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# Experiment in choices

Scenario 1 and 2 both Choice 1  16%  [ 2 ]
Scenario 1 and 2 both Choice 2  58%  [ 7 ]
Scenario 1 Choice 1 and Scenario 2 Choice 2  8%  [ 1 ]
Scenario 1 Choice 2 and Scenario 2 Choice 1  16%  [ 2 ]

Bikerman
I want to do a little experiment in choices.
There are two scenarios - each scenario presents you with 2 choices.
Scenario 1:
You have \$1000 given to you. You must make one of the following two choices:
Choice 1: Flip a coin. If you win, you get another \$1000 giving \$2000 in all. If you loose you get nothing, leaving you with \$1000.
Choice 2: Receive another \$500 giving you \$1500 in total

Which choice would you make?

Scenario 2:

You have \$2000 given to you. Again you must make one of the following two choices:
Choice 1: Flip a coin. If you loose you loose \$1000 and end up with \$1000. If you win you keep the \$2000.
Choice 2: Hand back \$500.

Which choice would you make?
Afaceinthematrix
What's the difference between scenario 1 and 2? Of course it might be interesting to see the differences that people may choose when looking at scenario 1 and 2...

At any rate, I would take the guarentteed \$1500 because I'm not a gambler.

Here's a scenario that I came up with that uses the same logic as yours, but I think this one makes it harder emotionally to choose the same answer both times:

Scenario: You're at a show that you paid \$100 to go to. When you get there, you realize that you lost/forgot your ticket. However, you have another \$100 in your pocket. Would you buy another ticket to get in, meaning that you ended up spending \$200 on the show or would you just go home and have lost a \$100 ticket?

Scenario 2: You're at a show and you go to buy a ticket at the gate instead of buying it ahead of time. When you get to the gate, you realized that you lost the \$100 that you were going to use to buy the ticket. However, you have another \$100 in your pocket. Would you still buy the ticket?
Bikerman
There is a point. I don't want to explain it yet or it will spoil any result....
Afaceinthematrix
Well I am pretty sure that I know what your point is to this experiment but I won't bother pointing it out because if I did point it out, it would be just as bad as you pointing it out... I wouldn't want to ruin your experiment and if I did say too much in my previous post, feel free to edit it...
truespeed
Seems pretty straight forward though you hint at it being something less so.

Scenario A.

Choice 2: get an extra 500,giving you 1500.

Why risk 1000 to win another 1000,when you get an extra 500 anyway for not tossing/risking,when its only 50/50 that you end up with nothing.

Scenario B.

Choice 1. Its worth the coin toss to keep the 2000 as the least you walk away with is 1000,pus if you don't toss,you still stand to lose 500.
Bikerman
Very interesting. Thanks for the vote.
tingkagol
Scenario A & B - both Choice 2.

But anyway, 1500 guaranteed for both scenarios for me.
saratdear
I'd rather have the guaranteed \$1500, too. I voted like that. Although I was inclined towards choice A in scenario 2, but I can't guess why.
LittleBlackKitten
In all cases, I don't want to risk not having what I've already been given. Gambling cost my childhood many many treats and even cost me a birthday where I did anything special or spent it with anyone. Not gonna get into it, but gambling can cost LIVES.
Bikerman
Thanks for the answers - and thanks to those who let me know I'd accidentally made a rogue copy of this (now deleted).
I'll let it run a bit more before decoding the results...
truespeed
The other one isn't completely deleted bikerman,you just deleted your post,you didn't delete the topic.
Bikerman
 truespeed wrote: The other one isn't completely deleted bikerman,you just deleted your post,you didn't delete the topic.
Silly me....thanks...sorted.
Bikerman
Well, this is going almost exactly as expected....a few more votes and I'll say what it tells us...
tingkagol
 Bikerman wrote: Well, this is going almost exactly as expected...

Bikerman
Yes, Ideally I would want 20 as a minimum to generate statistically significant results....
truespeed
Statistically on frihost it takes 6 months of pushing a topic to get twenty individual replies.
Bikerman
 truespeed wrote: Statistically on frihost it takes 6 months of pushing a topic to get twenty individual replies.
Really? How was that calculated?
truespeed
Bikerman wrote:
 truespeed wrote: Statistically on frihost it takes 6 months of pushing a topic to get twenty individual replies.
Really? How was that calculated?

It wasn't,it was totally made up,i was joking. Just from past experience on frihost when running contests and things like that,very few people join in.

Having said that the philosophy and religion forums are the busiest section on here so you may get your 20.
Bikerman
We'll see. I'll leave it going for a few days and if it drops too far down I'll stop it. It would be nice to get at least 20 because then I can actually submit it as supporting evidence if I ever get round to writing a paper on the theory in question (I was thinking about it some time back).
tingkagol
Bikerman wrote:
 truespeed wrote: Statistically on frihost it takes 6 months of pushing a topic to get twenty individual replies.
Really? How was that calculated?

It all depends on how interested people are with the topic really. Anyway, made some quick calculations:

The "Danish Mohammad Toons" topic was created on 02/15/08 and has 349 posts to date. That's around 10 posts/month (11.51 to be exact).

Similarly, a more 'hit-and-run' topic, "What Religion are You", was created on 05/05/06 and has 647 posts, garnering 12.44 posts/month.

So I guess you'll get your 20 in two months, but that still includes repeat postings from several users.

EDIT: I realize I should've calculated the number of votes on polls across this forum, but oh well. "What Religion are You" only has a total of 15 votes in more than 2 years, so... good luck.
Bikerman
No, that looks OK. Then the next topic down at 258 postings is just over 5/month

Here is a research project for someone with time on their hands - plot a posting frequency by month, forum and show the trend over years, indicating an upper and lower range limit and giving a degree of certainty for the results.

That would make a nice project for AS/BTEC level IT/ITC students. It includes sampling and sample choice, trend analysis/regression, numerical processing, standard deviation/spread testing, confidence measures etc....
c'tair
I would pick choice one. I have a 50% of doubling my balance vs. 100% of getting 500\$.

Oh and I think I know what you're testing, I've long forgotten this topic, but I think that if I read some Gilovich or a book called Innumeracy (?) I'd remember this test .
truespeed
Bikerman you should get Bondings to make this into a featured topic on the index.
Bikerman
You may be right. I only intended it, at the start, as a bit of fun, but it would be useful to get some reasonable-scale data on it. I'll see what's what and may do what you say..
Nemesis234
choice 2 for me. ill take my 1500 and run. if i wanna gamble later on to win/loose another 500 ill do that on my own time.
Indi
Funny, i'd go the opposite way to most people here. i'd pick choice 1 in both scenarios. No matter what happens, i'm walking out at least \$1000 richer, i get a little excitement with the coin flip, and then maybe an extra \$1000. That's win, win, possible win.

By contrast if i picked option 2 in either case, i get a little bit more money guaranteed, but no fun, and no chance of getting more. That's win, lose, lose.
jeffryjon
 Bikerman wrote: I want to do a little experiment in choices. There are two scenarios - each scenario presents you with 2 choices. Scenario 1: You have \$1000 given to you. You must make one of the following two choices: Choice 1: Flip a coin. If you win, you get another \$1000 giving \$2000 in all. If you loose you get nothing, leaving you with \$1000. Choice 2: Receive another \$500 giving you \$1500 in total Which choice would you make? Scenario 2: You have \$2000 given to you. Again you must make one of the following two choices: Choice 1: Flip a coin. If you loose you loose \$1000 and end up with \$1000. If you win you keep the \$2000. Choice 2: Hand back \$500. Which choice would you make?

Scenario one - i'd accept the extra \$500 then I'm guaranteed to win
Scenario two - the \$2,000 has ALREADY been given to me - why must I accept option a or b? That would be illogical - unless of course you forgot to tell me the 'giver' has a loaded gun or something pointed at my head to enforce the must. Then I'd have to consider whether I believed he or she would introduce a new rule upon which my life depended - however - that's not a rule given in the original experiment. Oh - and I know you've admitted this common spelling error on your part before Chris (and most probably someone's pointed it out once again in this thread already), but just for the sake of being helpful it's 'lose' not 'loose' (unless of course that's part of the trickiness of the experiment)
Bikerman
Yes, I have a few bogey words and that is one...not to worry.
As for the other objection - the 2000 is given on agreement you play the game, so if you don't then you are in breach of contract and could be sued.
jeffryjon
hahahahahaha - well at least it I had a chuckle wondering what your response would be when I went to sleep last night - cheers Chris
truespeed
I would like to change my answer,i read the first question wrong,i focused on this..

