Monday, April 28, 2014

Olson's confirmation bias

I probably was and am inclined to take this one more seriously just because the boy seems not to have been coached (unless his parents are simply lying) and his parents are Wesleyan Church pastors. I like the Wesleyan Church. (If I wasn’t a Baptist and lived near a Wesleyan Church I’d probably attend it. Or if there wasn’t a “good” Baptist church I’d probably attend the Wesleyan Church. I digress.)

So a Wesleyan witness is more credible than…what? What's the implicit contrast? What if his parents were–heaven forbid!–Calvinists? Would Olson assume they were congenital liars? What if they were Lutheran? Is he less inclined to believe Lutheran witnesses, but more inclined to be Wesleyan witnesses? 

This becomes a self-reinforcing rule of evidence. 

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