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How People Are Fooled By Evidence

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 18:22:08 -0500
Archived: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 18:22:08 -0500
Subject: How People Are Fooled By Evidence




Source: ScientificAmerican.Com

http://tinyurl.com/d7jey46

November 22, 2011


How People Are Fooled By Evidence

The 'one at a time' effect changes how facts are interpreted
By Nicole Jardine

Rationality is the crowning achievement of our species. The
ability to use evidence is true the cornerstone of science,
medicine, and our legal system. We use rational methods, too, in
daily life =96 we assess an applicant=92s resume, a child=92s IQ, or
the mileage of a used car to predict the likelihood of good
performance later on. Given that we often use information to
make decisions both large and small, how good are we at
assessing evidence?

There is a line of psychological research that studies precisely
this, by measuring how accurate we are at making probability
judgments. One way to study this is to control the nature of
information itself and see whether people are accurate judges of
its strength. Interestingly, people=92s responses tend to be
conservative: they are less sure of their conclusion than the
evidence justifies. Yet we are not just affected by the strength
of the evidence, but by how it is presented. A recent study by
Jennifer Whitman and Todd Woodward found that when pieces of
evidence are doled out one at a time, instead of being shown all
at once, people conclude that the evidence is stronger.


[More at site... thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead ]




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