Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Blog Post: Homework Due Saturday 8/27/16 11:59 am

Write a thoughtful commentary on the article based on the following:

Article Link


*Big Ideas from Reason Chapter
In class discussions on Lateral Thinking & Fallacies
*Other IB Classes
*Pose a possible knowledge question

Possible Question Stems to Help You from Mr. Pavlat:




54 comments:

  1. Claire
    This article focuses on the ideal concept that whenever we began to dive into the particular beliefs that may seem unusual or ostracized, we are suffering from conformation bias, which is the mind’s tendency to support our preconceptions and ignore any information in opposition. We can easily begin to support a theory simple because we choose to focus on the evidence that is likewise in support. There are many ‘flaws’ in our thought process, apart from conformation bias we have human reasoning, which some might say developed as a mechanism for arguing. Even with human reasoning, we can end up making decisions that appear rational, but aren’t necessarily rational decisions. In English class, we read The Stranger by Albert Camus. In The Stranger, Meursault’s friend Raymond tells him about his mistress that cheated. Later on he responded to the infidelity by asking Meursault to write a letter so she can come back and he would sleep with her and spit in her face. During the time that we read The Stranger I couldn’t come up with any idea as to why Raymond would think even doing such a thing was okay. I always wondered what could make him believe that his decisions were rational. It all went right back into human reasoning. Raymond essentially developed beliefs that would result in irrational decisions motivated by his mistress cheating. If we consider the pervasiveness of conformation bias, then we can understand that it plays a major role in who or what we decide is better. Similar to the fallacies of informal reasoning, which can cause us to assume that something or someone is truthful because they say so or even cause us to attack or support a person instead of attacking or supporting their principle/reasoning. In what is called the “attraction effect” different options can motivate our decisions based on what is displayed better, even in the argumentative theory we may end up choosing whatever causes us to feel like we won or will win. When we consider something like Edward De Bono’s lateral thinking, he creates a new way of thinking and commercially advertises it as a way to free your mind from the box/existing patterns that they are in. De bono essentially uses the “attraction effect” and emphasizes on the need for creativity and “thinking outside of the box” to push for more widespread support. Based on experiments, they have found that we tend to be more susceptible to bias when we have to make a decision that will require further explanation or defending of our decision. I know that even in Art this motivated some of the decisions I made concerning my pieces. I knew that my pieces would all focus on feminism and how women can be brought down, but when I was creating my second to last piece I was stuck on what body shape my sculpture would be in. I created a shape that I liked and was completely fine with it, but then I had to consider the fact that everyone would ask me why I made that decision. So rather than have something I couldn’t explain, I recreated a shape that I could defend and support. Further into the article, instead of completely dismissing human reasoning as an error they said that it can all be ‘fixed’ with group thinking, which would balance out the bias. With group thinking we would essentially be making use of our argumentative minds. Although I wasn’t sure if I agreed with this view or not I can say that in Math class when we were practicing for the exam it was quite difficult for me at first and I wasn’t receiving the scores that I wanted. However, when some of us began working as a collective group I ended up with a five on the practice paper 2 exam. Even though group thinking is said to be beneficial, I can’t help but wonder if these positive results are simply short term. If group reasoning is really the answer then, How can reasoning affect the knowledge gained from mathematics?

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    1. I find it interesting that you were questioning Raymond's reasoning in "The Stranger", but not the protagonists?

      Instead of recreating the body shape, why not spend time justifying why you chose the initial shape made?

      Did you find the collective thinking of the seminar on Pygmalion beneficial?

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  2. Sabeena
    From reading the article I discovered that confirmation bias is when you think that your opinions and views are the result of you being rational and logical. However in actuality your opinions are the result of only paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information that contradicts your preconceived notions. Confirmation bias is one of the traits that is just in our human condition. As humans, our emotions often cloud up the area of the brain that reasons and applies logic. We constantly use language and emotions in order to strive for arguments that justify our beliefs or actions while believing that reason is the primary driving force. In this case, reasoning is not only about getting to the truth but convincing others to share our views even when the evidence is not sustainable. Our thought processes tend to confirm our own ideas. An example of this is in politics. Republicans and other conservatives tend to only read up and keep up with channels, newspapers, etc. that share the same beliefs and confirm their own ideas. The same goes with more left wing individuals or other liberals. For example. my own parents who are democrats never watch Fox news or read any papers that support the beliefs of conservatives. Rather, they stick to watching BBC news or other sources that support the way they think. Another example is from an episode of Wife Swap, a show where two opposite types of households swap mothers/wives in order to change each house for the better. I watched an episode where a woman who didn't really have a structured household swapped houses with a woman who stressed the importance of apocalypse preparedness. This family went to debt on end of the world insurance, food, bomb shelters, etc. preparing for it. When the new wife came in the family would show her and argue with her about how the world was going to end in 2012 and would show her loads of information and research about it. When the rules of the house changed in favor of the new wife, she demanded that instead of researching why the world was going to end, instead they could only research why it WASN'T. This way the family would be urged to explore the other side of the argument which they have been failing to see because of their confirmation bias. Instead of searching for evidence that doesn't support our cases we over exaggerate the evidence that does. This is an explanation for the framing effect where choices can be worded in a way that highlights the positive or negative aspects of the same decision, leading to changes in their appeal. This is also confirmation bias because we tend to make decisions based on whether we can justify it. For example, in IB HOA we studied how WW2 started because of Hitler invading Poland. While Britain and France were opposed to this idea, Hitler persistently claimed that it was a defensive action and appealed to the Germans by telling them that it would be used as living space . Without consulting anyone else or being open to the suggestions of other European nations, Hitler took action and kept justifying his reasoning. He would convince the German people that his choice of actions is correct appealing to their emotions and playing on their fears which is a fallacy.
    Even though individual thinking can be questionable because of our urge to justify ourselves, collective intelligence is proven to be a more effective way of thinking. This is because group thinking promotes communication and helps listeners see the merits of information that is otherwise ignored.

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    1. Can you think of instances when collective intelligence is dangerous? That reminds me....I woe you all a video.

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  3. Jenifer:
    Reason is what we use in order to understand different ways of knowing and helping ourselves understand the world around us. As human beings we all think differently in terms of why it is certain things came to be thus creating argumentative thinking. For example within our history class last year we were asked to choose a side on whether or not the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was valid. In this debate different areas such as factual understanding like knowing the Japanese fought on samurai war tactics which is fighting to the death and morality like the death and after effect on many innocent lives. Each area in which we surround our thought and ideas on a daily basis assisted in providing reasonable evidence to aid our argument. Another thing is that this was also done in groups meaning there were multiple individuals with different thought processes and theories as to why their side was correct. This is similar to the concept of lateral thinking in terms of new ideas being brought out. When providing reasons within our arguments new theories also plays a role human beings naturally have an argumentative mind when it comes to things that we strongly believe in. Sometimes I feel that this limits the understanding of other ideas and resulting in unreasonable arguments and extremely lateral thinking in order to get your point across. One prime example is a current group today called ISIS. This small terrorist group uses violence such as bombing since they believe violence is the best way to send their message across however their entire group centralizes on the basis of religion which using violence doesn’t seem reasonable. Extreme thoughts such as these creates a negativity on argumentative thinking especially if there are multiple people who have the same extreme thought process. Although emotions are inevitable in terms of strong beliefs that we hold since they are personal they can sometimes overshadow the factual aspect of reasoning resulting the loss of validity within an argument.
    KQ: To what extent can reason be based on emotion rather than facts in the arts?

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    1. The KQ is convoluted.
      Can you clarify what you are attempting to ask?

      With your ISIS example...is collective knowledge apropos with its application to ISIS? I agree that irrational thinking is plays a big role. Certainly emotions as a WOK play a big role as well. Additionally, religious language plays a big role.

      Your examples also make me think of cults. Are they examples of collective knowledge gone wrong? indoctrination? How do we distinguish the two?

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  4. Aakilah
    This article brought up a lot of interesting points related to reason and fallacies. The discussion about confirmation bias is something that is very evident to me. When i did the De Bono’s hat exercise I realized that I found more information on my preconceptions about the university. I chose the university because I had bad assumptions about it and my strongest hat was the black hat which asked for the negative aspects and cautions we had about it. The paragraph I wrote for the hat about positives of the university was the smallest because our minds tend to ignore what goes against what we believe or feel. When doing an activity that was supposed to encourage lateral thinking my mind still focused on the information that confirmed my preconceptions. As the article brought up I also see this when looking at people who support political parties. These people tend to support candidates and when they are asked to explain why they only bring up positives about the candidate. This argument may not be very effective because they are ignoring the positives about the other candidate's views.
    Another interesting aspect of this article was the discussion about how we tend to make decisions where it would be easy to justify them. This might not be the best decision for you but because you have an excuse you’ll still make that decision. When I took Economics we discussed some strategies businesses use to sell their products. Much like the example given when three products are presented and product a is the cheapest, and product b and c are more expensive but have more benefits. More people will choose product B because they feel that are getting a good deal. The decision doesn't benefit them because some of the benefits aren't important to them but they are still paying more for it. Marketers understand and regularly use this fallacies to make more expensive products seem worth the buy. When looking at other fallacies used I noticed the close relationship between emotion and reason. A lot of fallacies are dependent on our emotions and appeal to fear or sympathy. This led me to a potential knowledge question of: How can artists eliminate the influence of emotion when reasoning?

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    1. So are fallacies intentionally built in to ads because the public is so easily duped?

      What exactly are you asking with your KQ?

