Confirmation Bias: Why You Should Seek Out …

Bias and Deception in Behavioral Research - Mad In …

Geoffrey Dean & his Astrology Tests

Preschoolers are also remarkably good at creating chaos and mess, as all parents know, and that may actually play a role in their creativity. Turing presciently argued that it might be good if his child computer acted randomly, at least some of the time. The thought processes of three-year-olds often seem random, even crazy. But children have an uncanny ability to zero in on the right sort of weird hypothesis—in fact, they can be substantially better at this than grown-ups. We have almost no idea how this sort of constrained creativity is possible.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret and search for information confirming a pre-existing hypothesis.

Third-person effect - Wikipedia

Every year on the website Edge, scientists and other thinkers reply to one question. This year it’s “What do you consider the most interesting recent news” in science? The answers are fascinating. We’re used to thinking of news as the events that happen in a city or country within a few weeks or months. But scientists expand our thinking to the unimaginably large and the infinitesimally small.

The Documentary Hypothesis: Moses, Genesis, and …

As usual Shakespeare’s psychology was uncannily accurate. You might think that losing status would make us more selfish. But, in fact, a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Ana Guinote at University College London and colleagues shows just the opposite. When people feel that they are more powerful, they are less likely to help others; when they “feel what wretches feel,” they become more altruistic.

The Mark of a Criminal Record on JSTOR


Is 'HIV' Really the Cause of AIDS

A type I error occurs when you reject the null hypothesis (typically of no effect) when it is true. A generalization, related to type I errors but not quite the same, is that even when the null is false (i.e., there is some effect) fishing expeditions will lead to overestimates of the size (and hence importance) of the effects found. In other words, when you aren't looking at a particular variable, but look at everything and focus your attention on whatever is the largest effect, the effects you find may not be $0$, but are biased to appear larger than they are. An example of this can be seen in my answer to: .

Statistical Analysis Handbook - StatsRef

If you are afraid you might be "fishing", but you really don't know what hypothesis to formulate, you could definitely split your data in "exploration", "replication" and "confirmation" sections. In principle this should limit your exposure to the risks outlined earlier: if you have a p value of 0.05 in the exploration data and you get a similar value in the replication and confirmation data, your risk of being wrong drops. A nice example of "doing it right" was shown in the British Medical Journal (a very respected publication with an Impact Factor of 17+)

Overview of the evaluation of stroke - …

Climate change or habitat loss drives some animals to extinction. But others alter the development of their bodies or behavior to suit a changing new environment, demonstrating what scientists call “developmental plasticity.” Dr. Snell-Rood wants to understand these fast adaptations, especially those caused by human influence. She has shown, for example, how road-salting has altered the development of curbside butterflies.

disconfirms your initial hypothesis help you discover the ..

Of course, if we become blinded to evidence truly refuting a favored hypothesis, we have crossed the line from reasonableness to closed-mindedness. [] One need dig no deeper than confirmation bias when looking for an explanation as to why so many intelligent people believe that the positions of stars, planets, the sun, and the moon affect or determine such things as personality traits or personal fates.

When we have made a decision or build a hypothesis, ..

Everything about our minds is both biological and cultural, the result of complex, varied, multidirectional, cascading interactions among genes and environments that we are only just beginning to understand. For scientists, the key question is exactly how differences in behavior, to the extent that they exist, emerge and what they imply about future behavior.