Author Topic: The false-consensus bias  (Read 837 times)

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Offline Askold

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The false-consensus bias
« on: January 15, 2016, 12:20:06 pm »
This is an interesting article:

Online it means we can be blindsided by the opinions of our friends or, more broadly, America. Over time, this morphs into a subconscious belief that we and our friends are the sane ones and that there’s a crazy “Other Side” that must be laughed at — an Other Side that just doesn’t “get it,” and is clearly not as intelligent as “us.” But this holier-than-thou social media behavior is counterproductive, it’s self-aggrandizement at the cost of actual nuanced discourse and if we want to consider online discourse productive, we need to move past this.

What is emerging is the worst kind of echo chamber, one where those inside are increasingly convinced that everyone shares their world view, that their ranks are growing when they aren’t. It’s like clockwork: an event happens and then your social media circle is shocked when a non-social media peer group public reacts to news in an unexpected way. They then mock the Other Side for being “out of touch” or “dumb.”

I can think of several people who have fallen into this trap. It is too easy to divide people into "us" and "them" and then demonize the other side. Racist groups in Finland think that they represent the majority of Finland and their opponents are the few traitors, while many of the people who don't like the racists also think that the racists only make up a tiny but vocal group and it is only the laziness and indifference of the average person that stops everyone from joining their protests against racism.

...For extra fun, when I first saw the link to this article people attacked the person starting the post and laughed at him since previously he had been proclaiming loudly that Romney would win the presidential elections in USA "by a landslide" because he could not fathom majority of USA supporting Obama.
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Offline guizonde

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Re: The false-consensus bias
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2016, 01:01:04 pm »
i think that was the first thing i ranted about here over 3 years ago, but i called it "polarization", it really is sad that there can't be anything other than "us vs. them". it's a good thing to keep in mind to avoid falling into this trap, though.
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Offline RavynousHunter

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Re: The false-consensus bias
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2016, 01:07:26 pm »
Thinking in binary is easy, that's why the trap is so insidious.  Things are either one way, or they're another way, and any grey areas get either ignored or mentally forced into one of the two extremes.  It can be avoided if you're aware of it, but doing so is exceedingly difficult.
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Re: The false-consensus bias
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2016, 12:04:45 am »
*sigh* Classic example: FSTDT. It's pretty much gospel there that features quotes are minority opinions, when it's easily demonstrated that many "fundie" opinions are actually pretty mainstream.

Offline LeTipex

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Re: The false-consensus bias
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2016, 06:51:26 am »
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