Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On Being Wrong, Chapter 6: Our Minds, Part Three: Evidence

[Being Wrong]

In chapter 6 of Being Wrong, Kathryn Schulz notes at one moment that ""our mistakes are part and parcel of our brilliance, not the regrettable consequences of a separate and deplorable process" (121-122). Of course, Schulz notes, the reasoning that "makes us right is what makes us wrong" as well.

Later, she notes that the many forms "of creatively dodging" counter-evidence "represent a backhanded tribute to its importance. However much we ignore, deny, distort, or misconstrue it, evidence continues to matter to us, enormously. In fact, we ignore, deny, distort, and misconstrue evidence because it matters to us" (130).

Schulz maintains that in order for us to "improve our relationship to evidence" then "we must lean to active combat our inductive biases: to deliberately seek out evidence that challenges our beliefs, and to take seriously such evidence when we come across it" (131).

What issue that she raised in the chapter seemed most helpful to you for attending to counterevidence or to taking into account more seriously those facts that contradict positions that you find favorable?

15 comments:

Jaleelah Muhammad said...

On page 125, Schulz explains how defensible confirmation bias deals blows to our ideal thinker and she explains how we don't assess evidence neutrally but instead to help support our existing theories. I think that's true and I can probably attest to that. Whenever I try to defend my position on a topic I use the information that's in favor of it and I ignore the info against it.

Anonymous said...

When Schulz talks about how stereotypes are based on a small amount of evidence, I found this topic to be the most helpful in attending to counter evidence. The author says that the same stereotype could be overturned by an equally small amount of counter evidence. It really shows that “leaping to conclusions” is not the ideal position to take.
Aja J

Brianna Reed said...

On page 117, Schulz says, "We care about what is probable, we determine what is probable based on our experience of the world". She then explained how our experiences lead us to assume we know certain things when if fact we may not actually hold that knowledge. This,to me, shows why we always need to attend to counter evidence. It made me ask myself If we can't question our own knowledge, how do we determine what we actually know?

Tayla Myles said...

The explanation on how we use inductive reasoning to get evidence and answer questions I found most helpful. It helped explain the differ between our brain's processes and a computer. We use past experience to determine our answers.

Terri McFadden said...

Schulz's argument about us caring about what is probable and us determining this by by our experiences caught my eye. I think this is extremely true but not valid because there is always something we do not know about the topic. For example, someone can be told they will not stay with their first love because of their similar experiences, but every relationship is different even if the similarities are greater than the contrast of an unsuccessful relationship.

Sydney J said...

Schulz explains how stereotypes are taken from only a small amount of evidence. A stereotype can easily be flipped if you find more counter evidence for the stereotype.
Sydney J.

Tashawna Nash said...

The topic that I found to be most helpful in attending to counter evidence was when Schulz talked about stereotypes being based on only a small amount of evidence even though the stereotype is easily reverse-able with having only a small out of counter evidence.
~Tashawna Nash

cassidy oliver said...

The idea of being right when we're undeniably, with much evidence wrong, is a eerie concept. On page 124, while talking about the Winter constellation, and mistakenly calling it the summer constellation, she continued to hold the name as if it was true, even though the evidence of sight was against her. The point is, we go to undeniable lengths to be right even when we are clearly wrong.

Anonymous said...

Schulz gave a great explanation of "the paradox of inductive reasoning" on page 124. I agreed that only giving a person evidence against their belief or claim will only get them thinking about it but not necessarily in a different way. It will not actually change their opinion. Connecting this point to the stereotypes placed on people based on race, gender, and etc. helped me to further understand why they are so hard to break.
Taylor M.

Anonymous said...

On page 117, Schulz states "human beings...dont care about what is logically valid and theoretically possible. We care about what is probable. We determine what is probable based on our prior experience of the world...". What this quote is saying is that instead of having actually evidence we speculate an possible answer. This made me realize that I myself speculate, make predictions, and judgments based on what I have experienced or seen being experienced by others.
**Brittany P

Anonymous said...

When Schulz comments about stereotypes, I feel she explained them well. Using very little evidence she states her claim well even though the counter argument could prove better even with the little evidence given.
***Anita Jackson

Jaiara Johnson said...

I find how Schulz explains stereotypes to be interesting. Even though they are claims with very little evidence and validity behind them, some can actually be true.

Alicia S said...

The issue I found most helpful was the conformation bias. Now that I know about this I will be more aware of being biased to beliefs that are not similar to mines. I will try not to refute other arguments so quickly and maybe I can be enlightened.

Anonymous said...

Schulz explanation on stereotypes really stuck out to me because I run into me who judge based on stereotypes all the time. Schulz states that because stereotypes are based on little to no evidence it can be proven wrong easily with little to no counter evidence.
Sierra L.

Jaiara Johnson said...

I enjoyed reading about the way Schulz views stereotypes. They arent based on facts and can be proven wrong quickly. I feel that the use of stereotypes put person in certain poations to be judged.
Jaiara J.