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Confirmation Bias Debunked! : General Discussions • SCEPCOP Forum








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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

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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.

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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

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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

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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby derrida » 30 Nov 2010, 13:58

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Re: Confirmation Bias Debunked!

Postby Craig Browning » 01 Dec 2010, 11:46

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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

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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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