Prof. Rainer Mausfeld – Neoliberal indoctrination: Why do the lambs remain silent?

www.uni-kiel.de/psychologie/mausfeld/
Mausfeld_Why do the lambs remain silent_2015
Mausfeld focuses on perceptual psychology and also works on the theoretical foundations of experimental psychology and the psychology of understanding. He also deals with the rivalry of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience in cognitive science. Another area of interest is the history of ideas in the natural sciences. He sees a major problem of the relationship between psychology and biology in neurological neo-reductionism. In contrast to biologistic approaches, he sees the peculiarity of the spiritual, inter alia, in the intrinsic multiperspectivity of the mind.
Mausfeld points out that knowledge of neural circuitry and activity is not enough to explain consciousness and thought processes. Not even the behavior of nematodes can be deduced from the activity of their 302 neurons. According to Mausfeld’s view, the relationship between nature and mind must be below the neural level in the sphere of physics. Evidence is given by the fact that nature is actually more enigmatic to us than our consciousness in itself. In modern physics it has become clear that the physical does not have the properties of matter ascribed to it. Mausfeld sees the special aspect of consciousness in the simplicity and wholeness of the subjective experience, which, however, reveals itself to the psychologist as a complex interaction of unconscious factors. The intrinsic multiperspectivity of thinking, which first opens up the possibilities for thought and action alternatives to humans after mouse field, results from the complex interplay of the most varied of factors.
White torture and responsibility of science
In his work, Mausfeld illustrates the role of psychologists in the development, application and justification of modern white torture methods. These goals are not, as claimed, the extraction of information, but rather breaking the will, disciplining, humiliating and shaming the victims. In his account, an American Psychological Association (APA) working group to investigate the involvement of psychologists acting on behalf of the Defense Secretary. Mausfeld uses the example of torture research to define ethical and legal principles and limits of scientific work. He regards the observance of human rights as fully binding.

Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychology , ’ white torture ’ and the responsibility of scientists. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1186/s12882-018-0886-5
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Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042.60.4.229
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Cognitive techniques

According to Mausfeld, the cognitive ones are more important than the affective techniques, since opinions are more stable than emotions. Here Mausfeld examines the following methods:

  • Representation of facts as opinion
  • Fragmenting coherent facts so that the context, such as the historical context, is lost
  • Decontextualization of facts: The context of the facts is removed, so that the facts become incomprehensible isolated individual cases, which have no general relevance
  • Misleading recontextualization: Information is embedded in a foreign context, so that they take on a different character and, for example, no longer lead to outrage in human rights violations.
  • Repetition supports the “perceived truth”
  • Designing the range of opinions so that the desired seems to be in the middle, which most people strive for, if they are unfamiliar, because they then keep to the middle seein it as “neutral and balanced”
  • Making facts invisible through media selection, distraction and attention control
  • “Meta-propaganda”: It is part of every propaganda to claim that the news of the enemy is wrong because it is propaganda

The development of more efficient manipulation techniques rests on identifying psychological “weak spots” – those intrinsic design aspects of our mind and principles of human information processing that can be exploited for manipulation purposes. Most importantly, such principles are, by the very nature of our cognitive architecture, beyond conscious control. (…) Our mind has many hard-wired weaknesses that can be exploited for manipulative purposes, that facilitate our utilitarian abuse by the political and economic elites for maintaining and expanding their power. However, we also innately dispose of a rich repertoire of ways to use our reasoning capabilities to recognize manipulative contexts and to actively avoid them. This repertoire is akin to a natural cognitive immune system against being manipulated, but we have to take the deliberate decision to actually use it.


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Further References

Mausfeld, R.. (2012). On some unwarranted tacit assumptions in cognitive neuroscience. Frontiers in Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00067
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Mausfeld, R., & Heyer, D.. (2012). Colour Perception: Mind and the physical world. Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198505006.001.0001
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Mausfeld, R.. (2005). The Physicalistic Trap in Perception Theory. In Perception and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1002/0470013427.ch4
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Mausfeld, R.. (2012). Der Schein des Realen.. Näher Dran? Zur Phänomenologie Des Wahrnehmens
Mausfeld, R.. (2009). Psychologie, weiße folter’ und die verantwortlichkeit von wissenschaftlern. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042.60.4.229
DOI URL
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Wendt, G., Faul, F., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Highlight disparity contributes to the authenticity and strength of perceived glossiness. Journal of Vision

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1167/8.1.14
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Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Psychologie, biologie, kognitive neurowissenschaften zur gegenwärtigen dominanz neuroreduktionistischer positionen zu ihren stillschweigenden grundannahmen. Psychologische Rundschau

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1026/0033-3042/a000045
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Heyer, D., & Mausfeld, R.. (2002). Perception and the physical world: psychological and philosophical issues in perception. Perception
Narens, L., & Mausfeld, R.. (1992). On the Relationship of the Psychological and the Physical in Psychophysics. Psychological Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.99.3.467
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Mausfeld, R.. (2012). “Colour” As Part of the Format of Different Perceptual Primitives: The Dual Coding of Colour. In Colour Perception: Mind and the Physical World

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198505006.003.0013
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Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Attribute of Realness and the Internal Organization of Perceptual Reality. In Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology: Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1002/9781118329016.ch3
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Mausfeld, R.. (2001). What’s within? Can the internal structure of perception be derived from regularities of the external world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X01530083
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Mausfeld, R., & Andres, J.. (2002). Second-order statistics of colour codes modulate transformations that effectuate varying degrees of scene invariance and illumination invariance. Perception

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1068/p07sp
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Mausfeld, R.. (2006). Wahrnehmung: Geschichte und Ansätze. In Handbuch der Allgemeinen Psychologie – Kognition

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2008.07177.x
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Mausfeld, R.. (2010). Intrinsic multiperspectivity: On the architectural foundations of a distinctive mental capacity. In Cognition and Neuropsychology: International Perspectives on Psychological Science

Plain numerical DOI: 10.4324/9780203845820
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Mausfeld, R.. (2013). The Biological Function of Sensory Systems. In Neurosciences – From Molecule to Behavior: a university textbook

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-10769-6_12
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Andres, J., & Mausfeld, R.. (2008). Structural description and qualitative content in perception theory. Consciousness and Cognition

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2006.11.005
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Mausfeld, R., Wendt, G., & Golz, J.. (2014). Lustrous material Appearances: Internal and external constraints on triggering conditions for binocular lustre. I-Perception

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1068/i0603
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List of cognitive biases


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Decision-making, belief, and behavioral biases

Many of these biases affect belief formation, business and economic decisions, and human behavior in general.

