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Confirmation Bias Debunked!

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Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby PsiSearch » 27 Nov 2010, 10:45

I've come to my own conclusion that the "Confirmation Bias" or "Confirmation Effect" is wrong and relates nothing to the scientific method as pseudo-skeptics state.

Confirmation Bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true. So, if someone thinks that their dreams (Déjà vu) or Precognition is coming to their reality. But, when it happens to more than one individual; things get a little creepy. And, if someone is looking at the scientific method (hypothesis, conclusion, experiment), the Confirmation Bias and the scientific method relate nothing to each other.


So, this could relate to the Randi challenge, or at least to a false claim of dogmatism. But, there aren't really any preconceptions in the Randi challenge.


Lastly, if I we're to find a $100 dollar bill on the ground or somewhere else; I'd feel I could of done this before or I had a vision of it. Then, a skeptic would note it as the "Confirmation Bias" and which would be nonsense to science and what it shows.


I'm really prone to writing debunking things on the internet and websites- probably wont get out of the habit of it, lol.



Thanks, please comment!
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Arouet » 27 Nov 2010, 11:43

Well, to debunk something, you have to actually show that its bunk. Confirmation bias is pretty well established. Humans are pattern seeking beings.

I think what you seem to be saying, is that sometimes skeptics accuse people of suffering from confirmation bias when they really are not.

Maybe you can clarify your position and why you think there is no such thing as confirmation bias.
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby PsiSearch » 27 Nov 2010, 14:46

Arouet wrote:Well, to debunk something, you have to actually show that its bunk. Confirmation bias is pretty well established. Humans are pattern seeking beings.

I think what you seem to be saying, is that sometimes skeptics accuse people of suffering from confirmation bias when they really are not.

Maybe you can clarify your position and why you think there is no such thing as confirmation bias.
Yeah. While I agree with your statements, I'm using my best analogy to debunk the b@#&$*@! claims that these pseudo-skeptics have used. Even when their claims seem to be scientific and good with scientific methodology.

Yes, I'm trying to show that the skeptics are wrong, in a way. While, non-skeptics are wrong too.


Yeah. I'll try to sum up the context of this subject. Thanks for correcting me!
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Arouet » 27 Nov 2010, 20:35

Ok, not sure if I get where you're going now, but maybe this will help:

You can't really debunk with an analogy. You need facts and evidence. You need to demonstrate your argument. Analogies can be helpful in conveying your meaning, but they are pretty weak as far as argument goes.

For example: there is a pretty large body of scientific studies demonstrating that people suffer from confirmation bias - in all sorts of ways, not just with the paranormal. Is it your contention that those studies are wrong? Do you have alternative studies that show that they are wrong? Do you have an alternative explanation? What is the evidence for that alternative explanation?
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby caniswalensis » 28 Nov 2010, 00:05

Hi Psisearch,

Confirmation bias is a well proven tendency of the human mind to give more wieght to data that supports a favored view than data that contradicts it. It is a form of selective thinking.

It is a part of science, and any well designed experiment will control for it. Any scientist worth their salt knows that they can fall prey to confirmation bias. That is because all humans all subject to this effect, even if they are aware of it and think they are not.

We do not even need to look at anything paranormal to see this in action.

Regards, Canis
"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby derrida » 28 Nov 2010, 02:46

debunked?
where?!?!
you only stated a personal opinion based on nothing

confirmation bias is well documented, your personal opinion isnt.
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Craig Browning » 28 Nov 2010, 23:26

PsiSearch wrote:I've come to my own conclusion that the "Confirmation Bias" or "Confirmation Effect" is wrong and relates nothing to the scientific method as pseudo-skeptics state.

Confirmation Bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true. So, if someone thinks that their dreams (Déjà vu) or Precognition is coming to their reality. But, when it happens to more than one individual; things get a little creepy. And, if someone is looking at the scientific method (hypothesis, conclusion, experiment), the Confirmation Bias and the scientific method relate nothing to each other.

So, this could relate to the Randi challenge, or at least to a false claim of dogmatism. But, there aren't really any preconceptions in the Randi challenge.

