• 17 JAN 10
    • 0

    #1197: Counterintuitive research findings and screwing up

    Further exploring the problem of so-called counterintuitive research findings (Message #1189) an excellent article by John Lehrer in Wired magazine (Dec 21, 09) titled, Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up, is essential reading.

    The link is: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/fail_accept_defeat/

    Exerpt

    The reason we”™re so resistant to anomalous information ”” the real reason researchers automatically assume that every unexpected result is a stupid mistake ”” is rooted in the way the human brain works. Over the past few decades, psychologists have dismantled the myth of objectivity. The fact is, we carefully edit our reality, searching for evidence that confirms what we already believe. Although we pretend we”™re empiricists ”” our views dictated by nothing but the facts ”” we”™re actually blinkered, especially when it comes to information that contradicts our theories. The problem with science, then, isn”™t that most experiments fail ”” it”™s that most failures are ignored.

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