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How a Pioneer in the Science of Mistakes Ended Up Mistaken

Beliefs and Statistics

  • Researchers extract a lot of false certainty from data which is used to study a particular hypothesis, due to their myopic thinking, confirmation bias, and other cognitive assumptions that they aren't even aware of.
  • Many researchers believe in small samples of data as if they stand for the whole of the population, and this can lead to unpredictable consequences.

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How a Pioneer in the Science of Mistakes Ended Up Mistaken

How a Pioneer in the Science of Mistakes Ended Up Mistaken

https://slate.com/technology/2016/12/kahneman-and-tversky-researched-the-science-of-error-and-still-made-errors.html

slate.com

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Key Ideas

Statistics Inaccuracies

Most studies that involve statistical research remain largely inaccurate, and a large number of hypotheses use data samples which are inadequate.

Beliefs and Statistics

  • Researchers extract a lot of false certainty from data which is used to study a particular hypothesis, due to their myopic thinking, confirmation bias, and other cognitive assumptions that they aren't even aware of.
  • Many researchers believe in small samples of data as if they stand for the whole of the population, and this can lead to unpredictable consequences.

The Eye Poster Experiment

It points out our irrational bias and behavior towards our surroundings. How people succumb to irrational beliefs was demonstrated in an experiment at a University Kitchen.

It found out that if there was a poster with eyes put up near the kitchen counter, then people were more likely to pay for the food, subconsciously taking those eyes in the poster as someone looking at them.

The Anchoring Effect

The Anchoring effect is a phenomenon studied in the art of persuasion and influence.

It states that people tend to register the first piece of information that they get and 'anchor' it in their minds subconsciously. This makes them compare the second piece of information they get with the anchored information in their minds, automatically.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Way We Delude Ourselves
The Way We Delude Ourselves

Cognitive Biases are a collection of faulty and illogical ways of thinking which are hardwired in the brain, most of which we aren’t aware of.

The idea of cognitive biases was invented ...

Hyperbolic Discounting

It's a tendency to heavily weigh the moment which is closer to the present, as compared to something in the near or distant future.

Example: If you are offered a choice of $150 right now or $180 after 30 days, you would be more inclined to choose the money you are offered right now. However, if we take the present moment out of the equation, and put this offer in the distant future, where you are offered $150 in 12 months or $180 in 13 months, your choice is likely to be the latter one.

Common Biases
  • Actor-Observer Bias: the way the explanation of other people’s behaviour tends to focus on the influence of their personality while being less focused on the situation while being just the opposite while explaining one’s own behaviour.
  • Zeigarnik Effect: when something unfinished and incomplete tends to linger in the mind and memory.
  • The IKEA Effect: when our own assembling of an object is placed at a higher value than the other objects.
  • Optimism Bias: makes us underestimate the cost and duration for every project we try to undertake or plan.
  • Availability Bias: makes us believe whatever is more easily available to our consciousness, and is more vivid (or entrenched) in our memory.

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Note Taking

Students who take notes during a lecture or presentation achieve more than those who just passively listen.

Note-taking makes one's attention focused on the ideas being discussed, and also le...

Note Taking Cues

When the instructor says 'this is important' or 'note this', or gives a non-verbal cue that the content being discussed is important, it can enhance the student's note-taking. They can also listen to the cues to help them organize their lessons.

Revision of notes

Revision of notes, done right after the lecture, is a crucial step so that any missing lesson ideas can be filled using our short-term memory.

  • Hand-written notes are better than laptops as the latter can be distracting, with students checking email or playing games. It also distracts nearby students.

  • Laptop notes are inferior as they are verbatim and shallow.

  • Hand-written notes are well-thought-out, summarized and have a lot of graphic information that is missing from laptop notes.
Mental shortcuts

We’re not nearly as rational as we like to believe. When we face an uncertain situation, we fail to evaluate the information or to look up relevant statistics carefully.
Instead, we depen...

Smart people and biases

We often assume that intelligence guards against bias. Its why those with higher S.A.T. scores think they are less likely to make universal thinking mistakes.

However, smarter people are more vulnerable to these thinking errors.

Biases and human intelligence
  • People who are aware of their own biases are not better able to overcome them. Our intuitive thinking is just as prone to overconfidence, extreme predictions, and the planning fallacy.
  • According to scientists, intelligent people have a larger bias blind spot. They can spot systematic flaws in others, but not in themselves. They will excuse their own minds but harshly judge the minds of other people. 

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