Psychology

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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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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In Australia it is that time of year again… sum­mer. Where the weath­er gets nicer, and in Adelaide the Tour Down Under arrives in town. Now unsur­pris­ing­ly this annu­al event sees the  sea­son­al rise of vis­i­ble cyclists, and of course accom­pa­ny­ing it the usu­al dia­tribes and vit­ri­ol flash­ing about in…

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Charlie Hebdo, terrorism and identity

Some will prob­a­bly know that I have been inter­est­ed in issues of iden­ti­ty for­ma­tion, adop­tion and social iden­ti­ty for quite some time now. While this is not the time or place to engage in a long dis­cus­sion of the fac­tors of Tajfelian Social Identity Theory, I think that the issues we…

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