Lastly, if I we're to find a $100 dollar bill on the ground or somewhere else; I'd feel I could of done this before or I had a vision of it. Then, a skeptic would note it as the "Confirmation Bias" and which would be nonsense to science and what it shows.

I'm really prone to writing debunking things on the internet and websites- probably wont get out of the habit of it, lol.

Thanks, please comment!


I'm a firm believer that this whole "Confirmation Bias" is very much afoot, not just in the so-called "Debunking" world but as a whole... what certain researchers (most in fact) reveal as proof to Global Changes in the Environment, the Oil & Chemicals companies stand-on as proof to manipulation by an economic & politically motivated "conspiracy" (for lack of a better term). We see drugs that were once banned by the FDA suddenly being proved "safe" and therefore sanctioned by the very same organization decades later... because of "funding" in research (better known as pay-offs, bribes, or processing fees).

Corruption within "science" is rampant and just like Marketing & Research companies can take the exact same test using the exact same test group and give competing companies the positive results/feedback/statical proof they are looking for... "scientific results" that make their marketing claims appear "legit" and of course, in a court of law "are" (technically) legit... but then Lawyers have a wonderful way of manipulating their own version of this "confirmation bias" idea.

I know, I know... the first retort is going to be along the lines that I don't understand how science actually works and how it is unbiased, etc. How the peer groups and circular steps of re-testing and confirmation guard against the likelihood of Confirmation Bias... a wonderful dream-world argument but, when that "Peer Group" is composed of those researchers that hold to your same views, where's the balance & checks? This is exactly how big oil and other such groups arm their lawyers and public relations departments with "facts" that make them look as if they are not the under-handed, inhumane money grabbers out to rape the earth & its resources they actually are... at least in the over-all proof of their actions when it comes to hair splitting with the "legal" definition on things... which grossly mirrors many of the games played by the Randi Cult and similar groups, most of which are populated by admitted (and angry) atheists, magic enthusiasts, and sci-fi buffs... people who already have their minds made-up to a specific point of view.

Admittedly, I'm not the brightest bulb out there and I too have certain biases, starting with a deep sense of distrust when it comes to the skeptic's community as it stands now days; it simply isn't what I "signed-up for" back in the early 1970s -- an embodiment that left room for elements of personal faith, spiritual testimony and other such influences that were seen as "taboo" when it came to the whole "debunking" factor. Randi and his followers however, decided to use their belief or lack thereof, as a vehicle to promote atheism under the ruse of intellect and ego-based elitism i.e. smart people don't have imaginary friends, et al. So yes, my own opinions, theories and suspicions affect how I accept data and I dare any HONEST individual out there to say with true heart-based integrity, that they aren't guilty of the same. . . it's part of being human and as such, it affects all those researchers who will do whatever they can, to prove the findings on things they or their financial backers want to be seen as the actual outcome -- PROOF to their argument and views.

So for me, I don't trust any of it. I have to step back and look at things from the analytical as well as humanistic levels. I have to see what history and tradition say as part of the data so that I can digest a more global and complete overview to the issue. To my mind, this is the only way to find MY truth around things... to make up MY mind vs. buying into "the company line"... that mantra or gospel of current vogue that seeks to lead society down a particular path, rather than allowing us to see the non-filtered truths and how they tie-together.

That may seem a bit confusing at first glance, but for me it is how I'm able to bring all things spiritual, human and scientific together and in a manner that is supportive, one to the other -- legend with rationalism, and so forth. It is how I find "integrity" so to speak, vs. the extremism today's "science" and the intellectual culture strive to make valid. Fortunately, I'm not alone when it comes to such "gymnastics" ;)
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Arouet » 29 Nov 2010, 04:52

Craig: what you are alleging here is not confirmation bias: you're talking about pure corruption. CB is an unconscious process. We don't do it on purpose. Science must control for it, however.
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Craig Browning » 30 Nov 2010, 11:44

Arouet wrote:Craig: what you are alleging here is not confirmation bias: you're talking about pure corruption. CB is an unconscious process. We don't do it on purpose. Science must control for it, however.


