Selected Topics in Writing an Academic Paper
VIII. Cognitive biases
83 VIII Cognitive biases Keywords: heuristics, automatisms, idols, overestimation, generalisation, supportive bias As indicated in the previous chapter, clear and compre- hensible writing requires clear and logical thinking. In reality, however, our minds are inﬂ uenced by a variety of diffi culties and confusions. In his work New Organon (1620) philosopher Francis Bacon has recognised nega- tive aspects of idols – errors which repeatedly follow human mind in the process of knowledge. Bacon con- sidered idols as false ideas declining reason from truth and better understanding of nature. According to Bacon, while some idols are inherent in human nature, oth- ers are acquired during lifetime. The ﬁ rst type is rep- resented by idols of the tribe (idola tribus), for example, the habit of expecting more order in natural phenom- ena than is actually to be found. Idols of the imprisoning cave (idola specus) are based on personal prejudices, indi- vidual beliefs and passions.Idols of the marketplace (idola 84 fori) are grounded in our trust to words that could lead to belief in nonexistent things. Bacon has considered this type of idols as the most dangerous. The last idols of the theatre (idoli theatri) express man’s acceptance of ideas and beliefs without any sign of doubt or criticism. Past decades of experimental research in cognitive psychology have profoundly supported Bacon’s ideas on errors in cognition. Novel ﬁ ndings on the role and inﬂ u- ence of cognitive biases on human thoughts and actions in various domains of society are linked up with the...
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