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Cognition in the News

Page history last edited by Jeremy Houska 5 years ago Saved with comment

Main -> In the News: Cognition


Worst Coaching Call Ever? Hindsight Bias and the Super Bowl (The Conversation, David Myers, 2/6/2015) (Courtesy of David Myers via TIPS)

"The worst call in Super Bowl history,” read a headline in my hometown Seattle Times after Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll seemingly threw the game away with his ill-fated decision to pass – rather than run – as the game clock expired. Actually, Carroll made two end-of-half decisions in Sunday’s Super Bowl, both questioned by the NBC announcers. The differing outcomes of the decisions – and the resulting reactions by pundits and fans – offer potent examples of a mental pitfall that has been the subject of roughly 800 psychological science publications..."

Discussion question: In what other domains have you seen the hindsight bias demonstrated? 


Human Beings Aren't Very Good at Listening (BoingBoing, Maggie Koerth-Baker, 3/3/2011) (Courtesy of Scott Bates via PsychTeacher)

"The crime rate in Oregon is down, but most Oregonians feel that the rate has gone up, and that they are less safe. I think this story has some interesting parallels with a recent British Medical Journal editorial on cognitive bias, and why what we hear and remember is often very different from the facts we are told. I highly recommend reading both these links together."

Discussion question: Identify possible cognitive bias or biases at work in the Oregon article Explain.



Prospective Catholic Priests Face Sexuality Hurdles (NY Times, 5/30/2010)

"Every job interview has its awkward moments, but in recent years, the standard interview for men seeking a life in the Roman Catholic priesthood has made the awkward moment a requirement."  The questions attempt to identify pedophiles and gays. "Scientific studies have found no link between sexual orientation and abuse, and the church is careful to describe its two initiatives as more or less separate. One top adviser to American seminaries characterized them as 'two circles that might overlap here and there.'”  As one person described the screening process, "“The best way I can put it, it’s not black and white... It’s more like one of those things where it’s hard to define, but ‘I know it when I see it.’”

Discussion question: Mike Palij suggests, via TIPS, this question for students, "If a person says 'I know it when I see it', what potential cognitive biases, such as the availability heuristic, can operate to lead to a faulty perception and erroneous decision-making?"







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