Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Facts donít matter
Old 11-13-2010, 02:15 PM   #1
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,455
Facts donít matter

From an NPR interview In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don't Matter : NPR
Quote:
CONAN: Well, Brendan Nyhan is a health policy researcher at the University of Michigan. He recently published "When Corrections Fail: The Persistence of Political Misperceptions." That was in the June issue of the Journal of Political Behavior, and he joins us now from the studios of WUOM, Michigan Radio, our member station in Ann Arbor. Nice to have you with us today.
Quote:
Mr. BRENDAN NYHAN (Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research, University of Michigan): Thanks for having me.
CONAN: And when facts are readily available, why are they not enough to change people's minds?
Mr. NYHAN: Well, the problem is, you know, as human beings, we want to believe, you know, the things that we already believe. And so when you hear some information that contradicts your pre-existing views, unfortunately, what we tend to do is think of why we believed those things in the first place.
And, you know, so when, you know, we get these corrections, we tend to say I'm right, and I'm going to stick with my view. And the thing that my research, which is with Jason Reifler at Georgia State University, found is that in some cases, that corrective information can actually make the problem worse.
./.
CONAN: This is a phenomenon described as backfire. You say it's a natural defense mechanism to avoid cognitive dissonance.
Mr. NYHAN: That's right. You know, it's hard, it's threatening to us to admit that things we believe are wrong. And all of us, liberals and conservatives, you know, have some beliefs that aren't true, and when we find that out, you know, it's threatening to our beliefs and ourselves.
And so what we think happens is that the way people, you know, try to resolve this in some cases is to, you know, buttress that belief that they initially held, and, you know, there's a long line of research showing results like this.
CONAN: And again, we'd like to think of our brain as something that's been trained in, you know, Cartesian logic, when in fact, our brain is sort of hard-wired to leap to conclusions very quickly.
Mr. NYHAN: That's right. And what's interesting is in some of these cases, it's the people who are most sophisticated who are best able to defend their beliefs and keep coming up with more elaborate reasons why 9/11 was really a conspiracy or how the weapons of mass destruction were actually smuggled to Syria or whatever the case may be.
So this isn't a question of education, necessarily, or sophistication. It's really about, it's really about preserving that belief that we initially held.
CONAN: And you define sophistication, as I read your piece, you define it as somebody who is right a lot of the time, but the 10 percent of the time they're wrong, boy, they stick to being wrong
./.
Brendan Nyhan, why is it that highly partisan issues seem to be most subject to this backfire phenomenon?
Mr. NYHAN: Well, I think they're the cases where people care most about the actual outcome of the debate. So, you know, if you're going to buy a refrigerator at the store, you really don't care except to buy a good refrigerator.
But in the case of something like your political views, you don't just care about accuracy, you care about you essentially have a team in a lot of cases, right. You're either a Republican or a Democrat, a liberal or a conservative.
And so you're filtering all the information you receive, you know, through that prism, and so what you end up getting is this real divergence on all sorts of issues, not just on, you know, what policies we should adopt as a country but on actually the underlying facts. And that makes it really hard to have a debate.
The article is about political debate and opinions, but is just as applicable to investing. So much is written and published on the web, people search for the opinions that reinforce their thoughts (and fears), leading them to act on emotions.
__________________

__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-13-2010, 04:50 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,018
AKA confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
__________________

__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Yeah, but that never happens here, right
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
keegs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In a van down by the river
Posts: 407
__________________
keegs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2010, 06:54 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,385
I think that this may be less than it appears. After all, what are facts? Much "research" cannot be trusted. What we call news is at best 2ndary sources, and generally if you directly know anything about the "events" recounted you will realize that you are being manipulated, or that the news gatherers are hopelessly inept, or both.

So I am not sure that people will not change their minds, if ever given trustworthy information. The cost of really trying to find out what is going on is so immense that we either consciously or unconsciously tend to default to the last position in which we had placed at least some confidence.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2010, 09:16 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by keegs View Post
Thanks for posting this. I listened to all of it, though it was rather long. I do think that George Lakoff, though a brilliant linguist, has let ideology lead him into second rate work. It's more political science than linguistics.
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,281
Quote:
Mr. NYHAN: Well, the problem is, you know, as human beings, we want to believe, you know, the things that we already believe. And so when you hear some information that contradicts your pre-existing views, unfortunately, what we tend to do is think of why we believed those things in the first place.
This is odd. Why should we be surprised or consider it 'unfortunate' that we rely on what we already know to be true? Do I have to burn myself on the stove every day, or do I accept that fire is hot? Yes, it really is that silly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post
Thanks for posting this. I listened to all of it, though it was rather long.
Can anyone provide a synopsis? I don't feel like investing 59 minutes (or what ever) w/o a hint that it might be worthwhile (as the poster offered no other info than the link).

Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
I think that this may be less than it appears. ...

So I am not sure that people will not change their minds, if ever given trustworthy information.

Ha
Yep, in another recent thread, we were told that 'some people will never change their minds'. Well, I will (and have) changed my mind when presented with a solid argument. It's too easy to write off people as 'obstinate' when one cannot present a cognitive defense of their position.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
From an NPR interview In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don't Matter : NPR

The article is about political debate and opinions, but is just as applicable to investing. So much is written and published on the web, people search for the opinions that reinforce their thoughts (and fears), leading them to act on emotions.
Ummmmm, or act on what they already know to be true (until proven other wise)? That sounds logical to me, not emotional (oh look, the Sun rose in the West! Silly me, looking to the East!)

