What influences our biases?

Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder has a PhD in physics from the University of Frankfurt. Since 2006 she has written the popular weblog Backreaction as well a the book “Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray”. She has a very interesting OP on cognitive biases that apparently explains what influences our the decision making…

The OP is also linked to a presentation on How to Reduce Biases in Decision-Making.
I found Dr. Hossenfelder blog and the OP really intriguing because I could never understand why so many people would support ideologies that were pure nonsense or against scientific facts or logic…

Now I find it easier to understand those biases, although I still have a very hard time understanding why someone would deceive himself into believing something because of his or her preconceived ideas…

But, that’s a theme for another OP… 😉

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13 thoughts on “What influences our biases?

  1. I have to say I find it very disturbing why so many people at TSZ call me names when I expose their beliefs to be totally false…. One, in the right frame of mind of course, would think that it should be the opposite… But unfortunately it is not…

    The question remains as to “why”?

    BTW: This would definitely make the Jesus stories true when people witnessed his miracles, acknowledged them, and yet still decided to kill him…
    Why would they do that?
    Would the same happen today, if Jesus were here now?
    I bet it would…

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  2. J-Mac: … when I expose their beliefs to be totally false…

    But maybe you have not shown their beliefs to be false. Maybe you have only shown that you disagree with them. And maybe some of them see your posts as showing that you have a lot of wrong ideas.

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  3. There’s no learning if you read about cognitive biases and yet you’re unable to even imagine that it might be you who holds to ideas that defy both science and logic.

    In my work, if I don’t even try, someone will make me see if I’ve got something wrong, if I’m talking nonsense, and they won’t let go until I take an honest and careful closer look. So, I’m able to imagine that I might have biases and thus try and identify them and fix them. You? You cannot even read, yet you think you’re unbiased, scientific, and perfectly logical.

    ETA: I bet you didn’t understand my answer to your “when did natural selection evolve” absurdity. (I doubt it was your kids who asked it.)

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  4. J-Mac:
    I have to say I find it very disturbing why so many people at TSZ call me names when I expose their beliefs to be totally false….

    I “call you names” because even though you cannot read beyond a couple sentences, and poorly, you insult people with your arrogant condescension. You show no respect for anybody, and thus you should not expect respect either.

    You haven’t shown a single one of my positions to be false. You have only shown that you’re unable to understand any of it, even after repeated explanations.

    J-Mac:
    One, in the right frame of mind of course, would think that it should be the opposite… But unfortunately it is not…

    When my colleagues show me wrong, we go and have lunch together. Same when I show them wrong. I’m very grateful to have them, to count on their open, unashamed, criticism.

    You? You’re just some illiterate imbecile who cannot take an honest look at yourself. If it weren’t for your attitude I’d just leave you alone with your imbecility.

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  5. I expose their beliefs to be totally false…

    The ability to report as obvious fact something that exists solely within one’s imagination qualifies you for a Cabinet-level position in the Trump administration.

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  6. There is one sovereign remedy for cognitive bias – do the work to gain reliable knowledge. The OP’s author should try it sometime instead of polluting this site with his particular unreconstructed biases (quantum woo included).

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  7. timothya:
    There is one sovereign remedy for cognitive bias – do the work to gain reliable knowledge. The OP’s author should try it sometime instead of polluting this site with his particular unreconstructed biases (quantum woo included).

    If he were educable at all he would have learned something by now. It’s too late for him now. Since he cannot be prevented from polluting this site with his bullshit and he’s immune to criticism we have no choice but to ignore him.

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  8. Kantian Naturalist: The ability to report as obvious fact something that exists solely within one’s imagination qualifies you for a Cabinet-level position in the Trump administration.

    I would have thought it was Trump’s imagination that was the standard for qualification.

    It seems that Trump’s latest fantasy — the wind power = cancer — has so far shown all to be unqualified in that way.

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  9. Hi J-Mac, you might be interested in this interview James Hoggan – I’m Right and You’re an Idiot There’s a range of other interviews at this site, some of which will no doubt be of interest to you. I have only listened to a few of them.

    Today’s society is built on competition and conflicting ideologies and IMO if we carry on in this direction we will end up with fragmented groups who have no interest in understanding any point of view but their own. I believe it is time we grew up, celebrated our differences, and accepted them for what we can learn from points of view which come from a different direction to our own.

    I believe it’s possible to argue with people without thinking of them as our enemy. We cannot understand our own position unless we see it in relation to other points of view.

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  10. BruceS: I would have thought it was Trump’s imagination that was the standard for qualification.

    It seems that Trump’s latest fantasy — the wind power = cancer — has so far shown all to be unqualified in that way.

    Here is an interesting interview with Gary Lachman from the site I just linked to. He says he would not be surprised if Trump stays in for a second term.

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  11. CharlieM:
    Here is an interesting interview with Gary Lachman from the site I just linked to. He says he would not be surprised if Trump stays in for a second term.

    I wouldn’t be surprised either, and that’s a very sad thought.

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  12. I don’t call you names. however i think you have thrown a few in my direction. Whats your point?
    Anyways.
    Bias has become, like bro, the new word in the sciences. i see it everywhere. NOW i welcome it as it helps creationism or any new innovative idea that is being introduced to “science”
    Sometimes I smell everyone uses it to DISCREDIT THE OTHER GUY in the usual stupid way people manipulate ideas.
    i don’t think bias exists in human investigation of subjects.
    I think instead people just have conclusions/presumptions(which are conclusions) that any further information must obey.
    So any contention about conclusions is really not just the present subject contention but conclusions behind it.
    Its that simple.
    thats why in origin matters WHETHER a God option exists for both parties is important.
    If NOT EVEN a option for a God that person is slow to see evidence for a God/evidence against chance .
    If not a option there is no God THAT PERSON is slow to see evidence about that.
    Bias is just conclusions that are interfering with investigation about changing conclusions.

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  13. The OP is also linked to a presentation on How to Reduce Biases in Decision-Making.
    I found Dr. Hossenfelder blog and the OP really intriguing because I could never understand why so many people would support ideologies that were pure nonsense or against scientific facts or logic…

    I agree. I especially liked this slide:

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