Re: [SystemSafety] Fwd: Contextualizing & Confirmation Bias

From: Matthew Squair < >
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 10:57:59 +1100


Which is kind of the point of the scientific method isn't it? Just because 'you' amass a body of evidence in support of 'your' hypothesis doesn't mean it's accepted, only after others have tested it, ideally using different methods and come up with the same results will it be considered acceptable.

Taking a recent example, Boeing and the FAA formed a hypothesis about the safety of Lithium batteries, they tested to verify that hypothesis (conducted type tests per the FAA's guidance), published their results (it's all good, here's the type certificate), then had others (the airlines) independently test their hypothesis, via other means (real world operational experience), only to find their hypothesis was disproven (a number of fires in service for reasons not wholly anticipated reasons and with greater than expected severity).

A triumph of the scientific method over experimenters regress, or confirmation bias if you like.

On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 9:57 AM, Derek M Jones <derek_at_xxxxxx

> Peter,
>
>
> 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.
>>
>
> and confirmation bias does not disappear just because a person's
> belief is found to agree with reality.
>
> All of the turkeys suffered from confirmation bias, including the
> one that is pardoned.
>
> All of the students suffer from confirmation bias, independently
> of whether or not the postgrads had switched on the magnetic
> field generator.
>
>
> --
> Derek M. Jones tel: +44 (0) 1252 520 667
> Knowledge Software Ltd blog:shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com
> Software analysis http://www.knosof.co.uk
> _______________________________________________
> The System Safety Mailing List
> systemsafety_at_xxxxxx >

-- 
*Matthew Squair*
MIEAust CPEng

Mob: +61 488770655
Email: MattSquair_at_xxxxxx
Website: www.criticaluncertainties.com <http://criticaluncertainties.com/>



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