..human beings tend almost invariably to be better at remembering evidence that is consistent with their beliefs than evidence that might disconfirm them. When two people disagree, it is often because their prior beliefs lead them to remember (or focus on) different bits of evidence. To consider something well, of course, is to evaluate both sides of an argument, but unless we also go the extra mile of deliberately forcing ourselves to consider alternatives—not something that comes naturally—we are more prone to recalling evidence consistent with a proposition than inconsistent with it.
Friday, May 13, 2011
MWBOT9 - Brains Betray Us
Linked from Insty, and fitting our recent topic. NPR reports a recent Edge conversation uncovering a lot of posts about "systematic cognitive errors." Example, Memory Is Rigged: