posted on Aug, 22 2011 @ 02:14 PM
We are all guilty of cognitive bias, most of us unknowingly and possibly even helpless to do much about it.
In 2001, research was done where, people were asked to rate how well they thought they understood their best friends.
They showed the subjects a series of photos showing an iceberg submerged in varying levels of water and asked them to circle the one which
corresponded to how much of the “essential nature” they felt they could see of their friends. How much, they asked, of your friend’s true self
is visible and much is hidden below the surface?"
Then, they swapped the scenario around, asking them to pretend to be in the shoes of their friends, and imagine how much their 'essential nature'
their friends saw and how much was hidden below the surface.
The results of this and other similar studies suggests that you think you see more of other people’s icebergs than they see of yours and that they
think the same thing about you.
The illusion of asymmetric insight makes it seem as though you know everyone else far better than they know you, and not only that, but you
know them better than they know themselves. You believe the same thing about groups of which you are a member. As a whole, your group understands
outsiders better than outsiders understand your group, and you understand the group better than its members know the group to which they
So here's the kicker folks. It's not just about the individual, but the groups you belong to, also.
The researchers explained this is how one eventually arrives at the illusion of naive realism, or believing your thoughts and perceptions are
true, accurate and correct, therefore if someone sees things differently than you or disagrees with you in some way it is the result of a bias or an
influence or a shortcoming. You feel like the other person must have been tainted in some way, otherwise they would see the world the way you do –
the right way. The illusion of asymmetrical insight clouds your ability to see the people you disagree with as nuanced and complex. You tend see your
self and the groups you belong to in shades of gray, but others and their groups as solid and defined primary colors lacking nuance or complexity.
In a political debate you feel like the other side just doesn’t get your point of view, and if they could only see things with your clarity, they
would understand and fall naturally in line with what you believe. They must not understand, because if they did they wouldn’t think the things they
think. By contrast, you believe you totally get their point of view and you reject it. You see it in all its detail and understand it for what it is
– stupid. You don’t need to hear them elaborate. So, each side believes they understand the other side better than the other side understands both
their opponents and themselves.
THIS is what we're up against here. This is what we have to be aware of. It's in our own nature to make groups, and to exclude, to create 'US' and
"THEM'. Be self aware, we're more driven by instinct than we know mosttimes. It's what makes us go round and round and round here on this form, the
same arguments over and over, no one really interested in learning, only verifying their own world view and being more and more isolated as their
frustrations grow because they aren't changing anyone's minds.
edit on 22-8-2011 by Jadette because: subject was too long