Useful Perception is More Important than Accurate Perception
We need to search for disconfirming evidence to correct mistakes.
It’s more important to have a useful perception of reality than an accurate perception of reality. But of course, in many cases, an accurate perception of reality is a useful perception of reality. And so it’s important to try to figure out what reality actually looks like and to try to cut through the illusions and to try to cut through your biases and make sure that you’re not confusing correlation for causation. If it looks like A caused B, did A really cause B or is there something else that may have caused both? Try to think of other hypotheses.
Another mistake that we tend to make is to selectively look at evidence or to use motivated reasoning. So if you cherry-pick things in your environment that pop out at you and tend to support things that you already believe or things that you want to believe, then maybe you should try to find disconfirming evidence.
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Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.
- In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
- The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
- Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.
- Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
- Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
- The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
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