2 thoughts on “The dangers of motivated reasoning”

  1. Posted 24/01/2018 at 14:32 | Permalink

    The discussion between Person A and Person B highlights one merit of motivated reasoning — namely, that it motivates reasoning. Person B’s determination to find fault in the studies may blind him to the folly of rent controls, but it does help to unearth whatever shortcomings there might be in the studies. This is a contribution to human understanding, which he might not have made if not so “motivated”. The problem is when they stop looking for the fault in the study and dismiss it simply because of its conclusion. Then there is no upside to their “motivation”.

  2. Posted 25/01/2018 at 17:35 | Permalink

    Here’s the real-life model for “Person B”:
    http://margaretmccartney.com/2016/10/25/nhs-is-failing-and-must-obviously-be-privatised/
    I don’t think this adds much to human understanding…

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