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Star-Flags and Confirmation Bias

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posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:49 PM
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Over the past week, I've read some comments on this site, and a few others, in which the person posting would attempt to validate their arguments by referring to the number of stars, flags, or in the case of other sites, the number of "thumbs-ups" they received on their post.

Of course this is nothing new to the internet, but the thought occurred to me that while these sorts of systems are created with the intent of rewarding higher-quality threads and posts, at the same time it acts as a tool of confirmation bias. This holds especially true in political forums and debates.

While many of us like to reward other members for well thought-out opinions based on logic and evidence, it appears that truth and logic are not popular in political forums, as the posts that seem to attract a large number of stars, flags or thumb-ups are rhetorical, hyperbolic and appeal to emotion. In a honest discussion, such posts would receive little attention because of it's very nature. But as we all very well know, it is those sorts of posts that people are attracted to.

When it comes to political discussions, people are not interested in logic, facts or truths. They are attracted to that which confirms their already held believes and ideologies, even if it's not factually based or created to incite partisan bickering.

This leads me to ask if this sort of confirmation bias can actually affect and warp entire ideologies, when the rhetoric and hyperbole found to be so popular seeps in to the language and dogma of the "higher-ups" within certain political parties?

I believe it has.

Even though stars and flags are designed to reward the profound, at the same time it can be used as a tool of confirmation bias that gives the false idea that what is being said is just and right. When it is, in fact, lies or propaganda.

Just an observation. Do you agree, disagree or have a different take altogether?
edit on 26-7-2015 by introvert because: (no reason given)



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posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:52 PM
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i can only speak for myself but the stars and flags have zero influence on my opinion of a post/poster. this may not be the case for others. however i repeat, the stars and flags have no bearing whatsoever on my appraisal of the content provided.
edit on R2015th2015-07-26T16:53:24-05:0020150pm2064 by RoScoLaz4 because: spelling



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:54 PM
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I believe flags connote that we find the thread of interest to us...and stars show that we agree with, or find a particular posting of interest.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: introvert

I agree... S&F

more can be found here



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:55 PM
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Stars and flags, flags and stars. If I wanted to be popular, I'd change my stated opinions on a number of things.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: RoScoLaz4

I can agree and respect that. I find myself often looking at the posts that receive very little attention and notice that quite often those posts are most profound. They don't receive the attention they deserve because they may not be politically driven towards a certain side of the debate or contain simple logic.

Logic is not poplar in politics.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:57 PM
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a reply to: IAMTAT

Agreed. But do we also have a habit of giving stars and flags to posts out of confirmation bias, rather than the quality or truth contained within?



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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There is one poster here whom all Ive ever seen them say is 'where is your proof'' or 'show me the facts' who has more stars than you can poke a stick at,I think your onto something op.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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originally posted by: introvert I find myself often looking at the posts that receive very little attention and notice that quite often those posts are most profound..


profundity and interest are not mutually inclusive so certain things are destined to go right over certain heads. c'est la vie.
edit on R2015th2015-07-26T16:58:47-05:0020150pm2064 by RoScoLaz4 because: spelling again - i'm drunk



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:03 PM
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originally posted by: introvert
a reply to: RoScoLaz4

I can agree and respect that. I find myself often looking at the posts that receive very little attention and notice that quite often those posts are most profound. They don't receive the attention they deserve because they may not be politically driven towards a certain side of the debate or contain simple logic.

Logic is not poplar in politics.


What you find Logical doesnt designate it as such however.....

Just as what I find logical doesnt mean it is either

The problem with determining somethings validity or importance is often subjective



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:05 PM
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I haven't gotten even a t-shirt from stars and flags. I would guess no one else has either.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:07 PM
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a reply to: ManBehindTheMask

Perhaps logic is not the best term to use.

Let's say that honesty is not popular in politics.

Confirmation bias is popular and it seems that the rhetorical and hyperbolic are more popular than truth and facts. Truth and empirical facts are not subjective.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:08 PM
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originally posted by: introvert

Even though stars and flags are designed to reward the profound, at the same time it can be used as a tool of confirmation bias that gives the false idea that what is being said is just and right. When it is, in fact, lies or propaganda.

