Results tagged “confirmation bias” from onegoodmove

To The Point


"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true" —Francis Bacon

Motivated Reasoning, ( devaluing criticism and overvaluing arguments in favor of of a position we wish to believe is true) it is a sort of flip side of Confirmation Bias ( looking only at the evidence that supports a specific point of view). Motivated reasoning is what many Obama supporters are now engaging in on the issue of telecom immunity, and also on his flip-flop on public financing..

There are certainly reasons for the positions he now holds but they come at the expense of promises he's made and in my opinion are not good enough. I do however have more sympathy for the reasons given to spurn public financing than I do for his apparent intention to vote for the telecom bill. Are these reasons to vote for his opponent, hell no, but if you value rational thinking you might want to ask yourself if you are engaging in such fuzzy thinking.

I hate being duped by appeals to emotion. It is part of the reason I've been so skeptical when it comes to the hope and change message. We can hope for change, and sometimes we are even rewarded by the real thing, more often though, we are disappointed. Many voted for George W. Bush because they thought he shared their values and that he was the type of guy you could sit down and enjoy having a beer with; we know how that turned out. And although Barack will be much better than McCain, don't lose your skepticism.

The point, the debate in the senate starts tomorrow, do what you can to encourage Obama to keep his word, and stop telecom immunity. Don't buy in to the weak arguments for why it is okay for him to support the bill.


The Antidote is Skepticism

The Political Brain: Scientific American: “The Political Brain

A recent brain-imaging study shows that our political predilections are a product of unconscious confirmation bias By Michael Shermer

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion ... draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises ... in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate. --Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620

Pace Will Rogers, I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a libertarian. As a fiscal conservative and social liberal, I have found at least something to like about each Republican or Democrat I have met. I have close friends in both camps, in which I have observed the following: no matter the issue under discussion, both sides are equally convinced that the evidence overwhelmingly supports their position.”