Psychological Bias

Viewpoint diversity: Necessary for quality science

It is naive to assume that using the scientific method guarantees scientific progress. Although the scientific method is often characterized as an iterative, self-correcting process which leads to advances in knowledge, in practice this whiggish characterization of science does not necessarily hold true when accounting for the cognitive and behavioural biases of the people actually doing science.

If Nazi = Red, and Canadian = Red, does Red = Good or Bad? Testing the limits of implicit attitude change using the Implicit Association Test

Abstract The present experiment tested the effects of indirect implicit attitude change on performance on the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998). The IAT is a subjective, indirect attitude measure widely used for business, research, and political purposes despite its unestablished construct validity and questionable reliability; thus, there is a growing need for research that identifies the cognitive mechanisms underlying IAT performance in order to assess its empirical value.

Are IAT Effects an artifact of design? Testing the impact of a rest period before reversing response assignments on the Implicit Association Test

Abstract Despite its popular use in academia, business, and politics, the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998) continues to suffer from a number of fundamental issues that give challenge to the test’s empirical value. The present research manipulated the difficulty of the IAT by introducing a rest period between the test’s congruent and incongruent blocks, in order to identify how the IAT’s design influences a test-taker’s performance.

Positive test strategies and confirmation bias in social assessment

Abstract Snyder and Swann (1978) demonstrated that individuals systematically adopt confirmatory strategies and preferentially search for evidence that confirms existing beliefs. We suspect that Snyder and Swann’s results are an artifact of their methodology. In the present experiment, we replicated Snyder and Swann’s work, but had participants generate their own hypothesis testing questions instead of selecting questions from an existing list.

What they say is all I need: The role of narratives in confirmation bias

Abstract Social scientists have long known about the malleability of attitudes to persuasive communications. But what happens when changed attitudes transform into change-resilient beliefs? This review explores how confirmation bias, the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s pre-existing beliefs can be caused and reinforced by narratives—termed here as narrative-driven confirmation bias.