Name Description
Ambiguity effect The tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem “unknown”.[10]
Anchoring or focalism The tendency to rely too heavily, or “anchor”, on one trait or piece of information when making decisions (usually the first piece of information acquired on that subject).[11][12]
Anthropocentric thinking The tendency to use human analogies as a basis for reasoning about other, less familiar, biological phenomena.[13]
Anthropomorphism or personification The tendency to characterize animals, objects, and abstract concepts as possessing human-like traits, emotions, and intentions.[14]
Attentional bias The tendency of perception to be affected by recurring thoughts.[15]
Automation bias The tendency to depend excessively on automated systems which can lead to erroneous automated information overriding correct decisions.[16]
Availability heuristic The tendency to overestimate the likelihood of events with greater “availability” in memory, which can be influenced by how recent the memories are or how unusual or emotionally charged they may be.[17]
Availability cascade A self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public discourse (or “repeat something long enough and it will become true”).[18]
Backfire effect The reaction to disconfirming evidence by strengthening one’s previous beliefs.[19] cf. Continued influence effect.
Bandwagon effect The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink and herd behavior.[20]
Base rate fallacy or Base rate neglect The tendency to ignore base rate information (generic, general information) and focus on specific information (information only pertaining to a certain case).[21]
Belief bias An effect where someone’s evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by the believability of the conclusion.[22]
Ben Franklin effect A person who has performed a favor for someone is more likely to do another favor for that person than they would be if they had received a favor from that person.[23]
Berkson’s paradox The tendency to misinterpret statistical experiments involving conditional probabilities.[24]
Bias blind spot The tendency to see oneself as less biased than other people, or to be able to identify more cognitive biases in others than in oneself.[25]
Bystander effect The tendency to think that others will act in an emergency situation.[26]
Choice-supportive bias The tendency to remember one’s choices as better than they actually were.[27]
Clustering illusion The tendency to overestimate the importance of small runs, streaks, or clusters in large samples of random data (that is, seeing phantom patterns).[12]
Confirmation bias The tendency to search for, interpret, focus on and remember information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.[28]
Congruence bias The tendency to test hypotheses exclusively through direct testing, instead of testing possible alternative hypotheses.[12]
Conjunction fallacy The tendency to assume that specific conditions are more probable than general ones.[29]
Conservatism (belief revision) The tendency to revise one’s belief insufficiently when presented with new evidence.[5][30][31]
Continued influence effect The tendency to believe previously learned misinformation even after it has been corrected. Misinformation can still influence inferences one generates after a correction has occurred.[32] cf. Backfire effect
Contrast effect The enhancement or reduction of a certain stimulus’ perception when compared with a recently observed, contrasting object.[33]
Courtesy bias The tendency to give an opinion that is more socially correct than one’s true opinion, so as to avoid offending anyone.[34]
Curse of knowledge When better-informed people find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people.[35]
Declinism The predisposition to view the past favorably (rosy retrospection) and future negatively.[36]
Decoy effect Preferences for either option A or B change in favor of option B when option C is presented, which is completely dominated by option B (inferior in all respects) and partially dominated by option A.[37]
Default effect When given a choice between several options, the tendency to favor the default one.[38]
Denomination effect The tendency to spend more money when it is denominated in small amounts (e.g., coins) rather than large amounts (e.g., bills).[39]
Disposition effect The tendency to sell an asset that has accumulated in value and resist selling an asset that has declined in value.[40]
Distinction bias The tendency to view two options as more dissimilar when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately.[41]
Dunning–Kruger effect The tendency for unskilled individuals to overestimate their own ability and the tendency for experts to underestimate their own ability.[42]
Duration neglect The neglect of the duration of an episode in determining its value.[43]
Empathy gap The tendency to underestimate the influence or strength of feelings, in either oneself or others.[44]
Endowment effect The tendency for people to demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it.[45]
Exaggerated expectation Based on the estimates,[clarification needed] real-world evidence turns out to be less extreme than our expectations (conditionally inverse of the conservatism bias).[unreliable source?][5][46]
Experimenter’s or expectation bias The tendency for experimenters to believe, certify, and publish data that agree with their expectations for the outcome of an experiment, and to disbelieve, discard, or downgrade the corresponding weightings for data that appear to conflict with those expectations.[47]
Focusing effect The tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event.[48]
Forer effect or Barnum effect The observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune telling, graphology, and some types of personality tests.[49]
Form function attribution bias In human–robot interaction, the tendency of people to make systematic errors when interacting with a robot. People may base their expectations and perceptions of a robot on its appearance (form) and attribute functions which do not necessarily mirror the true functions of the robot.[50]
Framing effect Drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how that information is presented.[51]
Frequency illusion The illusion in which a word, a name, or other thing that has recently come to one’s attention suddenly seems to appear with improbable frequency shortly afterwards (not to be confused with the recency illusion or selection bias).[52] This illusion is sometimes referred to as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.[53]
Functional fixedness Limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used.[54]
Gambler’s fallacy The tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality they are unchanged. The fallacy arises from an erroneous conceptualization of the law of large numbers. For example, “I’ve flipped heads with this coin five times consecutively, so the chance of tails coming out on the sixth flip is much greater than heads.”[55]
Hard–easy effect Based on a specific level of task difficulty, the confidence in judgments is too conservative and not extreme enough.[5][56][57][58]
Hindsight bias Sometimes called the “I-knew-it-all-along” effect, the tendency to see past events as being predictable[59] at the time those events happened.
Hostile attribution bias The “hostile attribution bias” is the tendency to interpret others’ behaviors as having hostile intent, even when the behavior is ambiguous or benign.[60]
Hot-hand fallacy The “hot-hand fallacy” (also known as the “hot hand phenomenon” or “hot hand”) is the belief that a person who has experienced success with a random event has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts.
Hyperbolic discounting Discounting is the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs. Hyperbolic discounting leads to choices that are inconsistent over time – people make choices today that their future selves would prefer not to have made, despite using the same reasoning.[61] Also known as current moment bias, present-bias, and related to Dynamic inconsistency. A good example of this: a study showed that when making food choices for the coming week, 74% of participants chose fruit, whereas when the food choice was for the current day, 70% chose chocolate.
Identifiable victim effect The tendency to respond more strongly to a single identified person at risk than to a large group of people at risk.[62]
IKEA effect The tendency for people to place a disproportionately high value on objects that they partially assembled themselves, such as furniture from IKEA, regardless of the quality of the end result.[63]
Illicit transference Occurs when a term in the distributive (referring to every member of a class) and collective (referring to the class itself as a whole) sense are treated as equivalent. The two variants of this fallacy are the fallacy of composition and the fallacy of division.
