Thursday, August 05, 2010

Brilliant People Agree With Me

einstein Orin Kerr on the challenging effects of your internal “yes man”:

One of the consequences of confirmation bias is that we are overly impressed by ideas that we happen to share. It’s a natural instinct, if not watched carefully. If you read something that reflects or resonates with your own views, you’ll agree with it. Upon agreeing with it, you’ll think it is highly persuasive. And if it’s highly persuasive, it’s probably brilliant. You see this often in the blogosphere when bloggers link to someone’s “superb” and “extremely insightful” post. You click on the link, and you’re underwhelmed by the post. But you realize it is strikingly similar to what the original linker thinks about the topic. It’s possible to take our blinders off, or, more realistically, to minimize them. But it often requires some work, and the amount of work that different people give varies considerably.

I’m glad to see Orin agrees with me on this…

1 comment:

thinking said...

One recent and very well known example of confirmation bias involves the story of Shirley Sherrod, the African American USDA worker who was the victim of a distortion of her remarks at an NAACP conference.

When a conservative blogger posted a video taking her remarks out of context, the conservative blogosphere and conservative media outlets ran with it and created a vicious cycle of character assassination smearing this poor woman.