 Quote: If you loose you get nothing, l

So my answer would be Choice 1 in both cases,as whatever happens you walk away with a grand,but have the potential to walk away with 2 grand.
Bikerman
OK...the experiment was designed to show that people estimate risks very badly.
It should be clear that the two scenarios are completely congruent - the choices in each are the same and in each scenario the central decision is the same.
One therefore would expect the rational choice to be the same in both scenarios.
Risk takers would gamble and conservatives would take the money.
(will finish this in a few moment)...
Indi
Yes, there is no rational reason to prefer either option, but there are emotional reasons; there is no difference rationally, but there is a difference emotionally. If we were robots, we wouldn't care which option to take, but we're not.

Here are the emotional results of the cases:

Scenario 1:
... Choice 1:
...... Win: Extreme emotional high!
...... Lose: Very slight disappointment, if any, but also happiness. (You didn't win, but you didn't lose, and you have more than what you started with).
... Choice 2:
...... Happiness.

Scenario 2:
... Choice 1:
...... Win: Emotional high. (You won, which feels good, even if it means nothing.)
...... Lose: Disappointment. (You didn't win, and you lost a bunch, even though in the end you had more than you started out with).
... Choice 2:
...... Mild disappointment.
Afaceinthematrix
 Indi wrote: Yes, there is no rational reason to prefer either option, but there are emotional reasons; there is no difference rationally, but there is a difference emotionally. If we were robots, we wouldn't care which option to take, but we're not.

EXACTLY. The problem is that people do not think with their heads often and they think with their emotions. That is the exact point that I was thinking from the beginning (because I did see right through this experiment and notice from the beginning that it was the same thing posted twice but using different words) but didn't want to say anything because it would obviously have messed up the experiment; many people that chose different scenarios for each question may have realized what they were doing and then changed their mind.

That is why you should either have chosen choice 1 for both or choice 2 for both. It doesn't actually matter which one you choose rationally because both will end up being the same thing...

But I knew, from the second that I read his posting, that some people would choose irrationally because the emotional high, as you put it, will be different in each scenario and some people just like to feel good about their decision... Sometimes how you feel is really more important than how you think... Although, the vast majority of the time how you think is more important than how you feel (but there is always that one exception...)
Indi
All true, but it actually goes a step further.

It's not merely a matter of us preferring to act emotionally rather than rationally, or even just naturally defaulting to emotional thinking rather than rational. What we're finding now in bleeding edge research is that we emotionalize first and then unconsciously rationalize what we wanted to do emotionally. So even when we think we're acting rationally, we may just be acting emotionally then deluding ourselves into thinking we made the decision rationally.

Take me for example: i chose 1 in both scenarios. i gave a rational reason for my choice, but the reality is my rationalization was probably more or less bullshit. i chose what i chose emotionally and my brain generated a rationalization that satisfied me. All that was done unconsciously, of course.

That doesn't mean that my choice wasn't really rational (given the parameters i gave). It just means that i probably didn't make it rationally - i made it emotionally then the rationalization came to me after.

What you think should be more important than how you feel, but what you think may be a result of how you feel and your brain may be tricking you into thinking it's not. You have to be VERY careful - double-checking everything you think you know - in order not to be fooled.
jeffryjon
 Indi wrote: All true, but it actually goes a step further. It's not merely a matter of us preferring to act emotionally rather than rationally, or even just naturally defaulting to emotional thinking rather than rational. What we're finding now in bleeding edge research is that we emotionalize first and then unconsciously rationalize what we wanted to do emotionally. So even when we think we're acting rationally, we may just be acting emotionally then deluding ourselves into thinking we made the decision rationally. Take me for example: i chose 1 in both scenarios. i gave a rational reason for my choice, but the reality is my rationalization was probably more or less bullshit. i chose what i chose emotionally and my brain generated a rationalization that satisfied me. All that was done unconsciously, of course. That doesn't mean that my choice wasn't really rational (given the parameters i gave). It just means that i probably didn't make it rationally - i made it emotionally then the rationalization came to me after. What you think should be more important than how you feel, but what you think may be a result of how you feel and your brain may be tricking you into thinking it's not. You have to be VERY careful - double-checking everything you think you know - in order not to be fooled.

