Confirmation Bias

A confirmation bias game confirms that I have confirmation bias which is “the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses” along with 78% OTHER people who also played this game and ALSO CONFIRMS that they ALSO have confirmation bias who, just as I (I know because I know), and were not aware they are ALSO pre-disposed to (or are possessed by) being right (most/all the time).

Perhaps when you break down confirmation bias, it consists of both two components: being right and instant gratification. Confirmation bias might not be what caused me to “lose” the game rather it was desire for both instant gratification as well as proof that I am capable of grasping complex ideas that caused me to lose.  Thus, when you break down confirmation bias, it consists of both these components.

So, what comes of all this?  1) Learn how to ask the right questions.  2) The right questions are often the ones that gives the you answer you least desire to hear because, as the author of the article claims:

  • When you seek to disprove your idea, you sometimes end up proving it — and other times you can save yourself from making a big mistake. But you need to start by being willing to hear no. And even if you think that you are right, you need to make sure you’re asking questions that might actually produce an answer of no.

This is something I think we all gloss over.  At least to a certain extent, we are all aware that we are not infallible and are perfectly capable of making mistakes.  And, in many people’s line of work, making mistakes is unavoidable.  As long as the mistakes are made within a controlled environment, the mistakes can be colloquially called “testing” (or is it the other way around?).

Testing is a seminal task for scientists, programmers, statisticians, chefs and just about anyone whose task is based on accuracy (for based on being right).  And, when these people have their head screwed on right, the tester is also someone who makes a lot of mistakes.  Because, how else can you ensure that you not make mistakes when it counts if you don’t first make as many mistakes as you can during the testing phase?

Well, I certainly failed to see this or at least I recently learned I have lost myself during my many years of working with data analysis that I have gradually given into confirmation bias as time went by, as I thought I’ve become less mistake prone as I’ve convinced myself

  • etane

    testing – works fine.

    • Phonow

      yes, working fine on my side. must have been a space problem. webattorney’s comment must have pushed things over the top. :)

      hmm, rain falling at 1 inch per hour in manoa valley. hopefully tapers off soon.

      • etane

        maybe one of our links to media was causing the lag but whatever it was isn’t causing the same issue anymore:

        • Phonow

          tested a comment in Palm Desert, which had lots of posts, lots of comments. Went through ok.

          Posted a comment in Vernazza blog– worked okay on first page. But slowed down dramatically on 2nd page.

          Could the papua new guinea post be the problem? it’s ok to delete that post in the name of science. lol

          • etane

            i removed the asgras post to test.. i think the freezing stopped already even before that tho.

          • Phonow

            tried posting on vernazza — still freezing for me. The current post (Confirmation Bias) works just fine.

          • etane

            then it must be skeletor or metrosexual guy.

          • Phonow

            never did like metro males. nuke him.

            just joking, sort of. don’t like mucho machos either.

   is so dead today. wish someone would toss in a golden apple.

          • etane

            that metrosexual guy is actually one of my fave singers haha…

            i had to look up the golden apple metaphor. it’s very different from red apple.

          • Phonow

            i was thinking of the Trojan War. What was it? the apple was inscribed with “to the fairest.” Paris gave it to aphrodite? and the other two goddesses got p*ssed. lol. The fellow that made the golden apple was the god? of discord, a trickster character.

            long story short, you always reminded me of a trickster character. your comments always tormented the king, with truth, wit and humor.

            lol who’s the metro guy?

          • etane

            i didn’t know about the golden apple part of the trojan war. i don’t think it was in the movie staring brad pit. never heard of the goddess of discord too. and i read lots of those mythology books when i was younger too.

            i am not a trickster. i am just stuck serving stupid kings.

            metro guy is morten haarket when he was much younger haha.

          • Phonow

            meh, the apple part would just turn a long movie even longer. if pitt’s “Troy” was a big hit, they’d cover the whos & whys in a later release. “Troy VII: the beginning, because we’re milking this till this run is over.”

            on, you were the guy that would upset the cart to show a person’s meta-illogic or knock kh off of his pedestal. haha heaven forbid you being the trickster at work. bite that tongue– no matter how tempting. :-(

            looked up morten harket on youtube. the Ah-ha man. haven’t heard him since “take on me”. nice to know he is still recording. Once on youtube… I started listening to one of my favorites: Mary Gauthier.

