“The fact is, we carefully edit our reality, searching for evidence that confirms what we already believe. Although we pretend we’re empiricists — our views dictated by nothing but the facts — we’re actually blinkered, especially when it comes to information that contradicts our theories. The problem with science, then, isn’t that most experiments fail — it’s that most failures are ignored.”
- “Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up” by Jonah Lehrer, in Wired, Jan 2010.
- HT: Wilson Quarterly.
This is a great article. I’m fascinated by the topic of how our biases operate – and Lehrer presents some research I hadn’t seen. That is, I knew about the “oh shit” process, but not the “delete key”.
And I appreciated that Lehrer outlines some steps you can take to contain bias. Despite how prevalent the problem is, and how much awareness has grown about it – I don’t know of anyone who has ever taken any steps to reduce it.
Who knows, maybe they are, and just not mentioning it.