Selected Topics in Writing an Academic Paper
VIII. Cognitive biases
VIII Cognitive biases
Keywords: heuristics, automatisms, idols, overestimation, generalisation, supportive bias
As indicated in the previous chapter, clear and comprehensible writing requires clear and logical thinking. In reality, however, our minds are influenced by a variety of difficulties and confusions. In his work New Organon (1620) philosopher Francis Bacon has recognised negative aspects of idols – errors which repeatedly follow human mind in the process of knowledge. Bacon considered idols as false ideas declining reason from truth and better understanding of nature. According to Bacon, while some idols are inherent in human nature, others are acquired during lifetime. The first type is represented by idols of the tribe (idola tribus), for example, the habit of expecting more order in natural phenomena than is actually to be found. Idols of the imprisoning cave (idola specus) are based on personal prejudices, individual beliefs and passions.Idols of the marketplace (idola ← 83 | 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 findings on the role and influence of cognitive biases on human thoughts and actions in various domains of society are linked up with the work of A. Tversky, P....
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.