I realize that and :oops: excuse my rant... I've been dealing with idiots the past few weeks, while ill, groggy and getting more and more frustrated, so I lashed in on things here that are a bit "exaggerated"... while CB remains a sort of undercurrent to what I've said, I will agree that there are other factors involved when it comes to getting the approval and/or supportive results, noted. Hell, I've seen all the data (pro & con) about becoming a Vegetarian as well as the same around my ancestral habit of being a Meat & Starch fed entity... then again, how many vegans have you seen with enough solid muscle on them to heft a dead deer caucus :twisted: (most of them have problems with a bag of potatoes...except for the lesbians :roll: )
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby derrida » 30 Nov 2010, 13:58

Craig Browning wrote:
Arouet wrote:Craig: what you are alleging here is not confirmation bias: you're talking about pure corruption. CB is an unconscious process. We don't do it on purpose. Science must control for it, however.


I realize that and :oops: excuse my rant... I've been dealing with idiots the past few weeks, while ill, groggy and getting more and more frustrated, so I lashed in on things here that are a bit "exaggerated"... while CB remains a sort of undercurrent to what I've said, I will agree that there are other factors involved when it comes to getting the approval and/or supportive results, noted. Hell, I've seen all the data (pro & con) about becoming a Vegetarian as well as the same around my ancestral habit of being a Meat & Starch fed entity... then again, how many vegans have you seen with enough solid muscle on them to heft a dead deer caucus :twisted: (most of them have problems with a bag of potatoes...except for the lesbians :roll: )


you are dealing with idiots?
dont you think you should take a rest and get better?
it might not be a good idea to get into fights on your condition
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Craig Browning » 01 Dec 2010, 11:46

derrida wrote:
Craig Browning wrote:
Arouet wrote:Craig: what you are alleging here is not confirmation bias: you're talking about pure corruption. CB is an unconscious process. We don't do it on purpose. Science must control for it, however.


I realize that and :oops: excuse my rant... I've been dealing with idiots the past few weeks, while ill, groggy and getting more and more frustrated, so I lashed in on things here that are a bit "exaggerated"... while CB remains a sort of undercurrent to what I've said, I will agree that there are other factors involved when it comes to getting the approval and/or supportive results, noted. Hell, I've seen all the data (pro & con) about becoming a Vegetarian as well as the same around my ancestral habit of being a Meat & Starch fed entity... then again, how many vegans have you seen with enough solid muscle on them to heft a dead deer caucus :twisted: (most of them have problems with a bag of potatoes...except for the lesbians :roll: )


you are dealing with idiots?
dont you think you should take a rest and get better?
it might not be a good idea to get into fights on your condition


Two Word Story Here... MEDICAL "PROFESSIONALS"

Last Thursday I was rushed back into the ER (directly from my doctor's office, no less) only to incur the most hellish experience I've EVER had in any single ER across the country (and I've been in more than a few). Even with the almost 8 hours of hell, no one gave any sort of diagnosis let alone the type of care my personal doc told them to give me (hydration via I.V. -- I got one bag when the EMTs picked me up and that was it! Nor was I allowed to drink water).

Long story short, I am doing better but my head isn't totally clear and I keep having some serious dizzy spells and nausea plus, major spikes in my sugar. My primary doc however, believes the blood sugar issues are signs of a different problem... one that the ER doc's failed to look for, let alone find... my vitals were o.k. but my sugar was up.. .they simply gave me insulin (which I don't typically need) and quite literally, tossed me out and onto the streets (without my wheelchair or any sense of concern when it came to how I was to get back home).

As if all that weren't enough I'm having another issue when it comes to domestic services that I require.. .that every doctor, nurse and even counselor I've worked with the past three years have encouraged me to get and gone to bat for me over and yet, the one company in the region that is supposed to render said service keeps claiming that I don't qualify... my assumption at this point centers on the fact that I'm not Puerto Rican or female is one of their qualifiers given how many fitting these criteria seem to get all kinds of support, including work within said company, for their myriad of relatives. . . and then folks are pondering why "Racism" seems to be on the increase in this country :roll:

I'm far from being a racists... I was raised in and around that world and believe it ugly and something far, far from the level of "being human" that I picture my self. Yet, I'm becoming more and more understanding as to why so many young native-born whites (and even blacks, for that matter) are becoming fed-up with the hispanic situation (dare I say, "Invasion"?) But then I don't see where the issue is when it comes to certain recently passed laws in the U.S. South-West :| it's not racism, it's patriotism... but that has little (directly) to do with my present melt-down... and understand, I'm just on the defensive in this case, because of how I'm having to fight to get aid that I apparently do deserve (according to my health-care providers) and more importantly "need" and yet, I starting to see who is getting the help, many of whom are healthier than I am and still hold jobs :x

Finally, I'm mad at myself and my situation... I've always been a "doer" and though I've not made a lot of money, I've always been a hard working S.O.B., especially when it came to volunteer work and taking care of others... it's a fault of mine and a curse when it comes to taking time out to take care of your self... the minute I start feeling better I'm off and rolling. . . well before the doc's and nurses tell me I should be doing such things. But hey! I've been pretty much a prisoner in my apartment or at the hospital for close to three months now... it's gotten very old and I've got things that must get done, for me let alone the other special folks in my life... "sigh" what's an evil wizard to do? :twisted:
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Arouet » 01 Dec 2010, 12:04

Hope you feel better soon Craig! My wife was on 7 months of bed rest when pregnant and despite seeing about a dozen specialist no one ever figured out why she was having excrutiating abdominal pains and wave after wave of false labours/contractions. It can be frustrating!

Hang in there!
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby _Ice_Ages_14_Aces_ » 05 Sep 2011, 10:40

PsiSearch wrote:I've come to my own conclusion that the "Confirmation Bias" or "Confirmation Effect" is wrong and relates nothing to the scientific method as pseudo-skeptics state.


Where on earth did you got the idea that pseudo-skeptics stated the scientific method contains confirmation bias??? Anyway, it is true that the scientific method doesn't contain confirmation bias for one simple reason: blind methods.

By the way, confirmation bias has never been debunked. It's a well-established phenomena in psychology.
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 06 Sep 2011, 05:07

Twain says:

Everything I see confirms my belief in confirmation bias! ;) I was hoping, Psisearch, for something that would make my bias work, and possibly kick its butt. No luck.

PsiSearch, my gut feeling is that you were saying that "Confirmation bias" is used as jargon by pseudo-skeptics to discredit individual scientific studies that "confirm psi." I think this is a valid objection, when made to an individual study that bucks the trend of research results, especially if a bias is known to exist on the part of the experimenter, as with cigarette companies studies of cigarettes.

The use of this jargon is invalid when it is applied repeatedly to multiple results which buck the biases of those making the accusation, as with Randi.

Is that what you were saying? If so, I agree
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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 06 Sep 2011, 05:38

Evolutionists tend to have a confirmation bias towards the Neo-darwinian consensus. I do not. I “accept” the Neo-darwinian consensus on the basis of Occam's razor. The only reason I see to accept it over “Pan-spermia”, tho, is that it explains the data “satisficingly”, while Pan-spermia multiplies entities, and would require rethinking of every aspect of the consenus.

I must admit, tho, rumors that DNA came to Earth on meteors legitimates the basic simplest Pan-spermian hypothesis, that life did not originate on earth, and current astrophysics and biology indicate life is more possible and likely than it has been thought to be in my lifetime. I am keeping my mind open to evidence, and I probably have at least a small confirmation bias towards such evidence.

As an example of how the confirmation bias works to support the consensus, a friend of mine was told in her senior year studying archeology that she would never be recommended for an academic post if she continued to cite Von Daniken and Icke.(sp?).

A bad example of how the confirmation bias has worked is Piltdown, which confirmed the erroneous bias among Victorians that human consciousness predated the human form, despite bucking the trends revealed by Neandertals and Java Man. A good example of how science works without confirmation bias, as Psisearch said it should, is the debunking of Piltdown, which occured as soon as an accepted method of determing fossil age revealed it as a blatant fraud.

A good example of how I feel the confirmation bias should be dealt with, to keep minds fresh, came with Hoyle's accusation, as a scientifically trained observer, that apteryx was a hoax like Piltdown. This provoked a re-evaluation, which, while it confirmed the fossil as authentic, ultimately cast doubt on apteryx as the actual ancestor of birds, and lent support to the “evolutionary bush” theory of Stephen Jay Gould, which pumped a bit more “neo” into the consensus.
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