Rolling Stones gather no Confirmation Bias

The UVA rape article is the best example of De la Fontaine quote that “Everyone believes very easily whatever he fears or desires”.

Everyone believes very easily whatever he fears or desires

Buskers at 50th St Subway Station NYC
While I enjoy Kanye West as an artist, as a human being, he seems like a lout.

So when a posting came up on Facebook that said that he did another douchebag thing, I shared it only to find out later it wasn’t true.

The thing is, I assume he’s a douchebag so when I read something that proves it, I immediately believe it.

What irritated me most about that was that I should’ve known better.

One of the few things I remember from my first year in Prof. Maas‘ Psych 101 Class – waaaaaay back in 1990 – was the idea of confirmation bias, which essentially echoes poet Jean De la Fontaine idea that Everyone believes very easily whatever he fears or desires.

So when the Rolling Stone article about the UVA rape case was found to be completely false over the weekend, I thought of Prof. Maas and De la Fontaine again.

Rolling Stone and the authors wanted to believe that colleges are a hotbed of rape and misbehavior and found evidence to prove their position.

Only they didn’t. Instead, they just made it harder for genuine rape cases to be believed.

I see it every single day on Facebook. People that have evidence that aspartame and tilapia will kill you, Obama is a secret Muslim, and that jet fuel cannot melt steel.

It’s a daily thing – and something I perpetuated myself with Kayne West, because I wanted to believe he’s a douchebag and found evidence to support this, even when I didn’t.

Beliefs are dangerous things and they cloud judgement, even from those that should know better.

Still, it’s better to appreciate this with the smaller, insignificant things, than to realize it with bigger, more meaningful things. Just ask Rolling Stone magazine.


Location: in midtown later at midday for some afternoon cognac
Mood: hopeful
Music: People around gotta find something to say now

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7 replies on “Rolling Stones gather no Confirmation Bias”

This is like an exercise I did once, where it’s facts vs stories. As in, how we interpret the facts is how we tell stories to recount everything that happens to us. But people relate in stories not facts so it’s often very hard to distinguish the two.

I keep starting and stopping the blogging. I lack the discipline. And I often don’t feel comfortable putting information about myself out there!

But when you said NLP, did you mean Neuro-linguistic programming? (Google FTW!)
Is there a baby primer book? That topic looks a bit heavy.

I only put what I’m comfortable with people knowing; if you put up anonymously, who’s to know?

As for NLP, yep, neuro-linguistic programming! It’s really amazing stuff. Go to Udemy and listen to this person’s lecture series; it’s a great start to understanding it and pretty interesting I think:

Most of what I write is influenced by NLP in some fashion so if you like what I write, few of my ideas are original. Most are my take on NLP ideas coupled with my natural nerdyism.

Give it a whirl as it enables you figure out why you do or don’t do things.

BTW, I totally forgot to mention Getting Things Done – which is a great book on how to…well, get things done.

It’s a fast read and, while I don’t do everything the author suggests, the few things that I did implement really made noticeable changes in how I accomplish things I want to get done.

I will look into the book – thanks! I have been trying to cut back on blue light at night to help my insomnia so haven’t watched the videos yet. Hopefully this weekend!

Def cut back on that – I found by turning off all my screens (except ereader) by 10:30 every night and found it helped a lot.

Yup! I am doing that and no caffeine after noon and yoga a few times a week. The muscle twitching has reached daily levels so I am being super strict.

Yikes! That sounds terrible. Yes, insomnia is a serious matter and should be taken seriously; I used to have shakes when I didn’t sleep and occasional twitching in the eye so I understand how disconcerting that can be.

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