          • etane

            you must be a movie producer. and what’s a forum for if not for conversation and arguments? it’s too bad those two like to attack people personally and ruin it for everyone else.

            it’s too bad he’s only known for take on me… well he’s bigger in europe haha.

          • Phonow

            it is so dead on that i would welcome a good knock down, drag out fight. lol.

            when you first posted harket’s picture– i thought it was david hasselhoff. haha. body instantly flew back three feet from computer, but forced myself to hit “play.”

            For your listening pleasure:

          • etane

            hasslehoff needs a little mercy. you thought i were a hasslehoff fan haha

            saw the movie the video is based on.. haha… you don’t need a spine, it’s holding you back haha.

          • Phonow

            hahhaa. ok. googled “you don’t need a spine….” found kung fury online. so bad, it’s awesome. hahahaha.

          • etane

            it really reminds me of fist of the north star and guy from final fight.


          • Phonow

            had to look those up. :) don’t know manga or capcom games at all.

            lol. i am not even sure if i should be referring to final fight as a “capcon game.”

          • etane

            i am not sure either. i do remember playing it in arcades when i was about 12 years old.

            but don’t you see the resemblance? guy IS KUNG FURY!

          • Phonow

            lol. i was (cough cough) in grad school when Pac Man game stations started showing up in bars– looked like this:–w-60-Classic-Games-from-the-80.html

            hmm, when i was 10-12-ish, i saw my first hand held calculator–it was being sold in a jewelry store. And, learned programming on Punch Cards (early 80′s): wild eyed asians clutching shoe boxes. haha.

            Kung Fury is the best short film I have seen in a long time– had me crying. So many references–many just whizzed by me–like the north star fist and final fight guy.

            Wow. did not know this film was a kickstarter. The guy did an amazing job on very limited funds.

          • etane

            you were in grad school.. i was in grade school.. grad/grade…. what’s the difference just an extra “e” on the end plus about 20 years… haha.

            i had this watch when i was in 4th or 5th grade and i thought it was the coolest thing since it’s touch screen:


            yah i wiki’d that movie and learned it was a kickstarter movie. not sure what the incentive it was in for the people who contributed other than getting a very good laugh. it’s sort of like npr, i never pledged, so i get all the “free” programming that other people paid to get.

          • Phonow

            hahaha. i kept telling you I’m an old lady. Pho don’t pull shade. :)

            love the casio! But re the calculator: I swear kids (ie people your age) have evolved pointy fingers. my fingers are probably half your size, but I am not able to peck out those numbers. even typing on a tablet is pure torture. lol

            eh, i never did the npr pledge thing either. My favorite charities are more food bank, and women issues. currently, i cook every week for Food not bombs. A group of us feed “whoever comes by” at a park. hubbie & i also scour thrift shops for clothes & wot not — maintain a “free” table. The Food not bombs gathering grew out of the Occupy Movement. That is how we met Chris, who was one of the leaders of Occupy.

          • etane

            kid? you mean people my nephew age and younger. i don’t like using smartphones etc.. actually, lots of people older than i like to keep up with this kind of stuff like lots of people at my work. but it’s probably work induced interest.

            how did the occupy thing work out in hawaii? didn’t seem to work out very well in california. lots of rubber bullets, pepper sprays.. not that i know from personal experience.

            but, this movement sorta died nationally but is probably the reason why bernie is doing so well in the polls now.

          • Phonow

            did you use the calculator on your watch? only an evolved (pointy fingered) person would be able to. lol.

            the c&c of honolulu did not know how to deal with occupy. no rubber bullets or pepper sprays. instead, c&c conducted frequent raids on the camp. pretty much took everything &stored/dumped personal possessions. occupy sued & won a $80K settlement for illegal seizure.

            honolulu’s (de) occupy camp was the longest running in the nation. The occupy activists are still involved with different causes, but not camped out anymore. chris would know more. :) I am just the “cook”.

            lol. like bernie. actually sent Dennis Kucinich money years ago when he ran for prez. :)

          • etane

            lol ditto. only time i ever gave any money was to dennis. he’s the only guy i am really comfortable with in the white house. bernie seems genuine and good guy to have around but question his executive skills. same with hilary. her executive record as secretary of state really leaves her open to attacks. for someone who’s been a target most of her life, i’d thought she’d be more careful about covering her back. it’s too bad gerrymandering made dennis less relevant.

            trophie for the next food not bombs?