Illusion of control The tendency to overestimate one’s degree of influence over other external events.[64]
Illusion of validity Belief that our judgments are accurate, especially when available information is consistent or inter-correlated.[65]
Illusory correlation Inaccurately perceiving a relationship between two unrelated events.[66][67]
Illusory truth effect A tendency to believe that a statement is true if it is easier to process, or if it has been stated multiple times, regardless of its actual veracity. These are specific cases of truthiness.
Impact bias The tendency to overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.[68]
Information bias The tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.[69]
Insensitivity to sample size The tendency to under-expect variation in small samples.
Irrational escalation The phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the decision was probably wrong. Also known as the sunk cost fallacy.
Law of the instrument An over-reliance on a familiar tool or methods, ignoring or under-valuing alternative approaches. “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
Less-is-better effect The tendency to prefer a smaller set to a larger set judged separately, but not jointly.
Look-elsewhere effect An apparently statistically significant observation may have actually arisen by chance because of the size of the parameter space to be searched.
Loss aversion The disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it.[70] (see also Sunk cost effects and endowment effect).
Mere exposure effect The tendency to express undue liking for things merely because of familiarity with them.[71]
Money illusion The tendency to concentrate on the nominal value (face value) of money rather than its value in terms of purchasing power.[72]
Moral credential effect The tendency of a track record of non-prejudice to increase subsequent prejudice.
Negativity bias or Negativity effect Psychological phenomenon by which humans have a greater recall of unpleasant memories compared with positive memories.[73][74] (see also actor-observer bias, group attribution error, positivity effect, and negativity effect).[75]
Neglect of probability The tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.[76]
Normalcy bias The refusal to plan for, or react to, a disaster which has never happened before.
Not invented here Aversion to contact with or use of products, research, standards, or knowledge developed outside a group. Related to IKEA effect.
Observer-expectancy effect When a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it (see also subject-expectancy effect).
Omission bias The tendency to judge harmful actions (commissions) as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful inactions (omissions).[77]
Optimism bias The tendency to be over-optimistic, overestimating favorable and pleasing outcomes (see also wishful thinking, valence effect, positive outcome bias).[78][79]
Ostrich effect Ignoring an obvious (negative) situation.
Outcome bias The tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.
Overconfidence effect Excessive confidence in one’s own answers to questions. For example, for certain types of questions, answers that people rate as “99% certain” turn out to be wrong 40% of the time.[5][80][81][82]
Pareidolia A vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) is perceived as significant, e.g., seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing non-existent hidden messages on records played in reverse.
Pessimism bias The tendency for some people, especially those suffering from depression, to overestimate the likelihood of negative things happening to them.
Placebo effect The belief that a medication works—even if merely a placebo.
Planning fallacy The tendency to underestimate task-completion times.[68]
Post-purchase rationalization The tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was good value.
Pro-innovation bias The tendency to have an excessive optimism towards an invention or innovation’s usefulness throughout society, while often failing to identify its limitations and weaknesses.
Projection bias The tendency to overestimate how much our future selves share one’s current preferences, thoughts and values, thus leading to sub-optimal choices.[83][84][74]
Pseudocertainty effect The tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.[85]
Reactance The urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice (see also Reverse psychology).
Reactive devaluation Devaluing proposals only because they purportedly originated with an adversary.
Recency illusion The illusion that a phenomenon one has noticed only recently is itself recent. Often used to refer to linguistic phenomena; the illusion that a word or language usage that one has noticed only recently is an innovation when it is in fact long-established (see also frequency illusion).
Regressive bias A certain state of mind wherein high values and high likelihoods are overestimated while low values and low likelihoods are underestimated.[5][86][87][unreliable source?]
Restraint bias The tendency to overestimate one’s ability to show restraint in the face of temptation.
Rhyme as reason effect Rhyming statements are perceived as more truthful. A famous example being used in the O.J Simpson trial with the defense’s use of the phrase “If the gloves don’t fit, then you must acquit.”
Risk compensation / Peltzman effect The tendency to take greater risks when perceived safety increases.
Selection bias The tendency to notice something more when something causes us to be more aware of it, such as when we buy a car, we tend to notice similar cars more often than we did before. They are not suddenly more common – we just are noticing them more. Also called the Observational Selection Bias.
Selective perception The tendency for expectations to affect perception.
Semmelweis reflex The tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts a paradigm.[31]
Sexual overperception bias / sexual underperception bias The tendency to over-/underestimate sexual interest of another person in oneself.
Social comparison bias The tendency, when making decisions, to favour potential candidates who don’t compete with one’s own particular strengths.[88]
Social desirability bias The tendency to over-report socially desirable characteristics or behaviours in oneself and under-report socially undesirable characteristics or behaviours.[89]
Status quo bias The tendency to like things to stay relatively the same (see also loss aversion, endowment effect, and system justification).[90][91]
Stereotyping Expecting a member of a group to have certain characteristics without having actual information about that individual.
Subadditivity effect The tendency to judge probability of the whole to be less than the probabilities of the parts.[92]
Subjective validation Perception that something is true if a subject’s belief demands it to be true. Also assigns perceived connections between coincidences.
Surrogation Losing sight of the strategic construct that a measure is intended to represent, and subsequently acting as though the measure is the construct of interest.
Survivorship bias Concentrating on the people or things that “survived” some process and inadvertently overlooking those that didn’t because of their lack of visibility.
Time-saving bias Underestimations of the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (or decreasing) from a relatively low speed and overestimations of the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (or decreasing) from a relatively high speed.
Third-person effect Belief that mass communicated media messages have a greater effect on others than on themselves.
Parkinson’s law of triviality The tendency to give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. Also known as bikeshedding, this bias explains why an organization may avoid specialized or complex subjects, such as the design of a nuclear reactor, and instead focus on something easy to grasp or rewarding to the average participant, such as the design of an adjacent bike shed.[93]
Unit bias The standard suggested amount of consumption (e.g., food serving size) is perceived to be appropriate, and a person would consume it all even if it is too much for this particular person.[94]
Weber–Fechner law Difficulty in comparing small differences in large quantities.
Well travelled road effect Underestimation of the duration taken to traverse oft-traveled routes and overestimation of the duration taken to traverse less familiar routes.
Women are wonderful effect A tendency to associate more positive attributes with women than with men.
Zero-risk bias Preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.
Zero-sum bias A bias whereby a situation is incorrectly perceived to be like a zero-sum game (i.e., one person gains at the expense of another).