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  5. Jody

    Within the TOK textbook, reason is defined as being able to measure and balance the justification for ideas in a well thought out manner. It is also said that reason leads to understanding, assessments, balance and to also decipher hidden meanings/messages. However, within the article it is said that human reasoning evolved to help us argue, which in turn allows us to come to solutions as a group that we couldn't reach individually. To add evidence to this claim, psychologist David Moshman and Molly Geil used results from a performance in the Wason selection test. Within this test, less than 10% of people got the right answer while tackling it on their own, however, in a group of five or six individuals 75% of the groups were successful. This stems the question, is working in (small) groups the best way to formulate solutions and why? In my opinion, I agree with the article that working in small groups is a more effective way to reach solutions than working individually or in a large group because in a small group it is more likely to have 100% participation so that each individual's own thoughts are shared and small groups also allow people who usually do not participate in discussions the chance to participate since there is less room to hide. I remember in French class last year how little I participated because it wasn't a small group of people and I knew little to no French at all. Thus, I didn't participate as much as I wanted to or should have. However, this year my French class consist of four students and so I have realized that ever since the class started I have participated a lot more than I usually do. On the other hand, working individually will most likely lead to confirmation bias and away from lateral thinking. This is because our brains are hardwired to pick and choose information that already supports our preconceptions while ignoring evidence that supports the contrary instead of looking for other patterns or in other words “thinking outside the box”. An example of this occurred during the nine dot puzzle that we were assigned to complete during our TOK class. My confirmation bias let me to think that in order to connect all nine dots using only four straight lines I had to stay within the boundaries of the box and that in order to start a new line I had to do it on a dot instead of between two dots or even outside of the dots. Similarly, working in large groups will most likely lead to Red Herrings (a fallacy that occurs when a diversion is spurred on by any relevant point) since it will be easy to stray off topic.
    KQ: How can one eliminate the effect of confirmation bias (sense perception) within the arts?

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    1. Put your KQ to the test. Portable? about knowledge? open-ended?

      What are the downfalls to collective knowledge? shared knowledge? What are the powers in personal knowledge?

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  6. Mabel(:

    Through this article, I was able to gain a better understanding of the many flaws in human nature when it comes to arguing and making decisions. With confirmation bias,for example, people often pick at what supports their beliefs and neglect any information to the contrary. Whether you have noticed or not, this type of reasoning is done very often. This connects to people's desires to always wanting to be right, which is what we previously learned in the sense perception chapter. However, because of this, we tend to stray away from the flaws in our argument and the affects how we come to a conclusion. I found it very interesting how most persuasive lines of reasoning are not always logical because we are just trying to justify our actions and convince others to our point of view. But because of skepticism, we are able to find the flaws in other people’s arguments, which not only allows us to come to better solutions, but also causes new ideas and inventions. Skepticism and the ability to find flaws in what other people are thinking allows us to discover the unstated assumptions in an argument. Without this, the flaws may remain hidden, causing us to miss a weakness that can undermine the strength of our arguments. In many of our class discussions in my literature class last year, people would express their view on the topic or book we just went over and the rest of my classmates who had opposing views were quick to reject their statement and pick out the flaws in their argument, as they would back it up with their opinion, what they feel is more accurate, and the unstated assumptions. This is actually what made the discussions most interesting; people would bring out their opinions and others would counter and support it with information they discovered themselves and the flaws in other people's thinking. This brought out more critical thinking and allowed us to come to better conclusions. This also connects to the importance and effectiveness of group work. I did not really understand why teachers would constantly make us do group, but now I see that it brings out more critical thinking, bring out the flaws in others argument, allows different ideas and opinions to come together, allowing us to break down arguments and come up with clear and concise conclusions. It was also interesting to notice how often times, reasoning has more to do with emotions then logic, especially when it comes to gut reactions to moral transgressions. Leading back to the reasoning chapter when they were referring to some of the six fallacies, I noticed that the majority of them somehow appealed to emotion. Like one of them dealt with persuading people through pity and another through fear. Since it appealed to this type of emotion, people are in a way blinded by the flaws embedded into the speaker’s argument because they are more worried about the factor that appealed to their fear or pity.



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    1. So what would you say the relationship is between emotion and reason? How can we resolve conflicts between emotion and reason?

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  7. Bintou

    Reason is usually defined as a way that we build our knowledge and to evaluate on it. We learned that reason can be inductive or deductive, and can play a part in using the other Areas of Knowledge. In inductive reasoning, we justify our choices based on specific cases and observations we find. But sometimes there can be errors in our reasoning, called fallacies that can lead us to think poorly on our choices. An article in New Scientist explores a common fallacy we make when comparing and deciding on similar situations, called confirmation bias. It is believed that when we decide on choices, we can pick one without viewing sufficient evidence on the others, like when choosing between cellphone plans. How is our reasoning evolved to make these poor choices? (KQ) The article says that even our ancestors have been discerning on who to trust in the exchange of communications between others, so people started to judge on other people’s claims. People can be easily persuaded on one claim by being attracted to its extremes (the “attraction effect”) or by how the claim is presented (the “framing effect”).

    How can we use other thinking methods to combat confirmation bias? (KQ) The article suggests an argumentative, collaborative approach on making decisions. Collaborating in a group can help the individuals evaluate their ideas with others so a better reasonable decision can be made among them. We can also use Edward De Bono’s lateral thinking method, by thinking creatively and looking “between the lines” in each claim. Thinking about every detail in the claims can help make a better comparison between them and a reasonable decision can be made. De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats can also be used by separating the decision-making process into the six categories in the method, which can also make you think in detail on these choices.

