Terry Kelly Former president of Vic SkepticsChris Guest Current president of Vic SkepticsBill Hall Researcher at the Kororoit Institute Discussion includes the history of skepticism, what skepticism is today, the culture of skepticism as a movement and how skepticism relates to broader philosophy. The issue of plausibility vs empiricism — some issues might seem implausible… some things are so implausible they have to be addressed in that way… but some people bring up the argument that some things may seem counter-intuitive — but end up being likely after empirical observation.
Informal observation[ edit ] Before psychological research on confirmation bias, the phenomenon had been observed throughout history. Beginning with the Greek historian Thucydides c. Thomas Aquinas cautions Dante upon meeting in Paradise, "opinion—hasty—often can incline to the wrong side, and then affection for one's own opinion binds, confines the mind".
Untruth naturally afflicts historical information. There are various reasons that make this unavoidable. One of them is partisanship for opinions and schools.
Prejudice and partisanship obscure the critical faculty and preclude critical investigation. The result is that falsehoods are accepted and transmitted. The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects or despises, or else Falsification a healthy and critical skepticism some distinction sets aside or rejects[.
I know that most men—not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever, and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic problems—can very seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as to oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty—conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.
At the outset, they were told that 2,4,6 fits the rule. Participants could generate their own triples and the experimenter told them whether or not each triple conformed to the rule. For example, if they thought the rule was, "Each number is two greater than its predecessor," they would offer a triple that fit this rule, such as 11,13,15 rather than a triple that violates it, such as 11,12, He interpreted his results as showing a preference for confirmation over falsification, hence the term "confirmation bias".
It has been found repeatedly that people perform badly on various forms of this test, in most cases ignoring information that could potentially refute the rule. Klayman and Ha's critique[ edit ] A paper by Joshua Klayman and Young-Won Ha argued that the Wason experiments had not actually demonstrated a bias towards confirmation.
Instead, Klayman and Ha interpreted the results in terms of a tendency to make tests that are consistent with the working hypothesis. According to these ideas, each answer to a question yields a different amount of information, which depends on the person's prior beliefs.
Thus a scientific test of a hypothesis is one that is expected to produce the most information. Since the information content depends on initial probabilities, a positive test can either be highly informative or uninformative.
Klayman and Ha argued that when people think about realistic problems, they are looking for a specific answer with a small initial probability. In this case, positive tests are usually more informative than negative tests.
Klayman and Ha supported their analysis by citing an experiment that used the labels "DAX" and "MED" in place of "fits the rule" and "doesn't fit the rule". This avoided implying that the aim was to find a low-probability rule.
Participants had much more success with this version of the experiment. If the true rule T overlaps the current hypothesis Hthen either a negative test or a positive test can potentially falsify H.
When the working hypothesis H includes the true rule T then positive tests are the only way to falsify H. In light of this and other critiques, the focus of research moved away from confirmation versus falsification to examine whether people test hypotheses in an informative way, or an uninformative but positive way.
The search for "true" confirmation bias led psychologists to look at a wider range of effects in how people process information. This heuristic avoids the difficult or impossible task of working out how diagnostic each possible question will be.
However, it is not universally reliable, so people can overlook challenges to their existing beliefs. In other words, they ask, "Can I believe this? For example, employers might ask one-sided questions in job interviews because they are focused on weeding out unsuitable candidates.
For instance, someone who underestimates a friend's honesty might treat him or her suspiciously and so undermine the friendship. Overestimating the friend's honesty may also be costly, but less so. In this case, it would be rational to seek, evaluate or remember evidence of their honesty in a biased way.
Highly self-monitoring students, who are more sensitive to their environment and to social normsasked more matching questions when interviewing a high-status staff member than when getting to know fellow students.
Exploratory thought neutrally considers multiple points of view and tries to anticipate all possible objections to a particular position, while confirmatory thought seeks to justify a specific point of view.
Lerner and Tetlock say that when people expect to justify their position to others whose views they already know, they will tend to adopt a similar position to those people, and then use confirmatory thought to bolster their own credibility. However, if the external parties are overly aggressive or critical, people will disengage from thought altogether, and simply assert their personal opinions without justification.
For example, participants who interpreted a candidate's debate performance in a neutral rather than partisan way were more likely to profit. Beck in the early s and has become a popular approach. The prediction that jurors will become more extreme in their views as they see more evidence has been borne out in experiments with mock trials.
Navy Admiral Husband E.The science. The Wim Hof Method is a combination of three things: exposure to cold, breathing techniques and meditation.
The cold exposure is the most visible part of the method, especially when people step into bathtubs filled with ice cubes. At first, the claim that atheism is a religion might sound ridiculous. It certainly can be a surprising claim. And it’s one that many people, including western atheists, might initially dismiss out of hand.
A year old Australian that had convinced large numbers of followers, through social media, that she had cured her non-existent brain cancer with a pseudo-healthy eating program. She had a phone app, a book contract and over $ in donations before anyone cared to fact-check her claims.
Vaccine controversies have occurred since almost 80 years before the terms vaccine and vaccination were introduced, and continue to this day. Despite scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective, unsubstantiated scares regarding their safety still occur, resulting in outbreaks and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Another source of controversy is whether mandatory.
David Miller was an assistant to Karl Popper in the s, and worked closely with him for the next thirty years. He taught at the University of Warwick, UK, and has held appointments also at universities in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
Preface: The following papers support skeptic arguments against Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC), Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) or Alarmism [e.g. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) or Dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming (DAGW)].Please read the following introductory notes for more detailed information.