Social biases

Most of these biases are labeled as attributional biases.

Name Description
Actor-observer bias The tendency for explanations of other individuals’ behaviors to overemphasize the influence of their personality and underemphasize the influence of their situation (see also Fundamental attribution error), and for explanations of one’s own behaviors to do the opposite (that is, to overemphasize the influence of our situation and underemphasize the influence of our own personality).
Authority bias The tendency to attribute greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure (unrelated to its content) and be more influenced by that opinion.[95]
Cheerleader effect The tendency for people to appear more attractive in a group than in isolation.[96]
Defensive attribution hypothesis Attributing more blame to a harm-doer as the outcome becomes more severe or as personal or situational similarity to the victim increases.
Egocentric bias Occurs when people claim more responsibility for themselves for the results of a joint action than an outside observer would credit them with.
Extrinsic incentives bias An exception to the fundamental attribution error, when people view others as having (situational) extrinsic motivations and (dispositional) intrinsic motivations for oneself
False consensus effect The tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them.[97]
Forer effect (aka Barnum effect) The tendency to give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. For example, horoscopes.
Fundamental attribution error The tendency for people to over-emphasize personality-based explanations for behaviors observed in others while under-emphasizing the role and power of situational influences on the same behavior[74] (see also actor-observer bias, group attribution error, positivity effect, and negativity effect).[75]
Group attribution error The biased belief that the characteristics of an individual group member are reflective of the group as a whole or the tendency to assume that group decision outcomes reflect the preferences of group members, even when information is available that clearly suggests otherwise.
Halo effect The tendency for a person’s positive or negative traits to “spill over” from one personality area to another in others’ perceptions of them (see also physical attractiveness stereotype).[98]
Illusion of asymmetric insight People perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers’ knowledge of them.[99]
Illusion of external agency When people view self-generated preferences as instead being caused by insightful, effective and benevolent agents.
Illusion of transparency People overestimate others’ ability to know them, and they also overestimate their ability to know others.
Illusory superiority Overestimating one’s desirable qualities, and underestimating undesirable qualities, relative to other people. (Also known as “Lake Wobegon effect”, “better-than-average effect”, or “superiority bias“.)[100]
Ingroup bias The tendency for people to give preferential treatment to others they perceive to be members of their own groups.
Just-world hypothesis The tendency for people to want to believe that the world is fundamentally just, causing them to rationalize an otherwise inexplicable injustice as deserved by the victim(s).
Moral luck The tendency for people to ascribe greater or lesser moral standing based on the outcome of an event.
Naïve cynicism Expecting more egocentric bias in others than in oneself.
Naïve realism The belief that we see reality as it really is – objectively and without bias; that the facts are plain for all to see; that rational people will agree with us; and that those who don’t are either uninformed, lazy, irrational, or biased.
Outgroup homogeneity bias Individuals see members of their own group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups.[101]
Self-serving bias The tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to their interests (see also group-serving bias).[102]
Shared information bias Known as the tendency for group members to spend more time and energy discussing information that all members are already familiar with (i.e., shared information), and less time and energy discussing information that only some members are aware of (i.e., unshared information).[103]
System justification The tendency to defend and bolster the status quo. Existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred, and alternatives disparaged, sometimes even at the expense of individual and collective self-interest. (See also status quo bias.)
Trait ascription bias The tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior, and mood while viewing others as much more predictable.
Ultimate attribution error Similar to the fundamental attribution error, in this error a person is likely to make an internal attribution to an entire group instead of the individuals within the group.
Worse-than-average effect A tendency to believe ourselves to be worse than others at tasks which are difficult.[104]

Memory errors and biases

In psychology and cognitive science, a memory bias is a cognitive bias that either enhances or impairs the recall of a memory (either the chances that the memory will be recalled at all, or the amount of time it takes for it to be recalled, or both), or that alters the content of a reported memory. There are many types of memory bias, including:

Name Description
Bizarreness effect Bizarre material is better remembered than common material.
Choice-supportive bias In a self-justifying manner retroactively ascribing one’s choices to be more informed than they were when they were made.
Change bias After an investment of effort in producing change, remembering one’s past performance as more difficult than it actually was.[105][unreliable source?]
Childhood amnesia The retention of few memories from before the age of four.
Conservatism or Regressive bias Tendency to remember high values and high likelihoods/probabilities/frequencies as lower than they actually were and low ones as higher than they actually were. Based on the evidence, memories are not extreme enough.[86][87]
Consistency bias Incorrectly remembering one’s past attitudes and behaviour as resembling present attitudes and behaviour.[106]
Context effect That cognition and memory are dependent on context, such that out-of-context memories are more difficult to retrieve than in-context memories (e.g., recall time and accuracy for a work-related memory will be lower at home, and vice versa).
Cross-race effect The tendency for people of one race to have difficulty identifying members of a race other than their own.
Cryptomnesia A form of misattribution where a memory is mistaken for imagination, because there is no subjective experience of it being a memory.[105]
Egocentric bias Recalling the past in a self-serving manner, e.g., remembering one’s exam grades as being better than they were, or remembering a caught fish as bigger than it really was.
Fading affect bias A bias in which the emotion associated with unpleasant memories fades more quickly than the emotion associated with positive events.[107]
False memory A form of misattribution where imagination is mistaken for a memory.
Generation effect (Self-generation effect) That self-generated information is remembered best. For instance, people are better able to recall memories of statements that they have generated than similar statements generated by others.
Google effect The tendency to forget information that can be found readily online by using Internet search engines.
Hindsight bias The inclination to see past events as being more predictable than they actually were; also called the “I-knew-it-all-along” effect.
Humor effect That humorous items are more easily remembered than non-humorous ones, which might be explained by the distinctiveness of humor, the increased cognitive processing time to understand the humor, or the emotional arousal caused by the humor.[108]
Illusion of truth effect That people are more likely to identify as true statements those they have previously heard (even if they cannot consciously remember having heard them), regardless of the actual validity of the statement. In other words, a person is more likely to believe a familiar statement than an unfamiliar one.
Illusory correlation Inaccurately remembering a relationship between two events.[5][67]
Lag effect The phenomenon whereby learning is greater when studying is spread out over time, as opposed to studying the same amount of time in a single session. See also spacing effect.
Leveling and sharpening Memory distortions introduced by the loss of details in a recollection over time, often concurrent with sharpening or selective recollection of certain details that take on exaggerated significance in relation to the details or aspects of the experience lost through leveling. Both biases may be reinforced over time, and by repeated recollection or re-telling of a memory.[109]
Levels-of-processing effect That different methods of encoding information into memory have different levels of effectiveness.[110]
List-length effect A smaller percentage of items are remembered in a longer list, but as the length of the list increases, the absolute number of items remembered increases as well. For example, consider a list of 30 items (“L30”) and a list of 100 items (“L100”). An individual may remember 15 items from L30, or 50%, whereas the individual may remember 40 items from L100, or 40%. Although the percent of L30 items remembered (50%) is greater than the percent of L100 (40%), more L100 items (40) are remembered than L30 items (15).[111][further explanation needed]
Misinformation effect Memory becoming less accurate because of interference from post-event information.[112]
Modality effect That memory recall is higher for the last items of a list when the list items were received via speech than when they were received through writing.
Mood-congruent memory bias The improved recall of information congruent with one’s current mood.
Next-in-line effect People taking turns speaking in a group tend to have diminished recall for the words of others[clarify] who spoke immediately before them.[113]
Part-list cueing effect That being shown some items from a list and later retrieving one item causes it to become harder to retrieve the other items.[114]
Peak-end rule That people seem to perceive not the sum of an experience but the average of how it was at its peak (e.g., pleasant or unpleasant) and how it ended.
Persistence The unwanted recurrence of memories of a traumatic event.[citation needed]
Picture superiority effect The notion that concepts that are learned by viewing pictures are more easily and frequently recalled than are concepts that are learned by viewing their written word form counterparts.[115][116][117][118][119][120]
Positivity effect (Socioemotional selectivity theory) That older adults favor positive over negative information in their memories.
Primacy effect, recency effect & serial position effect That items near the end of a sequence are the easiest to recall, followed by the items at the beginning of a sequence; items in the middle are the least likely to be remembered.[121]
Processing difficulty effect That information that takes longer to read and is thought about more (processed with more difficulty) is more easily remembered.[122]
Reminiscence bump The recalling of more personal events from adolescence and early adulthood than personal events from other lifetime periods.[123]
Rosy retrospection The remembering of the past as having been better than it really was.
Self-relevance effect That memories relating to the self are better recalled than similar information relating to others.
Source confusion Confusing episodic memories with other information, creating distorted memories.[124]
Spacing effect That information is better recalled if exposure to it is repeated over a long span of time rather than a short one.
Spotlight effect The tendency to overestimate the amount that other people notice your appearance or behavior.
Stereotypical bias Memory distorted towards stereotypes (e.g., racial or gender).
Suffix effect Diminishment of the recency effect because a sound item is appended to the list that the subject is not required to recall.[125][126]
Suggestibility A form of misattribution where ideas suggested by a questioner are mistaken for memory.
Tachypsychia When time perceived by the individual either lengthens, making events appear to slow down, or contracts.[127]
Telescoping effect The tendency to displace recent events backward in time and remote events forward in time, so that recent events appear more remote, and remote events, more recent.
Testing effect The fact that you more easily remember information you have read by rewriting it instead of rereading it.[128]
Tip of the tongue phenomenon When a subject is able to recall parts of an item, or related information, but is frustratingly unable to recall the whole item. This is thought to be an instance of “blocking” where multiple similar memories are being recalled and interfere with each other.[105]
Travis Syndrome Overestimating the significance of the present.[129] It is related to the enlightenment Idea of Progress and chronological snobbery with possibly an appeal to novelty logical fallacy being part of the bias.
Verbatim effect That the “gist” of what someone has said is better remembered than the verbatim wording.[130] This is because memories are representations, not exact copies.
von Restorff effect That an item that sticks out is more likely to be remembered than other items.[131]
Zeigarnik effect That uncompleted or interrupted tasks are remembered better than completed ones.

Common theoretical causes of some cognitive biases

A 2012 Psychological Bulletin article suggested that at least eight seemingly unrelated biases can be produced by the same information-theoretic generative mechanism that assumes noisy information processing during storage and retrieval of information in human memory.[5]

Individual differences in decision making biases

People do appear to have stable individual differences in their susceptibility to decision biases such as overconfidence, temporal discounting, and bias blind spot.[134] That said, these stable levels of bias within individuals are possible to change. Participants in experiments who watched training videos and played debiasing games showed medium to large reductions both immediately and up to three months later in the extent to which they exhibited susceptibility to six cognitive biases: anchoring, bias blind spot, confirmation bias, fundamental attribution error, projection bias, and representativeness.[135]

Debiasing

Debiasing is the reduction of biases in judgment and decision making through incentives, nudges, and training. Cognitive bias mitigation and cognitive bias modification are forms of debiasing specifically applicable to cognitive biases and their effects.


Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

Further References

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P.. (2003). Common Method Biases in Behavioral Research: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommended Remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D.. (1973). Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Cognitive Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/0010-0285(73)90033-9
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A.. (1996). On the reality of cognitive illusions.. Psychological Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.103.3.582
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Oechssler, J., Roider, A., & Schmitz, P. W.. (2009). Cognitive abilities and behavioral biases. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2009.04.018
DOI URL
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Griffiths, T. L., Chater, N., Kemp, C., Perfors, A., & Tenenbaum, J. B.. (2010). Probabilistic models of cognition: exploring representations and inductive biases. Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.05.004
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Stanovich, K. E., & West, R. F.. (2008). On the Relative Independence of Thinking Biases and Cognitive Ability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.94.4.672
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Hallion, L. S., & Ruscio, A. M.. (2011). A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Cognitive Bias Modification on Anxiety and Depression. Psychological Bulletin

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1037/a0024355
DOI URL
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Gigerenzer, G.. (1991). How to make Cognitive Illusions Disappear: Beyond “Heuristics and Biases”. European Review of Social Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14792779143000033
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Roiser, J. P., Elliott, R., & Sahakian, B. J.. (2012). Cognitive mechanisms of treatment in depression. Neuropsychopharmacology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1038/npp.2011.183
DOI URL
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Haselton, M. G., Nettle, D., & Andrews, P. W.. (2015). The Evolution of Cognitive Bias. In The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1002/9780470939376.ch25
DOI URL
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Haselton, M. G., & Nettle, D.. (2006). The paranoid optimist: An integrative evolutionary model of cognitive biases. Personality and Social Psychology Review

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1207/s15327957pspr1001_3
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Croskerry, P.. (2003). The importance of cognitive errors in diagnosis and strategies to minimize them. Academic Medicine

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1097/00001888-200308000-00003
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Bertrand, M., & Morse, A.. (2011). Information Disclosure, Cognitive Biases, and Payday Borrowing. Journal of Finance

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2011.01698.x
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Ioannidis, J. P. A., Munafò, M. R., Fusar-Poli, P., Nosek, B. A., & David, S. P.. (2014). Publication and other reporting biases in cognitive sciences: Detection, prevalence, and prevention. Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.02.010
DOI URL
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Montibeller, G., & von Winterfeldt, D.. (2015). Cognitive and Motivational Biases in Decision and Risk Analysis. Risk Analysis

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/risa.12360
DOI URL
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Douglas, C., Bateson, M., Walsh, C., Bédué, A., & Edwards, S. A.. (2012). Environmental enrichment induces optimistic cognitive biases in pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.02.018
DOI URL
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Greenwald, A. G.. (1980). The totalitarian ego: Fabrication and revision of personal history. American Psychologist

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.35.7.603
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Bateson, M., Desire, S., Gartside, S. E., & Wright, G. A.. (2011). Agitated honeybees exhibit pessimistic cognitive biases. Current Biology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.05.017
DOI URL
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Peters, E. R., Moritz, S., Schwannauer, M., Wiseman, Z., Greenwood, K. E., Scott, J., … Garety, P. A.. (2014). Cognitive biases questionnaire for psychosis. Schizophrenia Bulletin

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/schbul/sbs199
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Hoppe, E. I., & Kusterer, D. J.. (2011). Behavioral biases and cognitive reflection. Economics Letters

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2010.11.015
DOI URL
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Marshall, J. A. R., Trimmer, P. C., Houston, A. I., & McNamara, J. M.. (2013). On evolutionary explanations of cognitive biases. Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2013.05.013
DOI URL
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Croskerry, P., Singhal, G., & Mamede, S.. (2013). Cognitive debiasing 1: Origins of bias and theory of debiasing. BMJ Quality and Safety

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2012-001712
DOI URL
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Das, T. K., & Teng, B. S.. (1999). Cognitive biases and strategic decision processes: An integratwe perspective. Journal of Management Studies

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/1467-6486.00157
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Gudmundsson, S. V., & Lechner, C.. (2013). Cognitive biases, organization, and entrepreneurial firm survival. European Management Journal

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2013.01.001
DOI URL
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Behavioral economics

Behavioral economics studies the effects of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions and how those decisions vary from those implied by classical theory.

Behavioral economics is primarily concerned with the bounds of rationality of economic agents. Behavioral models typically integrate insights from psychology, neuroscience and microeconomic theory. The study of behavioral economics includes how market decisions are made and the mechanisms that drive public choice. The three prevalent themes in behavioral economics are:

In 2002, psychologist Daniel Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences “for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty“. In 2013, economist Robert J. Shiller received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences “for his empirical analysis of asset prices.” (within the field of behavioral finance). In 2017, economist Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for “his contributions to behavioral economics and his pioneering work in establishing that people are predictably irrational in ways that defy economic theory.”

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_economics

Cognitive bias codex

Home

Website keywords: Liberty of thought; Freedom of thought; Sovereignty of consciousness; Psychological self-determination; Neuroethics, Neurorights; Mental integrity; Psychological continuity; Psycho-cybernetics.

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is deeply concerned about this course of action including the disproportionate sentence imposed on Mr. Assange.
Read the official UN statement

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“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and ilis not afraid … Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.”

~ Nobel laureate Lord Bertrand Russell (1920) “Why Men Fight: A Method of Abolishing the International Duel” pp. 178-179
Full text (ebook) available on the Project Gutenberg:
www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/55610


“It must not be supposed that the officials in charge of education desire the young to become educated. On the contrary, their problem is to impart information without imparting intelligence. Education should have two objects: first, to give definite knowledge — reading and writing, languages and mathematics, and so on; secondly, to create those mental habits which will enable people to acquire knowledge and form sound judgments for themselves. The first of these we may call information, the second intelligence. The utility of information is admitted practically as well as theoretically; without a literate population a modern State is impossible. But the utility of intelligence is admitted only theoretically, not practically; it is not desired that ordinary people should think for themselves, because it is felt that people who think for themselves are awkward to manage and cause administrative difficulties. Only the guardians, in Plato’s language, are to think; the rest are to obey, or to follow leaders like a herd of sheep. This doctrine, often unconsciously, has survived the introduction of political democracy, and has radically vitiated all national systems of education.”

