Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Inside Outed

As the election season approaches, voters will be called upon to make important decisions, some of which may actually affect something. As a public service, we at The Tech Curmudgeon want to shed some light on how decision making itself works.

You see, we like to think of ourselves as rational. We like to think we make decisions by gathering facts, weighing them carefully, and choosing the course of action that’s likely to produce the most favorable outcome. But nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, we’re just a collection of biases and preconceptions. We all live in a mythological world of our own making. We’re not even aware of the nagging bits of information that contradict our mythologies and threaten to shatter everything we believe. Researchers have documented a number of distinct cognitive biases that influence the way we judge. For example,
Selection Bias
The tendency to disregard information which contradicts our existing beliefs.
Confirmation Bias
The tendency to be more accepting of information that confirms our beliefs.
Enhanced Negation Effect
The tendency to be skeptical of information presented in a very emphatic or extreme way (unless you’re a Tea Party member.)
In addition to the above, we want to mention a few other, less well researched cognitive quirks.
The G Spot
The tendency to react to any mention of guns, gays or God with partisanship and insularity.
The Trump-It Sound
The tendency to emit large gusts of wind, despite the risk of mussing one’s hair.
The tendency to think that wealthy people are more American than others.
Santum Santorum
The tendency to abandon human reason in favor of divine authority.
Burning Bush Effect
The tendency to believe that one family was annointed to hold power in government.
The persistent belief, despite all evidence, that we have a say in determining our government and policies, when, in fact, at best we have some sway over which group of corporate power mongers hold sway for a few years.

1 comment:

Bill Costa said...

Hey, I'm proud to live in a country that has the best government money can buy.