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Lecture 18

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Carolyn Ensley

Lecture 18Chapter 13 ReasoningLecture OutlineConfirmation and DisconfirmationLogicMental ModelsConfirmation and DisconfirmationDeduction is a process through which we start with general premises and then ask what follows from these premisesIf you believe that red wine gives you headaches what follows from thisIf relationships based on physical attraction never last what follows from thisConfirmation and DisconfirmationImagine a rooster who believes that his crowing causes the sun to riseThis belief has a great deal of confirming evidence every day the rooster crows and then the sun risesTo test his hypothesis the rooster needs to seek disconfirming evidence one day he must not crow and see that the sun still risesConfirmation and DisconfirmationConfirmation bias is a tendency to be more responsive to evidence that confirms ones beliefs and less responsive to evidence that challenges ones beliefsConfirmation and DisconfirmationIn a classic demonstration of confirmation bias Wason 1966 presented sequences like 246Participants had to figure out a rule by generating other sequences and getting feedback from the experimenter regarding whether the sequence followed the ruleParticipants tended only to generate sequences that confirmed their original beliefs about the rule and not generate sequences that could potentially disconfirm the ruleConfirmation and DisconfirmationMemory for disconfirming evidence is often remembered selectively so as to leave the persons beliefs intactFor instance gamblers who bet on football games tend to believe their original betting strategy was good even after a series of lossesThey would have won except forConfirmation and DisconfirmationBelief perseverance is a tendency to continue endorsing a belief even when evidence has completely undermined itConfirmation and DisconfirmationFor instance in a study by Ross et al 1975 participants first had to categorize suicide notes as authentic or fakeThe experimenters gave false feedback having already put participants into success or failure groups and later debriefed participants of this factHowever the arbitrary grouping continued to affect selfratings of social sensitivityLogic
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