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thomblake comments on ...What's a bias, again? - Less Wrong

35 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 27 November 2006 01:50AM

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Comment author: thomblake 17 April 2012 08:21:25PM 1 point [-]

This definition of bias seems problematic. If a putative bias is caused by absorbed cultural mores, then supposedly it is not a bias. But that causal chain can be tricky to track down; we go on thinking something is a 'bias' until we find the black swan culture where the bias doesn't exist, and then realize that the problem was not inherent in our mental machinery. But is that distinction even worth making, if we don't know what caused the bias?

Comment author: Navanen 18 December 2012 05:06:48AM 0 points [-]

I suspect the definition is worth making because even if we don't know what caused the bias, we can use the label of a bias "not inherent in our mental machinery" as a marker for study of what it's cause is in the future.

For example, I read in a contemporary undergraduate social psychology textbook that experimental results found that a common bias affected subjects from Western cultures more strongly than it affected subjects from more interdependent cultures such as China and Japan.

[Obviously, my example is useless. I just don't have access to that book at the current moment. I will update this comment with more detail when I'm able.]