By Troy Anderson
Sep 13, 2018

Cognitive Bias

Yam & Troy the Science Boys

This sort of shit is far more psychology than it is science. However, it is something that holds a lot of ground in the science world and the world of intellectual honesty overall. Having the most correct version of the facts is important because although the facts don’t tell you how to interpret them, they at least give you improved tools to figure that shit out.

Nothing gets me quite like fuckwits who will not let go of blatantly false/disproven ideas. This is particularly so when they parade them as bulletproof facts, and even more so still when it’s me doing it, meaning I’m far too fucked up on drugs at that moment in time.

So, we’ll start with the ol’ confirmation bias. This is always hilarious and usually manifests in someone’s bedroom at midnight with a bunch of lines cut up on a full-length mirror laid out on someone’s bed. The old “I heard that [insert improbable yarn]” is thrown out, which is then contested with “fuck off, that’s bullshit”, then followed by a poor Google search. Two things can happen after this; one is a severe case of embarrassment when Google completely dismantles the argument, and the other is a heated debate as the two parties continually one-up each other with sites that support their own argument. At this point, everyone else leaves the room because intolerable idea retardation is harshing their buzz.

Confirmation bias essentially comes down to rejecting new ideas in favour of holding onto old ones. You’ll catch yourself doing it when you’re deliberately filtering out information that doesn’t prove your point or disproves it. At its core, this happens because the assimilation of new facts is too difficult for whatever reason, and requires a more in-depth look at one’s self. Let’s be real, no one has time for that/it can be a wee bit scary.

The next one on the list is belief bias. This one is hysterical when used sarcastically. However, when used legitimately, it sometimes requires physical regrouping before tackling such immense bullshit. Belief bias can be explained as being more inclined to believe and assimilate an invalid conclusion that seems realistic. This is the case even if the argument is completely false. Typically, this stems from the acceptance of an invalid syllogism.

A syllogism is a basic logic tree, i.e. if thing A is true, and thing B is also true, therefore thing AB is true. However, they don’t always stand up on their owvn, and these ones are hilarious. A commonly used example of a valid syllogism is:

All humans are mortal

Socrates is human

Therefore, Socrates is mortal

An example of an invalid syllogism is:

Heroin gives your hair natural shine

Natural shine is attractive

Therefore, taking heroin makes you attractive

In any case, I’ve done fucking run out of words, haven’t I? There are a bunch more cognitive biases, each with their own supporting research and criticisms, so if you’re interested in them, have a young Google, because we live in a world where that’s a thing now. More importantly, don’t be a dumb cunt, i.e. someone who is completely immovable on their ideas because there’s always more to learn.

Contact Us

07 837 9449

Ground Floor, SUB
Gate One, University of Waikato
Knighton Road

PO Box 25-002
Waikato University