Veritasium

The Most Common Cognitive Bias

Can you figure out the rule?
Did you see the exponents pattern? http://youtu.be/AVB8vRC6HIY
Why do you make people look stupid? http://bit.ly/12Fmlpl

How do you investigate hypotheses? Do you seek to confirm your theory – looking for white swans? Or do you try to find black swans? I was startled at how hard it was for people to investigate number sets that didn’t follow their hypotheses, even when their method wasn’t getting them anywhere.

In the video I say “when people came to Australia…” by which I meant, “when Europeans who believed all swans were white came to Australia…” I did not mean any offence to Indigenous Australians who were already in Australia at that time. Please accept my apologies for the poor phrasing if you were offended by it.

This video was inspired by The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb and filmed by my mum. Thanks mum!

Partly my motivation came from responses to my Facebook videos – social media marketers saying ‘Facebook ads have worked for me so there can’t be fake likes.’ Just because you have only seen white swans, doesn’t mean there are no black ones. And in fact marketers are only looking for white swans. They think it was invalid of me to make the fake Virtual Cat page: ‘well of course if it’s a low quality page you’re going to get low quality likes.’ But my point is this is black swan bait, something they would never make because their theory is confident in the exclusive existence of white swans.

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