Total agreement. This observation is excellent and can be applied to a wide range of circumstances - even groups. Certainly, of the things I've read so far, this is the best post I've seen you write.
Indi
jeffryjon wrote:
 Indi wrote: All true, but it actually goes a step further. It's not merely a matter of us preferring to act emotionally rather than rationally, or even just naturally defaulting to emotional thinking rather than rational. What we're finding now in bleeding edge research is that we emotionalize first and then unconsciously rationalize what we wanted to do emotionally. So even when we think we're acting rationally, we may just be acting emotionally then deluding ourselves into thinking we made the decision rationally. Take me for example: i chose 1 in both scenarios. i gave a rational reason for my choice, but the reality is my rationalization was probably more or less bullshit. i chose what i chose emotionally and my brain generated a rationalization that satisfied me. All that was done unconsciously, of course. That doesn't mean that my choice wasn't really rational (given the parameters i gave). It just means that i probably didn't make it rationally - i made it emotionally then the rationalization came to me after. What you think should be more important than how you feel, but what you think may be a result of how you feel and your brain may be tricking you into thinking it's not. You have to be VERY careful - double-checking everything you think you know - in order not to be fooled.

Total agreement. This observation is excellent and can be applied to a wide range of circumstances - even groups. Certainly, of the things I've read so far, this is the best post I've seen you write.

? Er, no, it really can't be applied to "a wide range of circumstances", or to groups. It's just a scientific fact about the way our brains work (which should come as no surprise to anyone that's studied neuroscience). It's no more valid to anything else in the world than the way our spleens work is.

If you want to talk about groups, this fact is no longer relevant. Now you're into group dynamics, which is an entirely different field of science, with different rules. The way an individual generates ideas gets drowned out by the way the group shares and ranks them.
jeffryjon
With groups the fact is still relevant. Groups are made up of individuals and each one of those individuals according to the scientific research as quoted by you, must also be using streams of logic to rationalize the choice they made because of a feeling.

If the evidence you quoted is true (and based on the little you've shared, I believe it is), that could easily explain why people elect governments (or allow governments to be elected) to make decisions on their behalf which don't necessarily work in their best interests.

A group decision must also be affected by the rules that govern each individual's decision within that group.
Indi
 jeffryjon wrote: With groups the fact is still relevant. Groups are made up of individuals and each one of those individuals according to the scientific research as quoted by you, must also be using streams of logic to rationalize the choice they made because of a feeling. If the evidence you quoted is true (and based on the little you've shared, I believe it is), that could easily explain why people elect governments (or allow governments to be elected) to make decisions on their behalf which don't necessarily work in their best interests. A group decision must also be affected by the rules that govern each individual's decision within that group.

No, i'm afraid you really don't know what you're talking about. A group decision could (and often does) differ from what any one group member wants or even from what all of them or most of them want. Therefore, group thinking is not just "individual thinking × the number of individuals" or even "the average thinking of the individuals in a group". It is something entirely different. In fact, in situations like groupthink, it is even possible for the group decision to be something that everyone in the group disagrees with. It's weird, but it's true.

No, individual thinking does not translate into group thinking. Besides if it did, that wouldn't explain why people might elect a government that doesn't serve their best interest (despite what you say, and frankly, i don't follow your logic in reasoning why it might). All individual thinking tells you is that people choose with their emotions first, then try to rationalize. The only way that could possibly explain why people might elect a bad government is if they don't rationalize properly... and that's their own fault, because they should be making sure they are rationalizing properly

Group thinking also doesn't explain why people might elect a government that doesn't serve their best interest, but for different reasons that i don't really see a need to go into here.

You have to realize that i just gave a two paragraph precis of one little piece of volumes of the most cutting edge research in cognition. If that is the basis of your understanding of modern psychology... you don't understand modern psychology, so just leave it alone. You're only confusing yourself. It was only meant to add a little depth to one specific point - the point Afaceinthematrix was making. It isn't nearly complete enough to form the basis for you to construct an entire theory on.
jeffryjon
 Indi wrote: No, individual thinking does not translate into group thinking. Besides if it did, that wouldn't explain why people might elect a government that doesn't serve their best interest (despite what you say, and frankly, i don't follow your logic in reasoning why it might). All individual thinking tells you is that people choose with their emotions first, then try to rationalize. The only way that could possibly explain why people might elect a bad government is if they don't rationalize properly... and that's their own fault, because they should be making sure they are rationalizing properly Group thinking also doesn't explain why people might elect a government that doesn't serve their best interest, but for different reasons that i don't really see a need to go into here. You have to realize that i just gave a two paragraph precis of one little piece of volumes of the most cutting edge research in cognition. If that is the basis of your understanding of modern psychology... you don't understand modern psychology, so just leave it alone. You're only confusing yourself. It was only meant to add a little depth to one specific point - the point Afaceinthematrix was making. It isn't nearly complete enough to form the basis for you to construct an entire theory on.