Everything is propaganda. Attacking the confirmation bias itself is propaganda, favoring the objective over the subjective and implying the former's superiority.

Should we have "truth police" (ideological security) lurking the forums? What truth? Propagated by whom?

It almost sounds like you simply want to censor people you don't agree with. I don't think there are many people here who base their ideologies on how many stars someone has, or dole them out based solely on ideological likeness.

That would just be ignorant.




posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: NthOther



It almost sounds like you simply want to censor people you don't agree with.


I expected someone would say as much. I do not want to silence anyone. I'm asking if, in regards to politics, confirmation bias is more popular than truth and facts, regardless of who's ideology those truths and facts favor.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:12 PM
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originally posted by: IAMTAT
I believe flags connote that we find the thread of interest to us...and stars show that we agree with, or find a particular posting of interest.


I give flags when I support a thread to be up there on the live page. It is always for that reason.

The stars are a different story. Anarchy reigns there. I have secret favourite members who I look out for. These people always seem to write something that I find worth while and they earn their stars because of that.

I encourage certain members if they are new, a little shy, etc.

If I see somebody who is lonely with their post if I possibly can I will keep them company. Again this is an encouragement/humanitarian effort.

I always give great comments a star. Many comments here during the years have actually enlightened me in so many ways.

I sometimes give a worthy opposite a star just for being so challenging and making me think, when I have been politely engaged.

Over the years, because I have a very good memory, there are members here who, without knowing it, mean a great deal to me. Even though they are thousands of miles away I have read so many of their words that I have feelings of fondness for them. Stars stars stars for you.

Of course there is a Master Astronomer here. To me he is ATS mascot as I remember him so well from years ago when I started reading here. Let's just say I'm a fan and of this Mr Spock and he always gets a star.

There ends my brief loved up comment. I only allow myself one of those a year.

edit on 26-7-2015 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:20 PM
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a reply to: introvert

My choice of reading is not influenced by the popularity of a thread or member. I always go to the new page and I read just about every post I can.

My star flag habits revealed above. I don't care what anyone thinks of that. That is the way my brain works with ATS. That relates to my reasons for being on this forum. It is to experience the diversity of human beings who don't have access to the mainstream media. It is a voice for everyone. That is why I chose ATS in the first place.



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:21 PM
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originally posted by: introvert

I'm asking if, in regards to politics, confirmation bias is more popular than truth and facts, regardless of who's ideology those truths and facts favor.

Of course it is. Manipulation is the nature of political governance. To remove, or minimize, confirmation bias from the body politic would cripple the dialectic infighting that keeps the beast running.

How does one "fix" groupthink?



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: introvert

It seems difficult for me to say that it is.

For one thing, if you can't star a post that reflects your own opinion, I'm not sure what they are for. So, if they are confirmation bias it is part of their designed function.

Also, agreeing with the content of the post isn't necessarily the only reason to star not to mention the correct but discommodiously mannered posts that we admonish through our lack of participation.
edit on 26-7-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:21 PM
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The number of stars and flags don't mean crapola
especially in political threads since 90% is based on partisan opinions, exaggerated context and propaganda.

It's not like we win anything for stars or flags count.
If we did I would be posting anti Obama/Hillary rhetoric 24/7
so I can redeem my stars and flags for a official ATS keychain or shotglass.

Remember kids
Creed sold more albums than Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and the Velvet Underground put together.
That doesn't mean Creed is superior.




posted on Jul, 26 2015 @ 05:22 PM
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a reply to: introvert

Why would it be? I've been around in life for a fair few decades. I've had time to think about things, see how the world works and formulate my own beliefs as to why that is.

I notice that you don't happen to like those ideas and disagree with them. I also notice you haven't put up any arguments I haven't seen before to force me to reconsider my ideas. Maybe that frustrates you?

I don't know, but stars and flags have very little to do with it.




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