“Why facts don’t matter to Trump’s supporters” and “Why Bernie Sanders is Actually Winning”

Though it’s easy to pick on Donald Trump and his supporters, this cognitive bias is evident in humans in general and we see it in various situations. Below is one article and below that is an amusing video mocking Bernie Sanders supporters.

“Graves’s article examined the puzzle of why nearly one-third of U.S. parents believe that childhood vaccines cause autism, despite overwhelming medical evidence that there’s no such link. In such cases, he noted, “arguing the facts doesn’t help — in fact, it makes the situation worse.” The reason is that people tend to accept arguments that confirm their views and discount facts that challenge what they believe.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-facts-dont-matter-to-trumps-supporters/2016/08/04/924ece4a-5a78-11e6-831d-0324760ca856_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Police Body Cameras: What Do You See?

Interesting set of videos that shows you the limitations of what we can learn from body cameras on police officers. It also raises issues around how our prior knowledge, expectations, and experiences affect what we see when we interpret a given situation.

“This confirms what Professor Stoughton has found in his own presentations with judges, lawyers and students: What we see in police video footage tends to be shaped by what we already believe.

“‘Our interpretation of video is just as subject to cognitive biases as our interpretation of things we see live,’ Professor Stoughton said. ‘People disagree about policing and will continue to disagree about exactly what a video shows.’

“Race can also play a role. While Professor Stoughton’s work did not seek to determine how the race of the driver affected viewers’ conclusions, numerous studies have shown that some sort of conscious or unconscious bias is present in all of us, including law enforcement.”

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/04/01/us/police-bodycam-video.html

Rational and Irrational Thought: The Thinking That IQ Tests Miss

Why smart people sometimes do dumb things

“No doubt you know several folks with perfectly respectable IQs who repeatedly make poor decisions. The behavior of such people tells us that we are missing something important by treating intelligence as if it encompassed all cognitive abilities. I coined the term ‘dysrationalia’ (analogous to ‘dyslexia’), meaning the inability to think and behave rationally despite having adequate intelligence, to draw attention to a large domain of cognitive life that intelligence tests fail to assess. Although most people recognize that IQ tests do not measure every important mental faculty, we behave as if they do. We have an implicit assumption that intelligence and rationality go together—or else why would we be so surprised when smart people do foolish things?”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rational-and-irrational-thought-the-thinking-that-iq-tests-miss/?utm_source=digg&utm_medium=email

Across America, whites are biased and they don’t even know it

“Most white Americans demonstrate bias against blacks, even if they’re not aware of or able to control it. It’s a surprisingly little-discussed factor in the anguishing debates over race and law enforcement that followed the shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers. Such implicit biases — which, if they were to influence split-second law enforcement decisions, could have life or death consequences — are measured by psychological tests, most prominently the computerized Implicit Association Test, which has been taken by over two million people online at the website Project Implicit.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/08/across-america-whites-are-biased-and-they-dont-even-know-it/?tid=sm_fb