These are some (self-explanatory) points from the book: “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre:
- We see patterns where there is only random noise.
- We see casual relationships where there are none.
- We over-value confirmatory information for any given hypothesis.
- We seek out confirmatory information for any given hypothesis.
- Our assessment of the quality of new evidence is biased by our previous beliefs.
- Our attention is drawn to the “shiny”, and if you have something to sell, it makes sense to guide people’s attention to the features you most want them to notice.
- “Attributional Bias”: We believe our own successes are due to our own internal faculties, and our failures due to external factors, whereas for others, we believe their successes are due to luck, and their failures due to their own flaws.
Communal re-reinforcement goes a long way towards explaining how religious beliefs can be passed on in communities from generation to generation.
Feel free to e-mail me more points if you want to add to this list.