          • Phonow

            LOL. You’re a Dennis guy? Wuv you even more! we’re part of the 1% that supported him. He came to Honolulu for a rally– I was the lone sign waver on the street. He came up to shake my hand–he’s a tall guy compared to me (I am under 5′ tall) lol

            argh. no more tofie! haha. but i will be serving linguine pesto this weekend. FnB requests vegan or at least, vegetarian food. i am familiar with vegan food. Indian curry? No prob. haha.

          • etane

            yah there’s the ron paul and obama girl i guess i could be the dennis guy. he’s the only guy i’ve agreed with on about 100% of the issues except for that department of peace thing that just sounds hokey. surprised that he doesn’t have more traction in hawaii. i remember i used to get emails from the dennis camp soliciting for houses to use as a “coffee meet” since he has no money to rent a venue i suppose. cool that you got to shake his hand. any conversation?

            oh i was like 11 when i got that watch. i had no reason to use a calculator back then. i just thought calculator watches were cool.

          • Phonow

            kuchinich was one the few (or only?) politicians that voted against the iraq war–dept of peace sounds hokey, but man, did we ever need it. the only thing that made me hesitate was his pro-life stance, but I believed him when he said he would not go against roe v wade.

            kuchinich did pretty well in hawaii– “he won 31 percent of caucus participants” –Wiki. lol hawaii only has 4 electoral votes– not a game changer–he is the only(?) presidential candidate to campaign here.

            Hillary will probably get the nomination. ehhh….. don’t care too much for her, but by the same token, i think it is time for a woman to become president. :) I cried for hours after obama was elected–I never thought that the U.S. would ever mature enough as a nation to elect a black man– not in my lifetime.

          • etane

            well i am not a pacifist but i agree with kucinich from the start regarding iraq war because we had no evidence that iraq was an “evil doer” other than the crap that the cia told saddam to do and in turn we armed him to keep the kurds and shia majority in check as well as keeping insurgents out of iraq. turns out he’s right, i was right, and we win a big zero for being right haha. i agreed with his stances on many aspects but i am not big on the flower child delivery but it’s the substance that counts. his record as mayor wasn’t too bad either.

            if not for anything else, hilary will probably chose better supreme court justices than probably bernie if she were prez. i am guessing she’s more knowledgeable about constitutional law and the whole judge-ship thing than bernie. three supreme court seats are coming up after obama. so, whoever is next prez has to both be able to chose the right justices and have clout to get them pass congress which is another thing that bernie probably has less experience and ability to do visavis hilary.

          • Phonow

            boy oh boy do we ever need to balance out the supreme court. worried that ginsburg may retire soon.

            felt the same as you re: iraq war. lies and damned lies. Crap, even idiot bush’s daddy was against going into Iraq.

            According to the drumbeats, iran is next. Is it just to keep the entire region unstable? don’t know. WWCD? what would cheney do?

          • etane

            WWCD? they are already doing it. in order to invade iran, US has to walk that fine line where iran is a nuclear threat but not actually have nukes. that’s why we hear the rhetoric that the iran deal sucks but have no alternative but sanctions which will give the US about a 2 year window to invade iran before they build the bomb. two scenarios that makes it not possible to invade iran are:

            1) iran deal done – can’t invade unless they enrich more than they’re supposed to
            2) iran does get bomb – can’t invade a country with nukes. too risky

          • Phonow

            heck, we can always get colin powell to pose in front of a pita bread bakery (sorry—a nuclear bomb factory) to prove that iran broke the agreement.

            Pax Americana, alive n well. it is spooky.

          • etane

            yah powell can hold up a satellite photo of a taco truck and call it a mobile bioweapon factory again.

          • Phonow

            poor powell. i always felt he was forced into testifying at the UN; sullied his name forever.

          • etane

            soldier does what he’s told. just like that optimus prime in your pic.

            hope powell would be patriotic enough to squeel on his old boss, so the current boss can get the previous boss on war crimes.

          • Phonow

            powell made his decision to hold up that vial. i feel bad for him– but he did not fight the good fight in this instance. he obviously feels guilty for that decision, but (imo) has decided that it is not worth poking the hornet’s nest. i don’t blame him. the last administration has demonstrated just how vindictive they were–even for minor infractions.