The Monty Hall Paradox and the human behaviour it highlights has long energized debate. What we now know is that statistically our chances of winning are higher if we change our initial choice. It may seem counterintuitive to us, but the math proves it to be the case. There is a chance we could still be wrong but the chances of being correct if we switch are much higher. Our ingrained biases allegedly prevent the majority of us from switching from our initial position.
Confirmation Bias is the cognitive variant of Monty Hall. Our subconscious biased patterns of thought, our heuristic shortcuts prevent us from dealing with the facts that don’t tally exactly with our previously held opinions. It easier for us to stick with our original position when confronted with apparently contradictory evidence. We are hardwired to do so. Cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists tell us that these unconscious biases are rife, we need to unlearn and reprogram to enable us to stop discriminating, being racist, sexist and anything else unpleasant. If we agree with something then there is a good chance that we don’t realize that this is our subconscious bias talking. In effect we don’t know that we are biased
Or are we?
Rational Choice theory in it’s various guises has suggested that we are rational beings who remove emotion and bias from our decision making to arrive at the right conclusion.The replication crisis has even called into serious question the extensive research into social bias and questioned whether we can believe that there is any basis for the claim that we are all inherently biased.
So do we know why we hold the views that we do? Are we all fatally flawed by our various biases? Are we rational beings, the perfect decision makers? Do we believe that psychology isn’t a science at all? As our society becomes polarized with our information sources increasingly biased by their political allegiances or determined by their investors it has never been so important to challenge our own views and to seek alternative perspectives.
We need to choose our own bias.
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