Science Needs a Solution for the Temptation of Positive Results A few years back, scientists at the biotechnology company Amgen set out to replicate 53 landmark studies that argued for new approaches to treat cancers using both existing and new … Continue reading The reproducibility problem
Confirmation Bias: Why You Should Seek Out Disconfirming Evidence Confirmation bias is our tendency to cherry pick information which confirms pre-existing beliefs or ideas. This is also known as myside bias or confirmatory bias. Two people with opposing views on … Continue reading The desire to be right
Psychologists uncover a new self-serving bias – if it’s my theory, it must be true If you look at the research literature on self-serving biases, it’s little surprise that critical thinking – much needed in today’s world – is such … Continue reading The SPOT Effect
Why facts don’t change our minds In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed … Continue reading Reason as an adaptation
Is Social Media Disconnecting Us From the Big Picture? Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that Donald Trump could be elected president, but I was. I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan, two of the most liberal places in … Continue reading The cognitive traps of social media
Why do people make bad decisions? ‘Information avoidance’ can explain Investors avoid looking at their financial portfolios when the stock market falls. People at risk of health conditions neglect to take medical tests even when they are free. Voters avoid … Continue reading Are you bad at decision-making?
Yes, I’d lie to you When Donald Trump, the Republican presidential hopeful, claimed recently that President Barack Obama “is the founder” of Islamic State and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, the “co-founder”, even some of his supporters were perplexed. Surely … Continue reading The era of post-truth politics