The problem with deepfakes? People don't care what's real | WIRED UK
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Investigates the endgame of the infocopalypse brought by deep fakes - "When anything may be real or fake, will we still care to find out the difference, or will we just see what we want to believe?" - ie are we destined to be ruled by our desirability bias, which "means we tend to believe first, then look for things that support tho…

Beliefs have a social purpose. Does this explain delusions? | Psyche Ideas
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labelling delusions as irrational suggests that all ‘normal’ cognition is rational... new theory suggests delusions emerge from specific processes in our ‘coalitional psychology’ ... mechanisms ... understand our social environment...most delusions involve social content... Beliefs serve a significant social purpose... cooperate with each other, …

Motivated Reasoning and Allegiance Bias, Explained | Elemental
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counties that had voted for Donald Trump in 2016 exhibited 14% less physical distancing... higher Covid-19 infection and fatality growth rates ...the hormone oxytocin... promotes bonding... plays a role in trust... When participants trusted and felt trusted, oxytocin levels ... jumped... Trust just feels good... But risky if we give it to the w…

Your Q Anon Exit Briefing
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This is a piece for people who have been part of the Q Anon movement... beginning to get tired ... starting to get skeptical... Q mostly stopped making specific predictions after a series of embarrassing failures... demanding that we all Trust the Plan and stop asking why Q is always wrong... There’s a reason you got scammed... why did you keep be…

AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All | WIRED
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GPT-3... AI that can produce shockingly human-sounding (if at times surreal) sentences... imagine a future in which the vast majority of the written content ... is produced by machines... adjust, and adapt, to a new level of unreality may turn out to be the easiest to detect ... Politicians will now be able to dismiss real, scandalous vid…

The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all | Climate science denial | The Guardian
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arguing with them or debunking their theories is likely only to generate publicity or money for them... generate a fake air of controversy over climate action ... deniers ... four different categories: the shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool... the fourth type of climate denier... utterly blinded by ... free-market creed. Th…

Science Denial, Explained by Psychologists | Elemental
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Covid-19 case numbers are now spiking in many counties across West Texas ... [but] resolve of ... skeptics appears to be stiffening... the denial of facts is often rooted in identity and belonging, not in ignorance ...people who deny science ... trying to uphold membership in ... a political or religious affiliation or some other group ... a commu…

Active Information Avoidance – You Are Not So Smart
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active information avoidance... keeping our senses away from information that might be useful, that we know is out there, that would cost us nothing to obtain, but that we’d still rather not learn...

Ten Ways Cognitive Biases Impact Data Design Work - Nightingale - Medium
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There are about 175 known cognitive biases to date. I will share some of the ones that I think are the most significant for designers... It is important that we not learn about biases to simply point out errors in others... we [need] to spot errors in our own thinking ...confirmation bias ... conservatism bias ... [influence us] to select and use …

Why We Keep Digging When We're Stuck In A Hole : NPR
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when something important is missing in your life, your brain can only seem to focus on that missing thing... scarcity... leads you to take certain behaviors that in the short term help... in the long term only make matters worse... robs people of insight... in a hole, we sometimes dig ourselves even deeper...human brain is wired to respond to scar…

re:Work (Google): Unbiasing
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Begin unbiasing with education, accountability, measurement, and more

Richard Horton: ‘It’s the biggest science policy failure in a generation’ | Financial Times
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The editor-in-chief of The Lancet... I do believe lives could have been saved had we acted earlier"... demanded transparency on the opaque epidemiological models ... included ... “herd immunity”... The idea you can strip out politics from medicine or health is historically ignorant. The medical establishment should be much more politicised...…

Lessons for Social Change Communications Strategy From the US Marriage Equality and Antismoking Campaigns
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Organizations must connect their causes to the personal aspirations of their audiences to transform public attitudes... having a majority is not enough... You need a majority that can’t be eroded or peeled away... in 1996... 27 percent of the US public supported legal recognition of same-sex marriages... 60 percent in 2015 ... the new normal... ac…

A cognitive scientist explains why humans are so susceptible to fake news and misinformation » Nieman Journalism Lab
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How fake news gets into our minds, and what you can do to resist it... to understand why it gets into our mind... by examining how memory works and how memories become distorted.... Fake news often relies on misattribution ... we retrieve things from memory but can’t remember their source... one of the reasons advertising is so effective... Repe…

The Information Age Is “Weaponized”
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many activists working to create positive change ... seem to think that if they just get their ideas to “go viral” they will ... dominate the discourse. The great lie of this approach is that no singular discourse exists! Each community is now capable of building consensus with itself, where the like-minded talk to others like themselves while fo…

