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The Science of Marto

Confirmation bias, as the term is typically used in the psychological literature, connotes the seeking or interpreting of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs,  expectations, or a hypothesis in hand.

I have been spending most of the morning surveying the available literature on confirmation bias, which I long regarded as one of the most under-rated and potent forces in human psychology and, as such, in the known or knowable universe.  The graph above signifies how the subject is mostly treated, as a mere quirk of human cognition.   IMHO, this second graph is closer to the mark (much more on this later).

When I apply the same methodology to Australian rugby commentators, the results are startling (as illustrated below).  However, it does explain passages of commentary such as this during a recent All Blacks-Wallabies contest:

“A warm welcome to this, the second of three Bledisloe Cup matches between old rivals, the Australian Wallabies and Richie McCaw is a cheat.  We’re looking forward to a great game because the Tri-Nations is still very much alive and the Wallabies are primed to pounce on a weakened Richie McCaw’s constant infringing is a disgrace.  The Wallabies have trained with rare ferocity during the week while if this ref doesn’t ping McCaw for this blatant disregard for the rules of rugby, questions must be asked.”

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