Bertrand Russell (1922) “Free Thought And Official Propaganda”
Full text available on the Internet Archive:
archive.org/stream/freethoughtoffic00russuoft

A definition of “Cognitive Liberty”

The term “Liberty” is etymologically derived from the Latin libertatem  which can translated as civil or political freedom, condition of a free man; absence of restraint;” cognate to liber “free”. Ex vi termini, “cognitive liberty” is semantically synonymous with “the right to psychological self-determination“. It implies that human creatures have the universal freedom (viz., sui iuris) to control and determine their own psychology, i.e., their cognitive processes, emotions, and all aspects of consciousness. It is thus essential to the universal principle of  freedom of thought (Article 91 of the Human Rights Act 1998) which in turn forms the basis (s.c., a condicio sine qua non) for the right to freedom of speech/expression. As Erich Fromm articulated it: “The right to express our thought, however, means something only if we are able to have our own thoughts; freedom from external authority is a lasting gain only if the inner psychological conditions are such that we are able to establish our own individuality” (Fromm, The fear of freedom, 1942; pp.207-208). Self-determination is a cardinal principle in international law (jus cogens).2 Given the significant recent advances in psychology, the neurosciences, computer science, and artificial intelligence, cognitive liberty is becoming a topic of great concern for all human beings. This website is specifically devoted to this timely topic and provides information from a diversity of sources (an integral interdisciplinary approach is adopted to elucidate the topic from a plurality of perspectives). Insights derived from psychology, the cognitive sciences, and the neurosciences enable the manipulation and control of cognition and consciousness, oftentimes specifically targeting unconscious processes. Moreover, advances in computer science and cybernetics (e.g., Bayesian algorithms/deep learning convolutional neural networks) enable science to systematically tailor and “steer” information (the flow of perceptual input) to affect cognition and emotion (and consequently behavior) in prespecified and highly predictable ways. Especially unconscious psychological processes can be effectively exploited because humans are generally unaware of the programmatic excitability of  unconscious mechanisms. This imbalance creates a power-differential between those who know how the human mind can be manipulated (viz., the financial power elite which utilizes media and a large segment of academic science for their purposes; cf. Mausfeld, 2017) and those who do not posses a detailed understanding of psychological manipulation and behavior modification techniques  (i.e., the general populous).  The list of evolutionarily inbuilt psychological weaknesses (vulnerable psychological  exploits) is long and has been extensively studied by several generations of scientist, specially in the domain of behavioral economics (i.e., Kahneman & Tversky’s “heuristics & biases” research agenda).
The following application provides a synopsis of numerous cognitive biases which are well documented in psychology:

Open ‘Cognitive Bias Codex’ application in a lightbox modal window (you can zoom via the mouse-wheel)
The adumbrated psychological & technological developments are unprecedented in the evolution of the human species and have far-reaching ramifications for life on this planet as a whole because it is obvious that human behavior has a significant detrimental impact on the ‘Earth System’ . The relatively novel terms anthropocene & holocene are used in this context of destruction and mass extinction. These terms refer to an important psychological self-reflective insight science has developed, the insight that human behavior destroys the global ecosystem. Because human behavior is governed by psychology it is crucial that human beings are allowed to think freely in order to be able to choose a more rational course of action. Freedom of thought needs to be fostered. Currently, a large proportion of society is transformed into mindless conformist consumers (i.e., by the mass-media and other cybernetic methods of psychological programing). This manipulative modus operandi seriously impedes the unfoldment of virtuous human potential (contrariwise primitive egocentric cognitive schemata are constantly reinforced in the ego-driven system of consumerism which is based on wish-fulfillment , satisfactions, ingestion, introjection, consumption, competition, comparison, and other egoic human “drives”).  In fact, the term homō consumens has been proposed as a more fitting substitute for homō sapiēns; a clearly self-inflated nomenclature which is etymologically derived from the Latin sapere3and thus translates into the wise or rational man – to be taxonomically exact homō sapiēns sapiēns – which duplicates the anthropocentric hubris.


The boiling frog analogy & Sôritês paradoxon

The boiling frog is an analogy describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is thrown suddenly into boiling hot water, it will immediately jump out. However, if the frog is put in cold water which is then slowly and gradually brought to a boil, it will not perceive the danger, sit still, and will therefore be cooked to death. Applied to human cognition & behavior the analogy could be interpreted as follow: If the environment changes gradually (microgenetically) in an incremental step-wise fashion, humans have great difficulty to recognize the change because each step in the evolution of the system (i.e., the change in the environment) is not drastic at all. However, over an elongated period of time the system changes significantly and the additive long-term effect of numerous small changes have extreme consequences. The question thus is: When does the system change from stable to chaotic, i.e., from “from lukewarm to boiling hot”. Per analogiam, the demarcation criterion between hot versus cold (chaotic versus stable) is not clearly defined. In the cognitive sciences this ambiguity is discussed under the header “vagueness of attributes”.4 In philosophy this is an ancient paradox known as Sôritês paradoxon (or the problem of the heap).5 The paradox is based on the seemingly simple question: When does a heap of sand become a heap? (When does the system “switch” from being life-supporting to deadly.)

Sôritês paradoxon can be expressed as a conditional syllogistic argument (modus ponens). N.B. You can replace the variable “grain of sand” with “toxic chemical molecules” in the context of environmental pollution; or with the “cutting down of trees” in the context of global deforestation; or with the “loss of species” in the context of anthropogenic reduction of biodiversity; et cetera pp.

  • 1 grain of sand does not make a heap.
  • If 1 grain of sand does not make a heap, then 2 grains do not either.
  • If 2 grains do not make a heap, then 3 grains don’t.
  • If 999999,99999 grains do not make a heap, then 1 million grains don’t.
  • ∞ ad infinitum…

Deductive conclusion

Ergo (Therefore)

  • 1 million grains don’t make a heap.

The Bald Man (phalakros) paradox is another allegory which illustrates the point: A man with a full head of hair is not bald. The removal of a single hair will not turn him into a bold man. However, diachronically, continuous repeated removal of single hairs will necessarily result in baldness. However, it is unclear when the “critical boundary” has been transgressed. In the psychology of reasoning this is termed the continuum fallacy. The informal logical fallacy pertains the argument that two states (i.e., cold vs. hot; falsum vs. verum) cannot be defined/quantised as distinct (and/or do not exist at all) because between them there exists a continuum of states (cf. many-valued logic/fuzzy logic). The fundamental question whether any continua exist in the physical world is a deep question in physics (cf. atomism). Deterministic Newtonian physics stipulates that reality is continuous. Per contrast, contemporary quantum physics is based on the notion of discrete states (quanta) as the notion of continuity appears to be invalid at the smallest Planck scale of physical existence.