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2010, 10:43 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
flyfishnevada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Smith
Posts: 743
"Facts are stubborn things." - John Adams

"Facts are stupid things." - Ronald Reagan
__________________
Retired July 4th, 2010 at age 43
Trout Bum, Writer, Full-Time Dad and Husband


flyfishnevada is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2010, 11:39 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
REAL men don't need facts.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2010, 11:51 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
I think that this may be less than it appears. After all, what are facts? Much "research" cannot be trusted. What we call news is at best 2ndary sources, and generally if you directly know anything about the "events" recounted you will realize that you are being manipulated, or that the news gatherers are hopelessly inept, or both.

So I am not sure that people will not change their minds, if ever given trustworthy information. The cost of really trying to find out what is going on is so immense that we either consciously or unconsciously tend to default to the last position in which we had placed at least some confidence.

Ha
We often do not disagree over facts, but rather over interpretations of those facts.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 06:36 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Can anyone provide a synopsis? I don't feel like investing 59 minutes (or what ever) w/o a hint that it might be worthwhile (as the poster offered no other info than the link).
People choose political sides according to who they trust, not so much what positions are espoused. And they decide who they can trust according to competing stereotypes -- it's the "strict parent" for conservatives and the "nurturing family" for liberals. Voters all know about both stereotypes, so that for a conservative, if a politician does something to evoke the "nurturing family" image, the conservative voter knows he's against him.

Conservative politicians do better at working this stereotype game than liberal politicians.
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 06:58 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Right out the the political handbook to get the party faithful stirred up. Who needs facts?? Facts are often inconvenient.

Sure if a fact exists that seems to support the position.. use it. If not weave together a half truth, throw in some exaggeration that seems to get the job done. If there isn't a half truth... then the complete deception seems to work. Just make sure it has a caveat (like a weather prediction to CYA... 90% confidence).

Like WMD. Oops I thought out loud.
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 08:09 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
We often do not disagree over facts, but rather over interpretations of those facts.
I have to agree with this cause of disagreement.
__________________
You don't want to work. You want to live like a king, but the big bad world don't owe you a thing. Get over it--The Eagles
lets-retire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 11:16 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Humans are not very good at ambiguity. Too bad the world is gray...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 11:33 AM   #15
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Ummmmm, or act on what they already know to be true (until proven other wise)? That sounds logical to me, not emotional (oh look, the Sun rose in the West! Silly me, looking to the East!)

-ERD50
Hmmm. I wrote people search for the opinions that reinforce their thoughts and fears. That is not what they know to be true, it is what they want to be true. When faced with facts that do not support their thoughts, they somehow discredit the facts, as you did to my post.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 11:55 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,385
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
Humans are not very good at ambiguity. Too bad the world is gray...
Especially my head.
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 12:55 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Hmmm. I wrote people search for the opinions that reinforce their thoughts and fears. That is not what they know to be true, it is what they want to be true. When faced with facts that do not support their thoughts, they somehow discredit the facts, as you did to my post.
Well, the quote I emphasized had the words "the things that we already believe", and I assumed "facts" would be included in that, and you used the word "facts" in your title. My comments don't seem like a stretch, but I'm obviously biased

I'm not disagreeing with the idea at all, in fact, I think it holds true in many, many cases and sometimes to our own detriment. But I do find it to be illogically applied at times, often when one cannot make their case, and they blame it on "people just won't change their mind". Of course they won't. They stick to what they believe and that is a pretty strong survival tactic. We can't re-analyze every situation as if it was happening for the first time, we'd be frozen in analysis paralysis. We draw on what we know.

But when we stop to have a debate on a subject, we can step outside those preconceptions. But maybe the tendency still holds, and some are better than others at it. That's OK, if someone wants me to change my mind, they need good evidence. If they don't have it, maybe their case is not so strong?


-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 01:39 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GregLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Waimanalo, HI
Posts: 1,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
They stick to what they believe and that is a pretty strong survival tactic.
Yes. On a small scale, that's "the conservatism of science". More broadly, we perceive the world in terms of theories that tell us, e.g., about the relationship between incandescence and heat, and so we would be completely unable to deal with reality without our preconceptions.
__________________
Greg (retired in 2010 at age 68, state pension)
GregLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 05:18 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
In the original quote, after the second "you know", gave up the read.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2010, 05:37 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,798
Quote:
Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
In the original quote, after the second "you know", gave up the read.
Yup. If I already knew, then I wouldn't need to listen to what this guy had to say. He's assuming I knew, so I figured he's right I already know.
__________________

__________________
You don't want to work. You want to live like a king, but the big bad world don't owe you a thing. Get over it--The Eagles
lets-retire is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Donít Become A Slave To The Rat Race Onward Young Dreamers 51 12-07-2010 06:59 AM
Covering for a coworker you donít like Wags Other topics 15 04-03-2008 01:47 PM
Barney Fife (Don Knotts) Dies REWahoo Other topics 11 02-26-2006 08:45 PM
Don Ho researches stem cells in Bangkok Nords Other topics 1 12-07-2005 09:40 AM
Don Adams of 'Get Smart' dead @82 dex Other topics 9 09-27-2005 04:20 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:41 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.