Why Fears of Fake News Are Overhyped – Reasonable Doubt – Medium
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many of the initial conclusions ...about the scope of fake news consumption, and its effects on our politics, were exaggerated or incorrect. Relatively few people consumed this form of content directly during the 2016 campaign, and even fewer did so before the 2018 election. Fake news consumption is concentrated among a narrow subset of Americans …

Intellectual humility: the importance of knowing you might be wrong
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intellectual humility, the crucial characteristic that allows for admission of wrongness... crucial for learning... difficult to foster... a virtue worth striving for... entertaining the possibility that you may be wrong and being open to learning ...actively curious about your blind spots... It’s about asking: What am I missing here? our reali…

The Curse of Knowledge Bias – UX Planet
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The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that occurs when an individual, communicating with other individuals, unknowingly assumes that the others have the background to understand... seen at all levels of a company... if you already know the answer... tend to underestimate the difficulty of the question or the problem... become so immersed in t…

How to Escape the Fear Virus in a Digital World
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the Oxford Circus panic ... was amplified by social media.... Fear can be transmitted digitally as easily as it can physically—and that’s a problem because digital technologies reach everyone.... the English-speaking world is in the middle of a fear pandemic... Cognitive biases leave us ill-equipped ... Amygdala hijacks and warped media business m…

SocArXiv Papers | Exposure to Opposing Views can Increase Political Polarization: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment on Social Media

concern that social media sites contribute to political polarization by creating ``echo chambers" that insulate people from opposing views ... We find that Republicans who followed a liberal Twitter bot became substantially more conservative post-treatment, and Democrats who followed a conservative Twitter bot became slightly more liberal post-tre…

Confirmation Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices
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Confirmation bias is the human tendency to seek, interpret and remember information that confirms pre-existing beliefs.... insidious. It affects every choice you make. Every. Single. Day. ... without you noticing. Confirmation bias affects you in 3 ways... Why? You seek evidence that confirms your beliefs because being wrong ... means you’re not …

Everyone is sharing this comic about the 'backfire effect' ... but there's a huge catch
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the backfire effect can be hard to replicate in rigorous research... a large-scale, peer-reviewed study ... couldn't reproduce the high-profile 2010 study . ... The trouble is that even when we learn that something is false, we may be able to acknowledge those facts without changing our political position accordingly

Crowdsourcing trusted news sources can work — but not the way Facebook says it’ll do it » Nieman Journalism Lab
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crowdsourced trustworthiness ratings are actually much less effective if they exclude the ratings from people who are unfamiliar with a given site. Which is what Facebook plans to do.. “a lack of familiarity is an important cue for untrustworthiness... Excluding ratings from participants who aren’t familiar with a given news source ... “dramatical…

YANSS 103 – Desirability Bias
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Confirmation bias... such a prevalent feature of human cognition, that until recently a second phenomenon has been hidden in plain sight. Recent research suggests that something called desirability bias may be just as prevalent in our thinking... When future desires and past beliefs are incongruent, desire usually wins out.

Listen & Learn: how to absorb podcast knowledge (Top3Pods, September 2017)

This edition focuses on getting the most out of podcasts and so includes a new tweak to my personal content strategy.

The best shot at overcoming vaccination standoffs? Having doctors listen
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Clinicians should aim to understand parents’ values and engage in genuine, respectful conversations; these processes can help vaccine-hesitant parents feel heard and understood... Recognizing cognitive biases ... can also help ... omission bias may lead parents to blame themselves more if a child develops a vaccine-related side effect ... than ...…

Trump’s ‘Dangerous Disability’? It’s the Dunning-Kruger Effect - Bloomberg

the knowledge illusion is a common form of human fallibility, but Trump takes it to an exceptional degree... When asked to explain something, he changes the subject, his confidence in his knowledge unwavering... reflectivity... whether people are likely to be highly deluded about their own knowledge... Low scores on the reflectivity test correlat…

Beware BackFiring when Battling Bullshit
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Fighting people with facts only makes them cling to their beliefs more strongly, further polarising our damaged societies. Different tactics are needed, and they start closer to home than you think...I ... [once] thought that Euroscepticism could be beaten by reasoned argument... In 2007, however, I met ... and argued with – my first batch of euro…

Study: You Can't Change an Anti-Vaxxer's Mind | Mother Jones
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Vaccine denial is dangerous... you might think it would be of the utmost importance to try to talk some sense into these people. But there's a problem: According to a major new study in the journal Pediatrics, trying to do so may actually make the problem worse.

The Backfire Effect – You Are Not So Smart
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People on opposing sides of the political spectrum read the same articles and then the same corrections, and when new evidence was interpreted as threatening to their beliefs, they doubled down. The corrections backfired. Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm... Just as confirmation bias shields you when y…

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