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I Didn't Choose Door Number 2, Monty; Now Let Me Tell You Why I Did.

A scientific coda to my unscientific pondering of human irrationality: At New Scientist, Lars Hall and Petter Johansson describe their program of research into explanations of choices after the fact. Hall and Johannson ask subjects to look at two faces and choose the one that is most attractive. Later on, Hall and Johannson ask subjects to explain why they chose one face over the other as the most attractive. Here’s the hook: they actually show subjects the face they didn’t choose when asking for an explanation. Three-quarters of subjects push blithely on, giving detailed justifications for a choice they didn’t actually make. Yep, we’re a species of confabulators… and to a shocking extent we aren’t even aware of it. Read the article for a consideration of why this is and what it implies.

1 comment to I Didn't Choose Door Number 2, Monty; Now Let Me Tell You Why I Did.

  • Tom

    So the consequences for politics among humans is what we’ve developed into – a faux election between connected aristocratic people already chosen by “others”, who then go on to “change” their ideas about governance after the show to accomodate the situation as it is (which we’re not privy to). These politicians make mistakes but are not accountable for them and we, on the other hand, are left with the problems and dilemmas they sow through their actions and misdeeds, and WE HAVE TO PAY THE PRICE.

    Swell.

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