As stated, I'm not basing my responses on what the alleged documentation says. I haven't read it and unless you produce it in full haven't got the opportunity to read and assess it. You vaguley stated that 'bleeding edge' research (which I presumed you meant 'leading egde) stated such and such. I responded to the same such and such.

I would guess that if this leading edge research is well founded, the research team would also have studied the same phenomena in groups to check their results. The feelings people experience in a group often differ from the feelings they experience when they're alone. It can produce radically different outcomes, though doesn't necessarily show a change in mechanism between feelings and the rationalisation of those feelings, which was your original proposition.

If you read carefully, you'll see I'm agreeing with what you claimed to be the conclusions of leading edge research and the only thing I'd bring into question are your statements suggesting that groups work to a different set of rules. Groups involve additional factors which can easily affect the outcome but in terms of mechanisms, they operate to the same principles. I suggest that if you're interested enough to find out, that you go and read the research in full and if you have done already, I suggest that you may benefit from reading it again.

Now with regard to telling me (or anyone else) that they're wrong, your argument here is based on someone else's research and conclusions. I happen to agree with the little you shared about that research but my agreement is based on my own personal experience, which I value far more than anything a 3rd party has to say.

In the case of a 3rd party offering a story (because that's all it is until we put it to the test), my approach would be to conduct my own research and experiments to see if the results affirm or discredit what they've said. Even then, they'd have to have presented something interesting enough for me to spend any time verifying one way or the other. 'Somebody 'said' doesn't automatically mean what they said is true - no matter how many books they've produced - no matter in what volume they've produced copies of those books - no matter how many people have chosen to read those books - no matter how many millions of people get to know what they say because of the power of mass media. It's still - no matter what - something somebody else has said and is equally as valid as what your neighbour may have said to you last week until proven otherwise by your own personal experience.

Now point sufficiently made as far as I'm concerned. Feel absolutely free to question whenever what I say doesn't make sense to you. Feel free to ask me to clarify any point that seems vague and feel free to challenge it with whatever you can put forward, though I'd suggest pointing fingers and claiming someone is WRONG based on what someone else has said carries a name - prejudice.
Indi

Are you smoking something you found in your garden? ^_^; i'm not "producing documentation" of the entire freaking field of cognitive psychology. If you want to learn about cognitive psychology, go nuts. It took me four years to get the degree - you don't need the degree, but if you want a solid understanding of the field, well, i'll see you in a couple years.

Alright, you know what? You want "documentation"? Try reading Moral Minds by Dr. Marc Hauser. It's more or less accessible to the lay person, it's extremely influential, and the first... hundred or so pages of the chapter on moral cognition... very briefly give an overview of this topic.

Pardon me if i'm not really impressed by your your own personal experience, or your "such and such", when it flies in the face of modern psychology. Nor do i find your discomfort with the fact that group dynamics override individual cognition to the point of rendering it meaningless compelling enough to bother going back to university to relearn psychology. i'll just trust that i got it right the first time, thank you. i suggest that you may benefit from learning actual psychology - the actual field of science - before you suggest to others that they have it wrong while you have it right.

If you really feel the need the carry out your own research, i would also say go nuts. Of course, to do it right, you would need to do a thorough review of the literature first. When your results are published, let us know.

Now point sufficiently made as far as i'm concerned, feel absolutely free to sign up for a psychology program at your local college or university, and get back to me in three or four years. Feel free to ask me to clarify any point covered in that program that seems vague and feel free to challenge it with whatever you can put forward, though I'd suggest that claiming something in a well-studied field that you have absolutely no understanding of is WRONG based on your "personal experience" carries a name - ignorance.

Actually, it carries two names - also, arrogance.
jeffryjon
[quote="Indi"]

 Quote: Are you smoking something you found in your garden? ^_^; i'm not "producing documentation" of the entire freaking field of cognitive psychology. If you want to learn about cognitive psychology, go nuts. It took me four years to get the degree - you don't need the degree, but if you want a solid understanding of the field, well, i'll see you in a couple years.

