Re: [SystemSafety] Fwd: Contextualizing & Confirmation Bias

From: Peter Bernard Ladkin < >
Date: Wed, 05 Feb 2014 22:59:12 +0100

On 2/5/14 10:02 PM, Derek M Jones wrote:
> I gave Millikan as an example because of his belief
> about what the value of the charge should, not that a
> smallest unit of charge existed.

Well, yes, quite so. A suggestion of confirmation bias, indeed any bias, does require one to state the belief system of (a) the subject; (b) oneself; and (c) the intellectual environment which one assumes. Two or more of which are often missing.

> The cognitive psychology books sitting on my shelf appear to use
> conformation bias in the Bertrand Russell Turkey sense.

Russell's turkeys fit my notion to a tee, as far as I can see.

> However, the "MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences"
> says (much to my surprise):
> "That is, subjects will conduct an experiment
> that will generate a result that is predicted by their hypothesis.
> This is known as confirmation bias"

Yes, well, that's what happens when people throw trendy terms around in papers. What's that I read above, "MIT"? Why do I feel confirmation bias coming on? :-)

Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319

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