This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Philosophy, which collaborates on articles related to philosophy. To participate, you can edit this article or visit the project page for more details.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Alternative Views, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of significant alternative views in every field, from the sciences to the humanities. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Psychology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Psychology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
I’d like to add another study to the biased interpretation section in relation to intelligence levels. In a study conducted by Stanovich and West, myside bias was shown to be persistent in belief formation and interpretation, regardless of intelligence level. Participants had to evaluate if they would allow a dangerous German car on American streets and a dangerous American car on German streets. Both groups completed an intelligence assessment before taking the surveys. Participants responded to a scale ranging from one to six, where one indicated “definitely yes” and six indicated “definitely no,” based on their opinion if the car should be banned. Results indicated that participants believed that the dangerous German car on American streets should be banned more quickly than the dangerous American car on German streets. When people were not warned in advance to avoid biased processing, participants with higher intelligence were just as likely to demonstrate myside bias as those with lower intelligence scores. These results indicated a sizable myside bias, for the rate at which participants would ban a car did not differ among intelligence levels. There is no association between the magnitude of bias and intelligence. Individuals, regardless of their respective intelligence levels or cognitive ability, will still commit errors in rational thinking.
Stanovich, K. E., & West, R. F. (2008b). On the relative independence of thinking biases and cognitive ability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 672–695. --Hacleek (talk) 22:42, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Hello @Hacleek: and thanks for your improvements to the article. You've taken on an extraordinarily difficult assignment, improving an article that's already at Featured Article status. I have some questions about your additions. First, for the paragraph that begins "Myside bias has been shown to influence the accuracy of memory recall." the paragraph seems to describe a bias in memory, but does not seem to relate to myside bias, also called confirmation bias. Could you post here a quote from the source that establishes that this is indeed a case of myside bias? MartinPoulter (talk) 20:43, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi @MartinPoulter:, thanks for your message. The Safer article relates primarily to wishful thinking. The wishful thinking article on Wiki defines this as "the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence, rationality, or reality." Safer et al.'s purpose of this article was to demonstrate that current emotional appraisals influence how individuals recall emotionally traumatic information, as they hypothesized " (1) participants would overestimate past grief; (2) current levels of grief would predict recalled grief; (3) recalled grief would predict current coping; and (4) participants who improved the least would be particularly likely to overestimate past grief" (197). They found presence of memory distortion when participants were asked to recall initial grief levels. "Objective change in intrusive ideation correlated significantly with memory distortion for avoidant thoughts (r = 7.35, p < .05) and for grief symptoms (r = 7.43, p < .01), and objective change in avoidant thoughts correlated significantly with memory distortion for grief symptoms (r = 7.33, p < .05)" (201).
Previous research has shown that individuals in therapy will overestimate recalling prior emotional distress in order to exaggerate the benefits of therapy (202). This team found that "Although most participants reported much less grief at 5 years than at 6 months, those who improved relatively little tended to overestimate their initial grief, perhaps so as to feel good about however much they had improved" (202). Studies by Schwarz et al. and Southwick et al. showed that "one’s current emotional state affected what was recalled, but we would also argue that what was recalled, including the retrospective reappraisal of how one coped, contributed to and justified the current emotional state."
People will utilize wishful thinking principles when recalling previous traumatic memories in order to justify current emotional states, i.e., participants in the Safer study overestimate their prior grief levels when asked to recall how they felt 6 months after the death. The participants wanted to believe that they were doing much better five years later. In reality, the way that they felt five years later more closely resembled how they felt 6 months following the death rather than how they recalled the period after 6 months. I think that this relates to myside bias because: 1) the participants favored information (grief-related intrusive ideation) that confirmed their beliefs that time or therapy 2) people remembered the information selectively and interpreted it in a biased way to show that time helped and 3) we know that the effect for myside bias is stronger for emotionally charged issues. Would you have any recommendations to making this relate to wishful thinking more explicitly? Thanks for your time.--Hacleek (talk) 22:20, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi all. Thanks for the explanation Hacleek, but the fact that your explanation is so elaborate only highlights to me the fact that the research was not conducted with confirmation bias or myside bias in mind. That is, the explanation you are describing was not in the source article but rather is your own interpretation. As such it is a pretty clear case of original research on your part. Moreover, I think that by trying to shoehorn this content into the article you are adding confusion to an already confusing article. My recommendation would still be to exclude this content altogether (as per my earlier removal). Does this make sense to you? Cheers Andrew (talk) 04:57, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply, Hacleek. The finding you're talking about is really interesting and belongs on Wikipedia somewhere, but like Andrew above, I'm not convinced this is the right article. There are lots of biases in memory, judgement, or decision-making and "confirmation bias" or "myside bias" are not catch-all terms for any of these biases but refer to specific phenomena. In particular, wishful thinking (the shaping of beliefs/interpretation by desires) is not necessarily the same as myside bias (when the assessment of evidence is shaped by prior beliefs or hypotheses). Wishful thinking might be one of the possible explanations of confirmation bias, but that doesn't mean that any finding relevant to wishful thinking belongs in an explanation of myside bias. Emotion and memory seems to be a better place to preserve your paragraph. MartinPoulter (talk) 11:12, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
On another topic, the "individual differences" section has "Myside bias can cause an inability to effectively and logically evaluate the opposite side of an argument." On the face of it, that doesn't seem right, because isn't it fair to say that myside bias is an inability to evaluate opposing arguments? It seems like you're saying that myside bias is its own cause. I've replaced the phrase "mutable and subject to change over time" with just "mutable" because it means the same thing. The sentence "These data also reveal that personal belief is not a source of myside bias.," is another that seems odd. If people don't have a personal belief, then they don't have a "side", so how can they exhibit myside bias? Thanks in advance for any help explaining this. MartinPoulter (talk) 11:28, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Hi all, and thanks for your suggestions regarding my writing. I understand why the Safer article might be better applicable for a different article. The "individual differences" section was actually updated by @Jamela Peterson: - might be helpful if she joins us in discussing her reasoning for writing in that way, as she could answer that question better than I could.--Hacleek (talk) 19:19, 9 December 2013 (UTC)