    Collaborative and argumentative thinking is very important when thinking for ideas in Student Government, for example. As secretary, I am responsible for writing down the ideas we talk about during our meetings. We collaborate on fun student activities for each grade, like themes for Spirit Day and senior activities. We make sure that the students have an enjoyable experience during their high school years. In IB Biology, we usually work together on class experiments, thinking collaboratively and argumentatively in order to write accurate data and answer questions reasonably.

    This article is a very interesting read on a common fallacy and a collaborative, argumentative way to solve it. Reason is a very complex concept that relies on the way we build our knowledge and evaluate on it. Fallacies are very common, and can lead to poor decision-making if we don’t treat it correctly. The article mentions about “groupthink” in which “dissent is stifled and alternative courses of action are ignored, often resulting in disastrous decisions.” I believe that if they are encouraged to share alternative ideas, this problem will be solved. Learning all about reason have made me think of being better at decision-making than before.

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  8. Brea
    Inquiries: To what extent does confirmation bias play a role in luxury spending habits?
    Is emotion the main component of debating, or is it reason?
    How does collective intelligence play a role in the social development of school-age children?
    Suggest: This selection expands into the reason and emotion TOK chapters through the social studies made by scientists. One of the interesting aspects of this reading is based on the idea that our choice of decisions that look rational, is actually preventing us from making truly rational decisions. The confirmation bias of wanting to get a good deal on buying a phone was demonstrated in a picture. The study done on this had shown that while people only needed the basic set, they would choose advanced given out of the three options to feel as if they had saved money. The true rational decision would have been to keep the basic set if you didn't intend to use up the space. Emotion is the main component of debating,while reason is what's used in order to defend your position. The text supports this through the group study, and the study on adding disgust to a topic. The group studies had shown that when you place people who tend towards emotions, the group could get through the problems better. The disgust study had shown that placing the emotion of disgust on a topic caused harsher judgement to be given by the people in the study. Additionally,the reason chapter in TOK discusses how in reasoning, fallacies can begin to occur when your emotion is linked to what your perception is being focused on. The fallacy of appealing to fear is an example. Collective Intelligence can be present in the role of schoolchildren. It could be taught through more group projects, with an activity that follows up on what the students have learned. The chapter points out that while collective intelligence is great for solving problems, it could possibly lead to groupthink. While that only occasionally could happen, researchers stated that collective thinking in students actually improved on tasks getting done. This process is similar to group land done in school, or working on math problems together. Complex problems can become simplified when everyone participates in the session.
    Expand: In theory of knowledge, we often read that different ways of thinking can improve our work ethic, how we learn etc. Usually the thinking patterns include thinking without emotion, stepping out of confirmation bias, or using purely logic or a collective group working together. In this particular reading, I want to know more implications that stem from researchers attempting to stem the idea of logical thinking. Does this lead to a disconnect from empathy? Also, is thinking with emotion truly inhibiting, or does it have its pros and cons like all the other ways of knowing. I would like to expand more into the idea of collective intelligence through possible tests done in group work versus working alone. What we have learned in class through reason has been useful, but can other commentators give me more insight into how reason connects to this popular way of thinking?

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    1. Are we more likely to make rational decisions when the decisions have to be run past other people? Do we make more emotional decisions in isolation?

      Delete
  9. Brea
    Inquiries: To what extent does confirmation bias play a role in luxury spending habits?
    Is emotion the main component of debating, or is it reason?
    How does collective intelligence play a role in the social development of school-age children?
    Suggest: This selection expands into the reason and emotion TOK chapters through the social studies made by scientists. One of the interesting aspects of this reading is based on the idea that our choice of decisions that look rational, is actually preventing us from making truly rational decisions. The confirmation bias of wanting to get a good deal on buying a phone was demonstrated in a picture. The study done on this had shown that while people only needed the basic set, they would choose advanced given out of the three options to feel as if they had saved money. The true rational decision would have been to keep the basic set if you didn't intend to use up the space. Emotion is the main component of debating,while reason is what's used in order to defend your position. The text supports this through the group study, and the study on adding disgust to a topic. The group studies had shown that when you place people who tend towards emotions, the group could get through the problems better. The disgust study had shown that placing the emotion of disgust on a topic caused harsher judgement to be given by the people in the study. Additionally,the reason chapter in TOK discusses how in reasoning, fallacies can begin to occur when your emotion is linked to what your perception is being focused on. The fallacy of appealing to fear is an example. Collective Intelligence can be present in the role of schoolchildren. It could be taught through more group projects, with an activity that follows up on what the students have learned. The chapter points out that while collective intelligence is great for solving problems, it could possibly lead to groupthink. While that only occasionally could happen, researchers stated that collective thinking in students actually improved on tasks getting done. This process is similar to group land done in school, or working on math problems together. Complex problems can become simplified when everyone participates in the session.
    Expand: In theory of knowledge, we often read that different ways of thinking can improve our work ethic, how we learn etc. Usually the thinking patterns include thinking without emotion, stepping out of confirmation bias, or using purely logic or a collective group working together. In this particular reading, I want to know more implications that stem from researchers attempting to stem the idea of logical thinking. Does this lead to a disconnect from empathy? Also, is thinking with emotion truly inhibiting, or does it have its pros and cons like all the other ways of knowing. I would like to expand more into the idea of collective intelligence through possible tests done in group work versus working alone.

