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Peacewise comments on Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 April 2007 06:01PM

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Comment author: Peacewise 02 November 2011 11:23:29PM *  0 points [-]

I think I've got a pretty good feeling on those 6 predictions and have seen them in action numerous times. Most especially in discussions on religion. Does the following seem about right LWers?

The prior attitude effect, both atheists and theists have prior strong feelings of their respective positions and many of them tend to evaluate their supportive arguments more favourably, whilst also aggressively attacking counters to their arguments as predicted by the disconfirmation bias.

The internet being what it is, provides a ready source of material to confirm ones bias.

Polarization of attitude will occur, as a direct result of the disconfirmation bias. One classic example of this is the tendency in internet forum for one person to state their position and expect another to refute it, thereby polarizing the argument - that the people then "naturally" fall into a disconfirmation bias situation is quite ironic in my opinion. Is the classic debating style of "your for and I'm against" or vice versa an example of structured disconfirmation bias?

Whilst the sophistication effect as described precludes, or perhaps ignores that one measure of sophistication is to know the topic being discussed from multiple angles. I would hold that a person who uses their knowledge to only counter someone else's argument is utilizing sophism, whilst a person who is intellectually honest will argue for both cases.