Conditional Sôritês paradoxon in symbolic logic:

Mathematical Induction Sôritês paradoxon:

In linguistic terms, Sôritês paradoxon has been eloquently formulated by Black in 1937:

A symbol’s vagueness is held to consist in the existence of objects concerning which it is intrinsically impossible to say either that the symbol in question does, or does not, apply. …Reserving the terms of logic and mathematics for separate consideration, we can say that all “material” terms, all whose application requires the recognition of the presence of sensible qualities, are vague in the sense described. — M. Black (Vagueness: an exercise in logical analysis, 1937)

In the context of visual perception (psychophysics) Lord Bertrand Russel stated the following:

It is perfectly obvious, since colours form a continuum, that there are shades of colour concerning which we shall be in doubt whether to call them red or not, not because we are ignorant of the meaning of the word “red”, but because it is a word the extent of whose application is essentially doubtful. — B. Russell (Vagueness, 1923)

Figure 1. Sôritês paradoxon in visual brightness perception.

Figure 1 illustrates Sôritês paradoxon applied to visual perception (based on Russel’s argument). Adjacent luminance differences (e.g., tick-mark 1 versus 2) are indistinguishable by the human visual system while larger contrasts (e.g., tick mark 2 versus 3) are easily distinguishable.

For further information see my 2018 paper entitled: Sôritês paradoxon: Contextualism & borderline vagueness

Expand to display additional pertinent references
Voorhoeve, A., & Binmore, K.. (2006). Transitivity, the Sorites Paradox, and Similarity-Based Decision-making. Erkenntnis

, 64(1), 101–114.
Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/s10670-005-2373-1
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Keefe, R.. (2007). Vagueness Without Context Change. Mind

, 116(462), 275–292.
Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/mind/fzm275
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Litman, L., & Zelcer, M.. (2013). A cognitive neuroscience, dual-systems approach to the sorites paradox. Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence

, 25(3), 355–366.
Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/0952813X.2013.783130
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Ludwig, K., & Ray, G.. (2002). Vagueness And The Sorites Paradox. Noûs

, 36(s16), 419–461.
Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/1468-0068.36.s16.16
DOI URL
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Campbell, R.. (1974). The sorites paradox. Philosophical Studies

, 26(3–4), 175–191.
Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/BF00398877
DOI URL
directSciHub download

Hyde, D.. (2011). Sorites Paradox. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


The etymology of the term “Cognition

See also: www.etymology-of-creativity.ga

Cognition: That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.

mid-15c., cognicioun, “ability to comprehend, mental act or process of knowing,” from Latin cognitionem (nominative cognitio) “a getting to know, acquaintance, knowledge,” noun of action from past participle stem of cognoscere “to get to know, recognize,” from assimilated form of com“together” (see co-) + gnoscere “to know,” from PIE root *gno- “to know.” In 17c. the meaning was extended to include perception and sensation.

1375–1425; late Middle English cognicioun < Latin cognitiōn- (stem of cognitiō ), equivalent to cognit(us ), past participle of cognōscere ( co- co- + gni-, variant stem of gnōscere, nōscere, to learn (see know) + -tus past participle suffix) + -iōn- -ion

Edaward BernaysWalter LippmannBertold BrechtErich Fromm

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons—a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty million—who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.” (Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928)

  • Bernays, E. L. (1928). Propaganda. Horace Liveright.
  • Bernays, E. L. (1936). Freedom of Propaganda. Vital Speeches of the Day, 2(24), 744–746.
  • L’Etang, J. (1999). The father of spin: Edward L. Bernays and the birth of public relations. Public Relations Review, 25(1), 123–124.

“That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . [a]s a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power…. Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach. …  The public must be put in its place, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and roar of a bewildered herd.” (Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion, Chapter XV)

  • Lippmann, W. (1920). Liberty and the News. Museum.
  • Lippmann, W. (1970). The Phantom Public. Politics.

From 1930 onwards, Brecht became part of a wider complex of projects exploring the role of intellectuals (or “Tuis” as he called them) in a capitalist society. A Tui is an intellectual who sells his or her abilities and opinions as a commodity in the marketplace or who uses them to support the dominant ideology of an oppressive society. ] The German modernist theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht invented the term and used it in a range of critical and creative projects, including the material that he developed in the mid-1930s for his so-called Tui-Novel—an unfinished satire on intellectuals in the German Empire and Weimar Republic—and his epic comedy from the early 1950s, Turandot or the Whitewashers’ Congress. The word is a neologism that results from the acronym of a word play on “intellectual” (“Tellekt-Ual-In”).
According to Clark (2006):
“… the critique of intellectuals which Brecht developed… around the notion of ‘Tuismus’ engages a model of the public intellectual in which the self-image of the artist and thinker as a socially and politically engaged person corresponded to the expectations of the public.”

  • Clark, M. W. (2006). Hero or villain? Bertolt Brecht and the crisis surrounding June 1953. Journal of Contemporary History.
  • Hunt, T. C. N.-. (2004). Goodbye to Berlin:  For 200 years, German thinkers have shaped British intellectual life – but their influence is fading fast. The Guardian.

“It is very useful to differentiate between rational and irrational authority. By irrational authority I mean authority exercised by fear and pressure on the basis of emotional submission. This is the authority of blind obedience, the authority you will find most clearly expressed in all totalitarian countries.

But there is another kind of authority, rational authority by which I mean any authority which is based on competence and knowledge, which permits criticism, which by its very nature tends to diminish, but which is not based on the emotional factors of submission and masochism, but on the realistic recognition of the competence of the person for a certain job.”

― 1958. The Moral Responsibility of Modern Man, in: Merrill-Palmer. Quarterly of Behavior and Development, Detroit, Vol. 5, p. 6.


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Further References

Ienca, M., & Andorno, R.. (2017). Towards new human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology. Life Sciences, Society and Policy, 13(1), 5.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1186/s40504-017-0050-1
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Rose, N., & Abi-Rached, J.. (2014). Governing through the Brain: Neuropolitics, Neuroscience and Subjectivity. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3167/ca.2014.320102
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