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  10. Beltine
    The main Idea of this article is to prove a the claim that human mind tends to pick and choose information to support their pre conception and ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber believe that humans reason evolves to help us argue.We have a need to justify our actions and convince others to support us. During this season of the presidential debates, we see lots of arguments and fallacy from candidates. They use these techniques to try to persuade a certain group of people. Let's take for instance trump, Trump is one of two political presidential candidates running for president, throughout his campaign he has been eating on people's fear and feeding exaggerated data. Not only does he do that, he also goes around insulting various races and religion, the people who make up this country. He appeals to the fears and emotions of people to get their support, like the attraction affect, people think trump is more fit for president because he speaks on issues that aren’t spoken about or are kept in hiding. There's the idea that we evolve and argue at the expense of the truth which is the motto trump follows. The article also states that 2 or more minds is better than one. Group reasoning and discussions prevent us from being too biased and more open to different perspectives.Not only do we gain more perspectives, we learn more. School systems are too focused on individual knowledge because they still want students to be able to justify their biases. During TOK we were assigned to a partner and given the task based on deductive and inductive reasoning. We had to state the argument, premise, and conclusion of a given statement. We used the definition of deductive reasoning starts with a general theory, statement, or hypothesis and then works its way down to a conclusion based on evidence) and Inductive reasoning (starts with a small observation or question and works it's way to a theory by examining the related issues) i and my partner worked together, I realized that we both fed off of each other's ideas and we we always had something to add or remove. Using the vocabulary from the reason chapter was part of the task but using it appropriately to find the conclusion and form a knowledge was what we first struggled on but later on understood.
    KQ:How does confirmation bias shape one's reason in an argument

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    1. We should watch the debate as a class and take a look at how the 4 main WOK are used by both candidates.

      Language (body language)
      Emotion (movements and language)
      Reason (fallacies? actual support)
      Sense Perception (choice of clothing by candidate)

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  11. Priscilla

    The ability to reason is something that we all have, in a way reasoning keeps us organized. Because when we reason we set goals, we solve problems, we also look in other perspectives and see other possibilities. But sometimes as humans, we refuse to reason past our capacity unless we are pushed to and that is when the group thinking mentioned in the article comes in. I agree with the article because it happens to me all the time, sometimes you are “stuck in your head” and can’t come up with any other alternatives but the fact that you can talk or bounce ideas of different people and examine how their reasons might be different from yours really increase the fluency of new ideas. Also being in a group makes one think out of their comfort zone and according to a ted talk video we had to watch in chemistry class, being able to think and gain new and difficult ideas, allows the neurons in the brain to form stronger connections. Not only does group thinking help with developing good ideas and ways of reasoning, it also strengthens our brain neurons. In the reason chapter, it talked about how “what we think” and “how we think” are affected by our environment which leads to us making generalizations and suffering from confirmation bias. Sometimes it’s difficult to find something as logical or reasonable when you know that there other ways of knowing like intuition, emotions and sense perception influencing your decisions. Other times I feel like our experiences helps us make reasonable decisions even though the chapter insists that we can’t rely on it. In class we talked about the validity and the lack of research and evidence of lateral thinking but lots of people use this technique. This brings me back to a question I had last class, “To what extent does mass recognition affect value in the different Areas of Knowledge?” Reading this chapter, I’m thinking that it’s a fallacy specifically the argument from ignorance. It seems like a lot of people are believing De Bono’s Lateral thinking but there isn’t evidence to show how valid it is. The article talked about how our evolved mind and reasoning makes us sceptics and allow us to critically think and to not be easily swayed by others arguments, but the question is “How can one rely on this evolved mind to recognize the biases of their own experiences?” I also realized that language also plays a role in how we reason especially in the section “Framing effect”. The example given showed that, the way language is formed can affect the way we reason. It also shows how people like to take the easy way out, we have the tendency to refuse critically thinking so we usually choose a response that we can easily justify and that is what happen in the studies conducted by Kahneman and Tversky. An example is the Executive Order 9066 we read in history, this order started the Japanese internment camps. It seemed like blaming the Japanese Americans was the easy and justifiable thing to do even though they might have nothing to do with Pearl Harbour. The Order stated many ways and reasons that the Japanese- Americans would betray this country but not ways that proved their loyalty. This goes back to confirmation bias and the “all” and “none” generalization, since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour that means that every Japanese is against America.

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    1. Can you identify fallacies in Exec Order 9066?

