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Lecture 5

Philosophy 1230A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Ebola Virus Disease, Observer-Expectancy Effect, Daniel Kahneman

Course Code
PHIL 1230A/B
Jonathan Marsh

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Tuesday September 29th
-Although the ancients correctly defined us as rational animals, we can be very irrational
Daniel Kahneman
-won the nobel memorial prize in economics (psychologist)
-He challenged an assumption of classical economics: humans as rational and self-interested
agents and decision makers.
His Research:
-Phase 1: performed a series of experiments revealing 20 cognitive biases
-Phase 2: showed that people do not make rational decisions under uncertainty. Replaced it
with an alternative account of decision making (prospect theory)
-Phase 3: Hedonistic Psychology (science of happiness)
Linda Example
-Conjunction fallacy
He recognized that we have two types of thinking:
-Intuitive, doesn't require reflection or processing (fast thinking)
-Slower, more inferential, requires more processing (slow thinking) (non bias)
Biases: A psychological impulse that causes someone to jump into a conclusion.
*Confirmation Bias:
-paying more attention to one topic than another (70 books for one subject 10 for another)
*Selective Attention Bias:
-Ignoring one side of a an argument completely (The things they don't agree with)
Belief Bias: Rating the strength of an argument on whether or not you agree with the
conclusion, without bothering to evaluate the evidence actually offered for the conclusion by the
ex. ignoring the argument someone has about anti-abortion because you do not agree with their
*Bandwagon Bias: the unconscious tendency to adopt certain beliefs simply because many
others hold them, or because they are held by those in a group one belongs to, when a logical
more balanced look at the evidence would not support the beliefs in question.
An irrational belief in the innate superiority of one’s own society, culture, or ethnic group. A
tendency to see their own group in its best light, while seeing other groups in their worst light,
ignoring relevant facts of each group.
ex. people in a culture eating bugs, and another culture thinking that is strange automatically,
because they think they have better food.
an oversimplified generalization about the members of a group, usually inaccurate and
unflattering and usually based on an inadequate review of all evidence.
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