I wouldn't call Eliezer's emphasis excessive, nor would I call the sequences "walls of text". This is an example of both: http://files.abovetopsecret.com/files/img/yj5053f092.png
My question is: if you didn't know any English, could you still infer that this is more likely to be baloney, or not?
Yes, people are not motivated to look for knowledge that doesn't promise to support their existing point of view. But does that explain the pride in not knowing?
Yes, but does this explain the pride? Also, the planning fallacy is more about optimism than knowledge per se.
Although, I think this has connections with "seeing the Big Picture" (the Big Geographer, as Thomas said). "You may know some unimportant details, but I have a better view of the Big Picture, so I'm superior to you."
Somehow I feel compelled to bring up my childhood in Yugoslavia.
Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs there look the same and speak very similar languages. Religion is one exception: I have yet to meet a Muslim Serb or an Orthodox Croatian. Unsurprisingly for a socialist regime, people were not very religious back then; but when the nationalism grew in 1990, so did the religious affiliations. Religion was a very practical means of national identity.
BUT, these affiliations were not expressed through dogmatic/theological differences. It was more about symbols, culture and stereotypes. So, we transitioned from a society who based its identity on one political-economic dogmatism to another that based its identity on symbols, cultural details and history.
Hm. So the only relevant measure is the prevalence of zeros, because the generators are stateless (n+1st digit does not depend on the nth digit)?
But what if the generator B was not necessarily stateless?
Yes, I misspoke. The question is to discern between fair and biased random generators, not between random and non-random ones. As benelliott pointed out, stateless random bit generators seem to have quite unequal probability distributions of output sequences.
Thanks, this is a great answer. It didn't occur to me that stateless generator with unknown p(0) will have such a "preference" for all-digits-are-same-sequences. p(ten zeros) = 1/11 if p(0) can be any number; but p(ten zeros)=1/1024 if p(0)=1/2.
I guess I'm confused about your use of the word "necessary".
But you're right. What is the motivation of the test-taker? How much are they trying to get the answers right and how much they want to "just get it over with"? At least part of the cognitive system is lazy/avoidant, but it doesn't seem that test-takers consciously think "I'll just write down the first answer that comes to mind".
But the real question is this: when they read the smaller text, do they feel less anxiety? Probably not. Then, maybe solving the problem requires less effort once you have spent more time at reading the question. But take a look at the CRT: to me, it seems that problems are clear any way you read them.
Yes, I think that theory goes that, since you "fired up" the higher-level cognitive "engine" of your mind, you might as well use it to solve the problem. Perhaps it's a sunk-cost type of thinking, where you feel that you should justify your efforts in understanding the problem by solving the problem properly. Or, perhaps the lower-level, less intelligent mind agents are not triggered by the slower process of understanding the problem.
I don't think it's self-evident that effort put in recognizing letters should translate into significant improvement in problem solving. For example, it could be expected that this lower-level burden would drain cognitive "energy" from higher functions trying to solve the mathematical problem.