Cognitive Biases

Why are some people just so obstinate? — Bayes Theorem & The Backfire Effect

What do Flat-earth­­ers, Anti-vaxxers, 9/11-con­spir­acists, Jesus-mythi­­cists and Obama cit­i­zen­ship deniers have in com­mon? Well, sub­con­scious­ly at least, they all dis­play a con­tempt for Bayes’ the­o­rem, and arguably they strong­ly man­i­fest the ‘Backfire effect.’ Welcome to anoth­er instal­ment of Cognitive Bias Wednesday, today look­ing at the ‘back­fire effect,’ with a prelude…

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Why did that per­son just run that red light? They obvi­ous­ly don’t know how to dri­ve.’ We hear it all the time, the ten­den­cy to attribute mal­ice or incom­pe­tence to anoth­er indi­vid­ual or group, when if it was us doing the action it would be mere­ly an acci­dent: ‘I just did­n’t…

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Before we get into the Wednesday series on cog­ni­tive bias­es and fal­lac­i­es in full swing I thought it would be good to look at a sim­ple case study that not only applies to how we fall into bias­es uncon­scious­ly, but also teach­es us a lit­tle about how we process information.…

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