In many cases I'd agree it's pretty crazy, especially if you're trying to go up against top scientists.

On the other hand, I've seen plenty of scientists and philosophers claim that their peers (or they themselves) could benefit from learning more about things like cognitive biases, statistics fallacies, philosophy of science, etc. I've even seen experts claim that a lot of their peers make elementary mistakes in these areas. So it's not that crazy to think that by studying these subjects you can have some advantages over some scientists, at least in some respects.

Of course that doesn't mean you can be sure that you have the advantage. As I said, probably in most cases domain expertise is more important.

Absolutely agree it is important for scientists to know about cognitive biases. Francis Bacon, the father of the empirical method, explicitly used cognitive biases (he called them "idols," and even classified them) as a justification for why the method was needed.

I always said that Francis Bacon should be LW's patron saint.

Open thread, Dec. 21 - Dec. 27, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read21st Dec 2015233 comments


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