- ۰ دیدگاه
We talked about intuitive scientist in the last episode.
Bi-stable Images (Ambiguous Figures)
Bi-stable images are images that can be perceived in 2 ways. One example is the Neckar Cube:
There are lots of other examples. But there are just toy problems. A more realistic example is a photo of your mother. You see the picture in a very different way from an stranger looking at that photo.
Another example is promotion. When you get promoted at work, perception of you is different from perception of your colleagues and your partner. Interpretations of different people from different perspectives are very different.
Predicting Human Behavior
There are a million of facts that will determine our behavior in future. So, how can we do that? Scientists usually try to isolate facts and variables in order to reduce the complexity of a problem. That is what we have to do in our everyday life. There are lots of efforts to predict the future. The complexity of predicting in everyday life has led to magical thinking and superstitious beliefs.
Regression to the Mean
Imagine your job interview day. Naturally, something will work for you and something will work against you. These things will have a large impact on the outcome of your interview.
It’s important to point out that: 1) they’re multiple; there’re lots of them and we tend to ignore some of them, and 2) they’re independent; for example, there is no relationship between the death of your pet the night before the interview and a sunny day.
Sometimes, we feel like everything conspires against us. On the other hand, sometimes, you just feel fantastic and you feel everything you touch turns into gold. We should keep in mind that random events are lumpy. Sometimes, there are runs of good things, and sometimes there are runs of bad things; but they end. This idea is based on a notion called regression to the mean or regression to the mediocrity. In the long run, things tend to balance out.
A nice example of ignoring regression to mean is the incorrect assumption in education: when you punish a low-mark student, he/she will get a higher mark in the next exam, and when you encourage a high-mark student, he/she will get a lower mark in the next exam.
Another example is getting a medication. Imagine a very ill person in the peak of his/her sickness. When the patient uses a type of medication and starts to feel better, he/she will attribute that to the drug he/she has used. However, what happens here is maybe the regression towards the mean.
Many students of this course may dismiss people who fall into superstitious beliefs. However, that is not enough. We should, instead, figure out why people tend to believe these things and find out what to do about it.
When we attribute an unfortunate outcome to a curse and a fortunate event to magic, it is very hard to unbelieve it. A very interesting example is about big and small classes. Almost all students prefer small classes. However, as John Dunlosky explains, the relationship between class size and student’s achievement is very small. After telling the students this fact, they continue to hold their old belief about class size. Let’s see what is going on here.
First, source amnesia; we have difficulty remembering why we believe something.
Second, it’s hard to reconcile what we believed previously with this new data. It’s cognitively difficult.
Evidence alone is not enough to change minds. You need evidence plus a good story. You need to show people what they can change their minds to.
Six Leads of Opinion Change
1) What do you really believe anyway?
2) How well-based is the opinion you already hold?
3) How good is the evidence?
4) Does the current evidence really contradict what you already believe?
5) If the current evidence is insufficient to make you change your mind, what evidence would be sufficient?
6) Is it worth finding out about, or is it a case of why not?