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Bias Articles

Devil's Advocate

Andrew Badham - 2018-04-17 13:55:09

There’s a game I like to play with my classes. It’s based on the concept of playing Devil’s Advocate. Simply put, it’s all about taking the opposing view of an argument even if you don’t really agree with it. First off, we try to find a couple of controversial topics, ones that really split the room, but hopefully, don’t elicit too much of an emotional response. A little bit of controversy ups the engagement level, but too much spirals the class into emotio... Read more

Ideological Inoculation

Andrew Badham - 2018-04-17 12:02:40

  When I was still in school, I remember being taken on a field trip to the Cradle of Humankind, to Maropeng. We were taken through the Sterkfontein caves to see the dig sites where archaeological treasures such as Mrs Ples were found, and then through the educational centre not far from that. In the educational centre, we were treated to the sight of the fossil remains of long extinct rodents, sabre-toothed cats, and of course, early hominids. It is impossible to discuss hominids witho... Read more

Confirmation Algorithms

Andrew Badham - 2016-12-02 14:37:57

Like many people who have had to confront their old ways of thinking and find them wanting, I am consciously aware of the importance of indulging views that oppose my own. At the same time, I'm also aware that unconsciously I avoid contradiction like a virulent contagion. My confirmation bias, just like every other's, is adept at filtering that which makes me feel uncomfortable; it would far rather bolster my pre-held conceptions and suspicions. Nevertheless, on the odd occasion, I do... Read more