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Old 04-11-2019, 03:40 PM   #1
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Help me recall the name of this mass media theory/phenomenon

I am trying to recall the name of a phenomenon I read about somewhere a few years ago. It's to illustrate a point in a presentation I'm making to a high school class. Nutshell: you find information you know to be wrong from a well-known source, but then you go on to trust the source on other information that you can't verify.

I have been struggling to find the name of it but keep failing. This is a pretty diverse and intelligent group and maybe someone here can ID it. Here's how it was described to me in a classic example.

Situation: You are a genuine expert in your narrow field: accounting, medicine, air traffic control, harbour pilot, etc. You are reading your morning paper (recall those days?), and you see an article about an accident or controversy in your area of expertise. You can immediately tell from the "facts" related that the reporter has made a complete hash out of it and the truth, while intimated at, is WAY more complex and hidden vs. what they are getting at, or even the opposite.

So you dismiss it as useless. But then you go on to read the paper, but still generally trusting its articles and opinions on subjects you don't know anything about in depth - when clearly your ONE moment of insight showed that to be a bad bet.

There is an actual name or specific moniker for this cognitive dissonance wrt authority. Can anyone recall it, or recognize what I'm talking about?

NOTE: this has nothing at all to do with the current media criticism, etc. I'm trying to give really concrete examples for a class on epistemology and to show how "appeal to authority" is a more widely used way of knowing than we think it is.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:55 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. C. Holy cow. I had to look up epistemology and I'm still not sure...
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/


Perhaps the word you're looking for is marketing.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. C. Holy cow. I had to look up epistemology and I'm still not sure...
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/


Perhaps the word you're looking for is marketing.
Oh man, I just read that and it gives me a headache. That is so badly written.

I just say it's "the study of how we know what we know." Which is pretty clear vs. that whole page of a 1st paragraph there... I'm not a "philosopher" but have some familiarity, and this is high school, not Yale Divinity school we are talking about...

But this is really actually interesting common-sense stuff that's good to be aware of, ways we delude ourselves. Like the sunk cost fallacy, etc.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:29 PM   #4
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I know exactly what you mean, but also don't know the phrase. Not sure I ever heard it called something.

In weather forecasting it is still a problem to this day. It manifested itself very obviously in the early days of weather satellite pictures, 1980's.

A weather forecaster would look at a surface analysis (which may or may not correct in terms of frontal boundary placement. Look at a satellite picture for the same time, see that in reality, the frontal boundary was significantly more advanced (or retarded) than as depicted on the surface analysts.

Then look at the 24 hour (or some time period in the future) forecast position and use that incorrect forecast position to write his/her forecast (usually TAFs, Terminal Aerodrome Forecast), even though it was obvious (because of the satellite pic) that the surface analysis was wrong and therefore any forecast derived from that analysis would be wrong.

I still see amateurs doing the same thing when they use Windy or any weather data.
If the weather is not as expected today, then there is no point in looking to the future for that particular model run.

I look at Windy every day, but I only look at the current weather. Then if and only if the current weather is behaving as forecast, I'll look at some point in the future that I have an interest in.

I think the issue is we, humans, have a tendency to believe what we see. therefore whether it's a weather chart or financial spreadsheet, if it's printed, it looks more believable.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:57 PM   #5
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Cognitive dissonance ?
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:52 PM   #6
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Deference to authority? The context is different from your examples, but the same sort of dysfunction.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:02 PM   #7
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:38 PM   #8
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Cognitive dissonance ?
Close....I think it is called "cognitive bias"!!! Google it...pretty interesting stuff. We touch on it in decision making in my line of work.
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:11 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Do you mean that guy I see on TV selling Preparation H really doesn't know what he's talking about? But, but...he's wearing a lab coat.


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Old 04-12-2019, 05:42 AM   #10
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"You are a genuine expert in your narrow field: accounting, medicine, air traffic control, harbour pilot, etc"


An expert is one that knows more and more about less and less , until he finally knows Everything about Nothing!
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Deference to authority? The context is different from your examples, but the same sort of dysfunction.
Yes, this is the general concept, though generically called "appeal to authority."

This particular situation is when you STILL do that, though you have distinct empirical evidence invalidating it.

I still can't find the reference to this. I spent a little time this afternoon chasing after it, and at least found this amusing site. RT would likely love this:

https://youarenotsosmart.com/

It's a one-man kinda operation about these kind of fallacies, with podcasts as well as essays/posts. Amusing and informative.

I'm glad Richard above validated I'm not making this up and he knows of it; it's a genuinely studied/labeled example of logical fallacy - just can't remember it!
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:04 AM   #12
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:42 AM   #13
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Close....I think it is called "cognitive bias"!!! Google it...pretty interesting stuff. We touch on it in decision making in my line of work.
I believe that Cognitive Bias is a group of behavioral biases. Within them, is one called 'Anchoring' or 'Focalism'.

Anchoring or focalism is a cognitive bias where an individual relies too heavily on an initial piece of information offered (considered to be the "anchor") when making decisions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchoring

Ironically, I was just discussing this concept with my brother over drinks last night.

The idea that your first piece of information is presented and accepted as fact, and as such does not get critical review. However, each piece of contradictory information, regardless of whether it is true is subject ot massive amounts of scrunity and often is rejected and fails to displace the primary piece of information.

This is, by and large, what drives the popularity of religion.
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:43 AM   #14
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The idea that your first piece of information is presented and accepted as fact, and as such does not get critical review. However, each piece of contradictory information, regardless of whether it is true is subject ot massive amounts of scrunity and often is rejected and fails to displace the primary piece of information.

This is, by and large, what drives the popularity of religion.


Explains socialism and "global warming" and the claim to be setteled science , both a religion.
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:13 PM   #15
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post

Anchoring or focalism is a cognitive bias where an individual relies too heavily on an initial piece of information offered (considered to be the "anchor") when making decisions.
There is a very amusing bit about the Anchoring effect in that website I linked above that I just ran across. Link:

https://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07...horing-effect/

Briefly: Peopel are about to bid in an auction. They are told to write down the items (shirt, iron, etc.). At the end of the list, they are told to write down the last two digits of their ssn.

Those with high numbers consistently bid more/overpay. The mere visual reminder of "high" numbers anchors their thinking (biases it) in that direction.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:28 AM   #17
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I think the phrase you are looking for is the " Gell-Mann amnesia effect"
Being the belief that a source can be trusted on other statements even when that statement about which your personal knowledge and experience shows the source to be in major error.
See, for example, most news publications.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:15 AM   #18
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Possibly related to another condition I heard about, Rectal Iris, in which no amount of information—regardless of source—contradicting deeply seated beliefs is tolerated?
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:43 AM   #19
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Don't know the name of it, but have stopped letting myself be misled, at least when it comes to reading the paper, or listening to the "news." Every single time that they talk about something that I know and understand in depth, they make at least one major mistake that throws the whole point of the story off. Every. Single. Time.


So now I always assume that -- in every newspaper story that I read, and every news report that I hear or see -- there is at least one major mistake, and because of it their conclusions are probably wrong.


Yeah. I really am THAT cynical!
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:27 AM   #20
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One of the things that has given me a low opinion of news reports, was thirty years of reading news reports of events that I participated in, that I barely recognized.
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