Psych Module 4

Why we need science-based answers

- repetition of statements makes them easier to remember, and more...TRUE seeming- research helps us overtur popular ideas- just because we've heard something many times, it doesnt mean it is true

3 roadblocks to critical thinking

- hindsight bias- overconfidence- perceiving patterns in random events

Hindsight bias quote

life is lived forwards but understood backwards." - Soren Kierkegaard

What is hindsight bias?

- The tendency to believed, after learning an outcome, that we would have foreseen it- BP employees took shortcuts and ignored warning signs, without intending to harm the environment of their company's reputation. After the resulting Gulf oil spill, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the foolishness of those judgements became obvious.

Hindsight bias example #1

- "we knew it all along"- after a couple breaks up, friends say "they were never a good match"- why didn't someone tell the couple they were a poor match while they were dating?- were they really a poor match?- what would we say if the couple went on to marry? "they were perfect together?

Hindsight bias example #2

We knew it all along"- after we lose the Friday night football game, fans say "that stupid move by the coach lost us the championship!""We knew it all along"- after we win the Friday night football game, fans say "that gutsy move by coach was a great call!

Research on hindsight bias says separation weakens romantic attraction

When presented with the statement above, most find this "true" statement unsurprising- "out of sight, out of mind

Research on hindsight bias separation strengthens romantic attraction

When presented with the statement above, most find this "true" statement unsurprising- "absence makes the heart grow fonder

After the student council election, a friend tells you he could have guest who would be elected president. What psychological phenomenon my illustrate this?A. common senseB. critical thinkingC. hindsight biasD. overconfidenceE. perceiving order in random events

C. hindsight bias

What is overconfidence?

The tendency to think we know more than we do

Solution time WITHOUT answers given

The average problem solver spents 3 minutes solving

Solution time estimate WITH answers given

The estimate of how long it might have taken... 10 seconds

Percent confidence

80%- The degree of confidence expressed by experts regarding 27,000 outcomes in world events

Percent correct with overconfidence

40%- The amount of time those predictions were right

The tendency to exaggerate the correctness or accuracy of our beliefs and predictions is calledA. hindsight biasB. overconfidenceC. critical thinkingD. skepticismE. reliability

B. overconfidence

Research on perceived order in random events

- random sequences often don't look random- fraud experts can detect embezzlers who are trying to make their withdraws look random- "with a large enough sample, any outrageous thing is likely to happen" quote by Persi Diaconis and Frederick Mosteller, 1989 statisticians

What does it mean to perceive order in random events?

In our natural eagerness to make sense of an unpredictable world, we are prone to perceive patterns