I didn't ask you to produce the whole field - I simply stated that you made no reference to the supposed leading edge research. What you actually did was made a claim, whilst failing to reference the source upon which the claim was made. That renders your claim just as valid/invalid as one child saying to another "I know something you don't know - nah, nah, nah, nah nah." As it happens in this case, I validated, rather than refuted the original claim. Furthermore, if you have studied cognitive psychology without going nuts, what makes you think I would? - If on the other hand, you drew the conclusion because you did go nuts, why should I take you seriously?

Now as for me - do I need the degree? Irrelevant - and moreso you have little chance of finding out whether in fact I already have unless I choose to tell you. Unless I wish to share that or use it as a basis for debate it's none of your business.

Same as I've stated above. The only additional comments I have, is every thread I've read so far is this forum has been in the form of a debate. I can only assume, that the debate mechanisms were in place long before my arrival. If that is true (I can't be bothered to check), the whole basis of these threads IS to challenge and not be afraid to do so just because someone accuses me of having no understanding. Again a statement showing prejudice.

Now just for the record. What I said is that the mechanisms governing group decisions are the same as as the mechanisms for individuals. As logic dictates, if it's true that an individual has a feeling or emotion and then seeks to rationalize that feeling or emotion, it also follows that if the feeling or emotion alters (as it can within a group), the product of the original rationalization may change. It doesn't necessarily mean that the influence of feelings and emotions over rationalization changes.
Indi
 jeffryjon wrote: I didn't ask you to produce the whole field - I simply stated that you made no reference to the supposed leading edge research. What you actually did was made a claim, whilst failing to reference the source upon which the claim was made. That renders your claim just as valid/invalid as one child saying to another "I know something you don't know - nah, nah, nah, nah nah."

i didn't reference the source? You're lying. Not only have i told you exactly where you can verify what i've said - go to school and learn it like i did - i even gave you a specific book you can check.

Don't say i haven't given you a source just because you can't be bothered to check the sources i've given you.

 jeffryjon wrote: As it happens in this case, I validated, rather than refuted the original claim.

No, you "validated" what you thought the original claim was. Your understanding of what i said was wrong, and i corrected you. Then you demanded references for the real meaning of my words (when, of course, you didn't ask for references when you originally "agreed" with them). Since then what you've been doing is repeating a misconception about psychology and insisting i provide sources to prove your intuition wrong, when the sources required to correct you would require a long and involved dissertation on cognitive psychology. i haven't demanded that you provide references for your gut feeling about the way group dynamics should work, nor have you offered any other than what you would do to prove your theory if you ever got around to it.

The bottom line: i provided a scientific fact and backed it up with references (despite your claims). You're just firing off random theories of what sounds right, erroneously applying results from one data set (cognitive psychology) to other fields (group dynamics, politics and "a wide range of circumstances"), and mulling over what you might do to prove your theories... which is not the same as providing proof.

 jeffryjon wrote: Now as for me - do I need the degree? Irrelevant - and moreso you have little chance of finding out whether in fact I already have unless I choose to tell you. Unless I wish to share that or use it as a basis for debate it's none of your business.

No, you don't need a degree, and i even said so explicitly. What you need is the knowledge that you would get while obtaining that degree. i don't care whether you have a degree or not, but i can easily deduce that you don't have one - or, that if you do, you don't deserve it. If you can get the knowledge you need without a degree, go for it. i got the knowledge while getting the degree, which is why that's the way i know to get it, which is why, when you asked how to get it, i told you about the degree.

 jeffryjon wrote: Same as I've stated above. The only additional comments I have, is every thread I've read so far is this forum has been in the form of a debate. I can only assume, that the debate mechanisms were in place long before my arrival. If that is true (I can't be bothered to check), the whole basis of these threads IS to challenge and not be afraid to do so just because someone accuses me of having no understanding. Again a statement showing prejudice.

See, you're absolutely free to challenge something that you have absolutely no understanding about. i can't imagine why anyone would be so stupid or arrogant to do so, but they're free to do it. Of course, if they do, i'm going to call them out for being ignorant and stupid. That's not "prejudice" - a word you are misusing so heinously that i have to seriously wonder if you even know what it means. That's calling a duck a duck.

Here's the thing: "prejudice" means coming to a conclusion before you have the facts. i have the facts. i went to school to learn then, and have been keeping up with the field since. So how can i be prejudicial? By contrast, you don't have the facts - which is why you've been making so much noise about providing references - yet you are challenging the conclusions.