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  12. Shania
    I think that the article is very interesting. Especially in the first couple of pages where in some ways it shows the evolution of reason and why arguments are important. The first subject that popped into my head was history when they started talking about arguments. It all made sense considering how we have developed in human society based of the validation we receive through recognizing good arguments. In a way this leads us back to history because in history everything said or recorded is tested when it comes to credibility and we only believe something is credible when their is a viable argument to support it. So in IB HOA we talk about the authoritarian leader so if a statement about Haiti having the worst dictator within the 20th century then a credible argument will have to be establish to explain why this is true. The framing effect made me think of inductive reasoning because it is the way it is presented and/or framed that will affect the way people decide based on reasoning and the first outlook in inductive reasoning is observation which goes hand in hand with the framing effect. Personally I think it is a little pessimistic when you think of how human reasoning has evolved to the point where it is sometimes at the expense of the truth. However that is how life is and this development of human reasoning with the abilities to argue and persuade is used in business and the court room and other places. I believe the place where you will find easier to see this is in the court room because lawyers trade basically is to argue their point and persuade the jury to prosecute the sentence that is in their clients favor.


    Possible KQ: How does reasoning affect the credibility of history?

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    1. Are you asking about whether or not history can be objective? Why a pessimistic view? Is the framing effect the same is priming the pump? Do we steer the outcome by framing and priming?

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  13. Aniyah


    Possible KQ: To what extent does reason play a role in lateral thinking?

    One of the most intriguing part from the article was where it talked about how despite that it may prepare it appears we are making rational decisions we are really stopping ourselves from making true rational decisions. The article also brought up a term from the reason TOK chapter which was confirmation bias where people only remember what supports their belief, the article provides a study to demonstrate this, the study showed that although people only needed to buy a basic set they would buy the most advanced from the three options and felt as if they saved money when the real rational decision would be to stay with the basic set if they had no intentions of using up the space. Another intriguing point the article made was how although reason is used to defend our positions emotion is an important factor in debating which is shown in another study about when disgust is included into a discussion, when disgust was added to the subject the group had grown harsher with their judgement. Group studies had shown that a group of people who leaned to emotions rather than reason were better at effectively solving problems. Another term that referred back to the reason TOK chapter was fallacies, the article had mentioned how when these began to occur when we add emotion into our perception on what we are giving attention to. Last year in our IB English class our teacher, Mr. Adams, always stressed before we started discussions in class to hear what our peers had to say before deciding whether or not to accept or reject what they had to say. Because of this principle we found ourselves able to effectively communicate with one another about our ideas and thoughts. We also utilized reason in our IB Maths, during when we had to learn how to do truth tables in order to determine whether or not a statement is true.

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    1. Are we really listening to what the idea is or are we picking the idea apart as we go to identify weaknesses to exploit when it is our turn to respond.

      Metaphors We Live By
      Argument is War!

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  14. Ethel
    The article puts emphasis on the many flaws we have in the way we think for example confirmation bias. We are born with the ability to reason however how we think and what we think is influenced by the world around us. We make common mistakes with reasoning from the need to justify our actions and convince others that they are right even if they are wrong. In the article, Mercier states that we make decisions that may seem to be rational “rather than making genuinely rational decisions.” This reminded me of the universal generalizations fallacy in the reason chapter and how easy it is to make a conclusion when we repeatedly observe instances of a particular thing. There is no reasonable number that can tell us when we have enough evidence to make a conclusion based on a universal generalization because it only takes one false instance to make it invalid. I realized that language plays a major role in these generalizations because when we use the words “all” “none” “no” “never” or “nobody,” it makes our statements very fragile. The “all swans are white” example made me question when is ever the right time to make a conclusion or if there even is a right time. This showed me that universal generalizations are clearly easy to be proved wrong because somewhere in the world there is evidence that can counter that generalization. It doesn't matter how much research if done or how large the numbers, inductive reasoning can not give us certainty and universal conclusions can “never” be proved wrong.
    The framing effect is something I found very interesting and true because people definitely have different reactions depending on how words are framed. When given options, people will choose the one that is easiest to justify and to prove to others that that is the right decision which is the main cause of bias in our reasoning. This creates the bases for the argument that emotion rather than reason drives people to make moral decisions and it led me to the question ; what distinguishes a decision driven from emotion and one driven from reason? This reminds me of our TOK presentation and the “trolley problem” where people were asked to choose between letting one person on a rolling cart die in order to save five people or saving his life and letting five people die. Many people chose saving 5 people and letting the person on the cart die because it is easy to justify that it is better to save more lives at the expense of one life. This shows that we jump to conclusions based on what we feel is the right thing to do and if so are our decisions truly reasonable. We can use reason to recognize our biases and to think about our ways of thinking in order to learn to reason better.

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    1. Is saving 5 people rational or emotional? One could assume that it is rational to save more people unless information was presented that the 1 person that was not saved was the person liked the least?

