Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Editorial Bias

Throughout the article “Does Everything Happen For A Reason,” Konika Banerjee a graduate student and Paul Bloom a professor, both of psychology at Yale, explain what people think about if things do really happen for a specific reason, which also represents the bias of confirmation of what the people think throughout the situations the article states. One example they state is about the Boston Marathon Bombing. James Costello was cheering on a friend during the marathon when the bombs exploded. He was severely injured and was in surgery and rehabilitation for months. But during the months he formed a relationship with one of the nurses and they soon became engaged. James said on Facebook, “’I now realize why I was involved in the tragedy. It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life.”’ This is an example of confirmation bias because it shows that in James’ point of view the Boston Marathon Bombing happened for a reason because he would have never met the love of his life.

Another form of confirmation bias that was stated in the article was when they asked many people on how would you reflect or describe how that special moment happened in your life. For example, births of children, finding your love, the death of loved ones, illnesses, graduations, etc. A majority of the religious people said these things do happen for a reason. Also, that they are purposefully designed (by God). Surprising many atheists did so as well; also many atheists said they believe in fate. Fate is defined as the view that life events happen for a reason and that there is an underlying order to life that determines how events turn out.

They also described confirmation bias in kids. How young children show bias to believe that life events happen for a reason, or in other words to ‘“send a sign”’ or ‘“to teach a lesson.”’ “This belief in children exists regardless of how much exposure the children have had to religion at home, and even if they’ve had none at all.”

In human nature we tend to see meaning in life events: “our powerful drive to reason in psychological terms, to make sense of events and situations by appealing to goals, desires and intentions.” When we think about the actions of other people, this drive serves us well because it helps us figure out why people behave as they do. But it can also lead us into error when we overextend it which makes it seem like an illusion that the world itself is full of purpose and design. It makes us move toward the view that the world is a fundamentally fair place, where goodness is rewarded and badness punished.  

No comments:

Post a Comment