. #28
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    Declinism



    You remember the past as better than it was, and expect the future to be worse than it will likely be.

    Despite living in the most peaceful and prosperous time in history, many people believe things are getting worse. The 24 hour news cycle, with its reporting of overtly negative and violent events, may account for some of this effect.

    Instead of relying on nostalgic impressions of how great things used
    to be, use measurable metrics such as life expectancy, levels of crime
    and violence, and prosperity statistics.

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  17. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by sp88 View Post
    you'd better hope people actually remember the song and don't just think you're being needlessly abrasive

    Two points;

    1. I was just glad that someone got the reference
    2. I am a liar and that's the honest truth!

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  19. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
    Oh my... so perfect. Well Done.

    That was a lot to say... I can't respond to it all, but would like to hit on your early points and possibly give a different perspective.

    I agree with you 100%, cognitive biases apply to all people. But some people realize it, and some don't.

    Science is dispassionate and objective. People (scientists) are not. The distinction is relevant and important.

    I will assume that this is true. But scientists never burned anyone at the stake.

    So true. There is a woman who studies logical fallacies and cognitive biases, and she wants to create a new category... The G.I. Joe Fallacy (Knowing Is Half The Battle) (Americans will understand this tongue-in-cheek joke).

    The problem with knowing these biases, is that we can easily recognize them in other people, but we seldom perceive them in ourselves. The same is true of logical fallacies. And of course you are right, if people are simply unwilling to reflect on their biases, then discussion is futile.
    Best example of cognitve bias in Science is Einstein. When Niels Bohr postulated the idea of quantum mechanics and specifically quantum entanglement, it went against the fundamental materialist view of reality that Einstein believed in. He set his mind to disproving it and for the next twenty years, despite an ever growing abundance of evidnece supporting Bohr's position he worked to prove that his beliefs were right and the evidence of reality was wrong.

    I would ammend slightly the statement that science is dispassionate and objective; the idealised scientific method is dispassionate and objective. Science is the application of the scientific method by people (scientists) who by their own flawed human nature are open to cognitive bias.

    P.S. Love the discussion topic

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