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  15. Mariatu

    Throughout this article, one of the things that stood out to me was the discussion about forgetting rationality and being right or wrong. Also, it is mentioned how humans create many flaws when it comes to arguing and making decisions. In TOK, we recently watched a video about being able to tell what an argument is. In order to tell what an argument is, you need to have claims, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. We did an activity where we read a short reading and had to tell what was the person’s argument. This brings me back to what was being explained in the article about confirmation basis. Confirmation bias is where people often pick at what supports and beliefs neglect any information to the contrary. With confirmation bias for example, in my TOK essay I used the Big Bang theory. The Big Bang theory is basically a construction of confirmation bias to those who want to believe that God doesn’t exist and that the Big Bang Theory is the only answer. So those people interpret new ideas and evidence in their favor for this confirmation. A quote from the article stood out to me as well. The quote reads “The idea that we evolve to argue and persuade, sometimes at the expense of the truth, may seem to offer a pessimistic view of human reasoning”. When reading this, it makes me think about me arguing with my parents. Of course, when arguing I want to be right and be able to do what I intended to do. So in some cases, if it means to stretch the truth and “make it seem better” I would want to do anything in my power to do so. For example, when talking about college with my parents they aren’t open minded. I have to be able to change up the truth about a university just so they can see my point of view. Yes, this is wrong and negative but sometimes in order to prove your reasoning you need to be able to persuade critically. To what extent does arguments influence one’s validity? Like I mentioned before, arguing doesn’t always mean that you will tell the truth so how does arguing influence if your statements are true or not? Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It’s good to be able to discuss whether something is valid or not. Also, to be able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of this. In IB Literature, one would state something about The Odyssey. Whenever one of my classmates state something and it doesn’t sit right with the rest of us we ask them what makes them think that/how do you know that and if they are able to prove it. For example, if one says that Odysseus is brave, we want them to be able to pull out the facts to prove to us how he was brave. Lateral thinking is the ability to think creatively or “outside the box”. In TOK class, we did an activity where we had to connect 9 dots, using only 4 straight lines. We all thought that this was impossible, but we had to really think about the rules given to us. Mr. Pavlat when up to the board and showed us one of the lines and we noticed that the line was “outside of the box” looking back at the rules, that was never said that we couldn’t do it. We have to be able to think outside of the scope when doing things. When we all came together as a group we were able to realize the rest of the lines. When discussing fallacies, I personally think that most of the time it's appealing to emotion. When reading something, they want you to be able to feel some type of way. For example, a fallacy that appeals to emotion is “Luke didn't want to eat his sheep's brains with chopped liver and brussel sprouts, but his father told him to think about the poor, starving children in a third world country who weren't fortunate enough to have any food at all.” After reading this, they obviously want the reader to feel sad about those who don’t eat meals and to be grateful for what you have. Lateral thinking, fallacies, arguments, confirmation bias, etc all appeal to one’s way of thinking.

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    1. Just imagine how often the truth is "stretched" (as you say) to prove and support a point. How often does that happen in scientific experiments? in history? with ethics? What are the dangers of that with respect to the manipulation of language to get people on our side?

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  16. Jefferson
    Of all the Information provided in the article, the most striking points can be derived from page 1 and page 4. Page 1 addresses one of the biggest faults in humanity which is, making generalizations or what the book refers to us the “confirmation bias.” The article describes it as our mind picking and choosing information to support our preconceptions while ignoring the evidence on the opposing end. For example, last year in History we discussed the internment of Japanese Americans and how they were treated during the Second World War and the reasoning as provided by the government did not justify their behavior. The government decided on putting these people in these camps because of the fear of an imminent attack, the problem is there were other factors that were abandoned, such as the failure to realize that most of these Japanese Americans had never been to Japan or have any affiliations with them besides the racial aspect, loyalty test even attested to this. In this scenario the whole concept of deductive reasoning comes into play, at that time Japan had just bomb Pearl Harbor, Japan was labeled as a threat now therefore all Japanese people whether they have any affiliation or not were scrutinized. Their premise in this argument was that Japan could attack America again, there were lots of people of Japanese ancestry near military zones so therefore these Japanese people posed a threat and our national security was under scrutiny.
    In terms of information being presented, sometimes people tend to react to it differently depending on how it’s being presented. The whole concept of lateral thinking is to generate new ideas and improve the current state. Companies do this in different ways to appease to consumers even without considering the ethical complications. The article cites an example on the differences in how the same information is interpreted when presented. In the article, as the author suggests, when a commercial state, “90% fat free” that sounds more appealing than it displaying “10 percent fat” because people with intentions of eating healthy will be drawn to what they feel like pushes them towards their goal. As we discussed during the discussions in class “assume nothing,” assumptions lead these consumers to believe that the former sounds better than the latter but in reality they are both as bad as the other and certain aspects such as weight are not considered in these calculations.
    The author then addresses the whole concept of morality, “Moral argumentation is not a search for Moral truth but a tool for moral persuasion,” I think the most blatant evident of this has to be the judiciary system and how people with the best lawyers tend to get away with the crime. Even if the lawyer knows that their client is guilty, morality is debunked. Most of these cases are won by finding the fault’s in the opposition’s evidence while backing it up with your side of the argument. Reasoning skills gives us the opportunity to defend an individual’s attempt in different ways, fallacies such as emotional appeal to pity can be used earn the suspect freedom. Attorney’s use emotionally disturbing evidence in an attempt to appeal to the jury and earn gain some support for their client.

    Knowledge Question: How is lateral thinking a requirement for creativity?
    How can one validate the credibility of collective intelligence if all members of the group don’t make the same amount of contribution?

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    1. Tell me more about the HOA example, please. What fallacies can you find in the argument of deciding on the use of the internment camps?

