Biases and Lies, Told By Us, To Us

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    “Unfortunately, this sensible procedure is least likely to be applied when it is needed most,”

    Save while you’re young and can benefit from compound interest. Lots of other examples.

    Great subject.

    That Codex is unreadable if you click on it.Report

  2. Avatar Maribou says:

    Looking forward to reading the article. I read Kahnemann’s book – that Yagoda references heavily – while back and had very conflicting opinions.

    On the one hand the basic arguments are very sound and well backed. I do not doubt “system 1” and “system 2” as good ways of describing a true thing that happens.

    On the other hand a lot of the broad and overreaching claims he makes in the book generalizing from very specific situations were based on studies with an n of 20 or less, and other design flaws.

    As some trained in biology, where n=20 is basically something you do because you’re curious about a beer bet, or a single run of something you’re going to repeat another 50 times … and NOT a real experiment, I see that and I see him making great bones about how scientific and amazing he and his partner are, and my hackles go way up. There were some other issues that I’ve forgotten too.

    I actually trusted Kahnemann less by the end of the book than I did at the beginning.

    (end rant)

    Yagoda, on the other hand, I love reading and love his thinking patterns. So, looking forward to the article :D.Report

  3. Avatar KenB says:

    This is based on little more than the article itself and no other expertise, but I get the sense that the two sides aren’t really disagreeing very much. Kahneman is mainly saying that you can’t change the biases of system 1 itself and it’s very difficult for system 2 to consistently account for them and override. Nisbett’s examples (and Yagoda’s experience) seem to be just cases where people have trained their system 2 to account for the system 1 biases in some specific circumstances, but not actually eliminated their bias. Given the 100 different kinds of biases mentioned, the training seems like just a drop in the bucket that picks off some low-hanging fruit, and no real threat to Kahneman’s belief.

    It’s like trying to write legibly while looking in a mirror — with a lot of practice you can eventually learn to do it reasonably well, but the end result is not that you’ve changed your perception to not see the reversed images anymore, just that you’ve learned how to temporarily override your existing habits in that context.Report

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