Therefore, for you to call me prejudiced is, in fact, ignorant - which, if you'll check back, you'll find is exactly how i called it, once again just calling a duck a duck. What you really mean is not that i'm coming to conclusions about psychology before gathering all the information about it... you mean that i'm coming to conclusions about your opinions of psychology without bothering to hear them out. Well, you're right, i am. The reason for that being that i really don't need or want to hear your opinions. They are either in agreement with the science, which i already know, or they are wrong.

So, yeah, you're free to challenge psychology without having any understanding of it - you're just an ignorant fool if you choose to do that. If, instead, you tried to learn about psychology before challenging it... well, that would be wise. Learn first, challenge later.

 jeffryjon wrote: Now just for the record. What I said is that the mechanisms governing group decisions are the same as as the mechanisms for individuals. As logic dictates, if it's true that an individual has a feeling or emotion and then seeks to rationalize that feeling or emotion, it also follows that if the feeling or emotion alters (as it can within a group), the product of the original rationalization may change. It doesn't necessarily mean that the influence of feelings and emotions over rationalization changes.

And you're wrong. Your logic is flawed. Specifically, you are falling for a logical fallacy called fallacy of composition. Don't believe me? Look at your "logic":
• Individuals reason by method X.
• Groups are made up of individuals.
• Therefore, groups reason by method X.
Now look at the wiki example of a composition fallacy. See? It's a textbook case.

If you actually care about the science, here's a tiny taste of it (although, of course, to really get an understanding of the field will take a long, long review, which is why i keep telling you i can't do it for you). When individuals are in a group, their personal reasoning gets overridden by the group dynamics. One example of that happening (and again, this is an entire field of research) is the Asch paradigm... people change their thinking to match what they perceive to be the group's thinking. One of the most important results of the Asch experiment is not that people changed their thinking to match the group, but that they did not realize that this was what they were doing (when they were asked afterwards why they answered the way they did, they gave excuses about their own shortcomings).

Because of effects like that (and many, many others), you CANNOT predict what a group will do using individual cognitive psychology, even if you have perfect knowledge of the individuals in that group and what they would do individually. In science parlance, group behaviour is an emergent property: it exists only when the elements (the individuals) are combined, but not when when they are alone.
jeffryjon
Indi
 jeffryjon wrote: Ok Indi, I think the evidence is quite clear for anyone who can be bothered to read it taking into account the timeline which shows what was said in response to which post.

Agreed. ^_^

1. Me: Responded to Afaceinthematrix's observations about how - even though the two tests are indistinguishable rationally - they differ emotionally. He said, "The problem is that people do not think with their heads often and they think with their emotions." My response, was basically that he was correct, but even when you are "thinking with your head", you're still often using your emotions without being conscious of it. My evidence to back up that claim was that cutting edge cognitive psychology research shows that this is how we reason. Furthermore, as if this wasn't obviously enough on-topic for the thread, i explicitly related it back to my own answers to demonstrate.

2. You: Responded with a post that not only added nothing to the topic discussion (just saying you agree does not further discussion), it went off topic suggesting that what i said can be applied to "groups" (which have nothing to do with the thread topic) and a "wide range of circumstances". On top of that, even while you were providing nothing but noise to the conversation, you misunderstood what i said.

3. Me: Corrected your misunderstanding of what i said.

4. You: Insisted your off-topic tangent about "groups" was somehow still relevant. Also tried to justify your bad understanding of psychology by using a composition fallacy. Note: at this point you still hadn't said anything on-topic.

5. Me: Said that you were still wrong, and explained that group dynamics does not produce the same results as a collection of individuals being analyzed by individual cognition. i also said that all i had offered from the beginning was just a summary conclusion from a whole field of psychological research, and that you were going to be led astray if you tried to build your understanding of psychology on the tiny point i made.

6. You: Admitted you didn't have the knowledge and asked - for the first time - for me to provide "documentation". Continued to insist on your flawed reasoning. Also started attacking me personally, telling me that i apparently didn't understand the research that i actually studied and you never even saw, based on the fact that it contradicts your intuition, and said i "may benefit from reading it again". On top of that, you started complaining about the fact that i was calling what you were saying wrong... without even caring about whether it was, or whether i have more knowledge in the field and thus the ability to make that determination. Finished off by misusing the English language in order to call me "prejudiced" incorrectly. Even now you still haven't said anything on-topic for the thread.

