Availability Cascade

What is an availability cascade? from http://energyskeptic.com/2013/cognitive-bias/ – an availability cascade is – “a self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public discourse (or “repeat something long enough and it will become true”).” When was the idea developed? from the wiki – “The idea of the availability… Continue Reading


Magical Thinking

With Halloween right around the corner, this won’t be the last time you’ll hear of magic this month. You may have parties you’ll be attending, or houses you’ll be securing, but the thing that everyone has, the binding element that brings us together for this discussion, is expectation.  Expectations can be tricky. You may be… Continue Reading


Should Statements

Should statements are a form of cognitive distortion. Should statements are statements which claim things should be a certain way of which they are not. This is a fallacy because the should statement implies that reality got it wrong and that the person making the should statement is correct. Personally, I believe eliminating should statements… Continue Reading


Appeal to Authority

What is an Appeal to Authority?  One source claims; “Appeal to authority – (argumentum ad verecundiam) deductively fallacious; even legitimate authorities speaking on their areas of expertise may affirm a falsehood. However, if not using a deductive argument, a logical fallacy is only asserted when the source is not a legitimate expert on the topic… Continue Reading


Confirmation Bias

What is confirmation bias? Confirmation bias is “the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions”* In other words, confirmation bias is the distorting of facts to fit one’s already existing beliefs. *http://energyskeptic.com/2013/cognitive-bias/ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ What does confirmation bias look like? In the following… Continue Reading


Chronological Snobbery

Chronological Snobbery – this is when a thesis is deemed incorrect because it was commonly held when something else, clearly false, was also commonly held. Although this fallacy is not as common as some of the others, I have seen it in action on a number of occasions. Example; “Why must we accept medieval art… Continue Reading


Semmelweis Effect

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~ What is the Semmelweis Effect? The Semmelweis effect/reflex is a cognitive bias in which one rejects new information in favor of the information which one already possesses.  We can find 3 definitions within the wikipedia article.  “The Semmelweis reflex or “Semmelweis effect” is a metaphor for the reflex-like… Continue Reading