Thursday, May 31, 2012

Carol Tavris on how we justify our arbitrary decisions

I just learned that my absolute favorite talk from last summer's TAM 9 conference is now on YouTube.

Social Psychologist Carol Tavris spoke about how we rationalize our positions and decisions. It's worth watching the entire thing.

About halfway through she uses an example of a pyramid structure, where two people with nearly identical views arbitrarily take different positions on cheating. One person decides to cheat on a test, and the other person doesn't. After they have committed those actions, our two subjects will become polarized. One will become committed against cheating in general and the other one will become a defender.

This is an important lesson and inspired a personal policy where I will not blog about a subject I expect to write about as a neutral reporter, as spending time laying out my ideas will create a bias on the subject.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know we had such things as neutral reporters...