7. Me: Now quite annoyed, first said that i was not going to provide you with all of the evidence i had studied to come to the summary conclusion i gave, because it was an entire field of science i was summarizing. Then offered you a layperson's reference to use your source. Then i chided your arrogance at telling me to go back to the books when you haven't even looked at the books in the first place, while copy-pasting your own words to duplicate your sanctimonious tone. Finally ended up - using your own words back at you - to call your behaviour ignorant and arrogant.

8. You: First lied and said i hadn't provided documentation. Then reasserted your mistaken claim, now arguing that it is what "logic dictates". STILL haven't provided anything to do with the thread topic.

9. Me: Called you out on your lie. Corrected another false claim you made. Corrected yet another misrepresentation of what i said, and told you again that you need the knowledge in order to fully understand the problem. Pointed out that only a fool would challenge something they know nothing about (and pointed out that you don't know what "prejudice" means). Finally ended up by first highlighting the fallacy you were making, and then providing one specific bit of research that partially supports what i've been saying all along, more or less (it doesn't really, but explaining why not would take going into far too much detail).

10. You: Whined and stormed off, again lying about me not providing sources (the very first time someone asked for them, they were provided, but even before anyone asked for them - when i first introduced the claim - i said the evidence came from research). Claimed i refuse to "the points made towards the facts", when in fact you never made any points toward any facts - you only claimed my facts were wrong, and offered fallacious logical arguments to back that up. Also whined about "unfair" challenges, which, from the context here, seems to mean your challenge, because i didn't make any challenges - i added practical context to a philosophical problem by citing research, and then you challenged the research; all i've done is point out your challenge is based on poor understanding and fallacious arguments. Also, accusing me of steering the thread off-topic. Ironically, since i posted that response to Afaceinthematrix, you haven't said one single word on-topic.

11. And now me again: Having some fun at your expense (you started the name calling when you started calling me "prejudiced" for no reason, and i don't really feel in the mood to play the bigger person today), by pointing out how everything you've claimed about my role in this debate is false, and that you were really the problem all along. Immensely enjoying doing this because you have insisted you will not respond, so i get the satisfaction of knowing that you have to either seethe and say nothing while i show you up for the fool you've been, or swallow your pride and prove that your declaration was just a childish hissy fit by giving in to come back for more. Finally (after the line), trying to return the thread to the discussion you derailed by reiterating my original point so that your entire annoying interlude appears not to have happened.

^_^

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Now, as i was saying before we were so rudely interrupted by the kids (^_^), it's more than just a simple matter of switching between using reason to determine which to choose (which doesn't matter in this case) or emotion. Because even when you think you're using reason, you're probably actually using emotion (i might have done that myself when i gave my own reasons). You have to be very careful, and strongly challenge your own beliefs in order not to fall prey to that mistake.

It's not always bad or wrong to use emotion to decide, consciously or not, and this example is a perfect example of when it's perfectly okay. Sometimes reason doesn't give you a clear choice; either there is no rational difference between two choices, or there is a difference but the overall "weights" of either option (by whatever you are using to weigh the options in a particular instance) are the same. In those cases - when reason does not obligate a choice - you may allow your emotions to refine your choices.

For example, you're in a lifeboat after a ship sinking, and there are two people in the shark-infested waters, but you only have time to row over and save one. Both look roughly the same age, both seem healthy, and neither seems more injured than the other, so the long-term survival likelihood for both is identical. However, one is your husband or wife, and the other is a complete stranger. As in the experiment here, there is no rational reason to pick one or the other... but obviously there is an emotional one, because you probably love your spouse a lot (or you really, really hate them, in which case you'd row the other way, i guess). In this situation, you would not be morally wrong to save your spouse over the stranger.

However, if your spouse was dying of cancer and had only a few weeks or months to live... but the other person seems to be quite healthy and probably has a long, long life ahead of them, the decision is now no longer rationally equivalent. If you follow your heart in this case, you could be justly condemned.

BUT, this is a situation where you have to be damn sure that you really are thinking rationally, and not rationalizing your emotions. For example, you have to make damn sure that your spouse really does have the same chance of survival as the stranger, and that you're not just over-estimating their chances versus the stranger's in order to make their cases seem equal.

This experiment Bikerman used is really useful - and i've used it before myself - for demonstrating to people how much their emotions sneak their way into their logic. Most people will insist that they had a logical reason for picking one over the other (as i did!), even after you explain there's no mathematical difference. They may be right! They may actually have a rational reason for their choice... but if you actually look at the excuses most people give, you will see that their reasoning is shoddy at best.