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pnrjulius comments on Fictional Bias - Less Wrong

0 Post author: thomblake 02 April 2012 02:10AM

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Comment author: pnrjulius 03 April 2012 01:21:00AM 8 points [-]

I agree completely. If you didn't read the references or notice the date, the article seems completely legitimate. It makes a couple weird claims (fictional drugs?), but if you didn't know the literature they wouldn't necessarily seem any stranger than the actual things people do (like anchoring their estimate of a car's value to their social security number). Remember that the absurdity heuristic is not a very good mode of reasoning!

So this means that while people who know Less Wrong can have a little inside joke, people who are new to rationalism and behavioral sciences could easily be fooled.

Comment author: thomblake 04 April 2012 07:29:06PM *  0 points [-]

but if you didn't know the literature they wouldn't necessarily seem any stranger than the actual things people do (like anchoring their estimate of a car's value to their social security number)

Funny you should mention that. When I first had the idea for this post back in January or February, I specifically wanted to think up a fictional bias where the examples would be stranger than anchoring, and about as relevant to everyday life if true. I could not think of one. I finally ended up writing this at the last minute when I realized "fictional bias" was a pun and decided to write the post around that title.

What I'd really like to know, is whether anyone saw my tweets or facebook posts about trying to think up a nonexistent bias, and was still fooled by the post.