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  17. Emonee
    The article was a real eye opener to the complexity of our minds and logical reasonings. When it comes to forming our beliefs and opinions on particular issues; our minds are trained to confirm our own beliefs and perspectives based off of confirmation bias. During arguments, confirmation bias set limitations to other perspectives because we pick and choose what supports what we feel is right. Being human, we automatically have the intention to argue and justify our actions in order to convince people to see our point of view. Our minds can have a favorable consideration when it comes to seeing the flaws in others reasoning versus looking at the flaws in our own. In the reason chapter, it covers the fact that our reasonings grow within the context of our societies especially cultural ones. Culturally, we categorize people and features based off of what we are exposed to. Initially, how we think and what we think is influenced greatly by our place in the world. We often ignore information that disputes our expectations. Stereotypes are maintained because we are more likely not to remember consistent information which results in disconfirming evidence. For example, Americans voting in the 2016 presidential election has suffered from confirmation bias. A vast majority of the white middle class support him because they feel like they have not been a priority in America. They are voting for Trump because they have a belief that he represents hope. The white middle class believes that immigrants are getting a “free pass” and the Black Lives Matter movement is showing how African american’s lives are more important. In Trump’s presidential election, he supports and embodies the rage of the white middle class in order to make them believe he is actually going to make a change. Confirmation bias affects how information is gathered which results in misinterpretation and how people recall information. In an argument, when individuals are supporting or opposing a specific issue, they seek information that supports their beliefs. Persuasive ideas would be presented in order to maintain their logic and what they believe in. For example, in IB English, we often had class discussions about real-life situations that occurs. During the discussion, a person would voice their opinion and argue with they believe. Our sense of skepticism would cause us to automatically find the flaws in their argument if they voice something we do not believe is correct. We talked about a mother that killed her children because of terrible acts they did. Some people argued that she did not have to physically harm her children to the point of death. But others argued how we cannot speak for her emotions at that moment when the crime was committed; so we cannot judge her for her actions. Most of the arguments formed were based off our emotion so that affected how we interpreted each other's point of view. Our bias of what we believe is the right way affected how we understood why she commited the crime. It was a lot of controversy that made us question our point of view but our confirmation bias created the limitations to being more open minded to the different reasons. Everyday our minds are limited to upholding information that allows us to understand how our point of views can be wrong. It is a flaw that our minds suffer from that possibly could affect our views on the world around us.
    How has confirmation bias affected the validity of historical evidence?

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    1. Your KQ posed is an interesting one. Instead of How....use what role?
      What examples can you think of?

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  18. I found the article, “The argumentative ape,” very interesting and informative. The main theory or idea that I got out of this article was that we has humans are group oriented individuals that are able to reason better in group settings. The article discussed humans and human relations in prehistoric times when humans were in their primal state. During the primal state we as humans worked in groups in order to survive through gathering food and protecting one another. These groups also worked together and developed innovations and inventions that lead to our advance society today. The authors argued that because of this lineage we as humans are naturally group oriented individuals. However I have a hard time grasping this concept. It is evident that in the prehistoric times we as humans did have groups that we stuck together. But in modern times with the new lifestyle and seem more so in some countries than others , there is this emphasis on individualism. In today's society humans are very individualistic and in a way go through life looking out for only themselves and depending on only themselves. How then is this trait of group orientation natural if in modern society we do not gravitate towards it? One can argue that the way society is set up now a days hinders this natural tendency but if this trait was so inate would we as of society create this societal concepts like individualism if it was against our nature?

    The article also discussed the effectiveness or group thinking in school and how it should be used more often. This study was very interesting to because it showed how group thinking can benefit all students and be more effective. This study reminded me of our IB Math Studies class. In Math Studies when we were reviewing for the IB exam we worked in groups in order to complete past IB exams. As a group we used the formal form of reasoning in order to get through the papers. Especially on Paper 2, the group atmosphere was very effective because we were able to discuss what everyone got and how they got to that point. The group was able to check each other's mistakes and incorrect assumptions made during the processes. Overall combining everyones knowledge together created an atmosphere where we could be a lot more effective.

    The one counterargument I did have about the group thinking was the fact that the researched suggested that it was so effective it should be used a lot in schools. It would be nice for them to define how often they think it should be used in school. I think group thinking is very useful and helpful however it shouldn’t be used all of the time. As individuals in order for us to be able to bring something to the table in group discussions we have to create a foundation of knowledge or develop our own thinking. Sometimes in group settings people are too shy to speak what they actually think and get overshadowed by the ideas of the group.

    The articles discussion on people’s moral decisions suggested that people make decisions more so on emotion than what the just or most logical thing to do is. In my philosophy we discuss common ethical dilemmas that people have. In one group assignment we discussed how people arrive to their ethical discussions. From this discussion we agreed that people decide based on their morals and whether or not it felt right to do.

    Jasmine

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    1. Do your emotions as a WOK influence your moral decisions? I would definitely think so. Did you also discuss moral relativism in Philosophy?

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  19. Is the mind’s tendency to pick and choose information to support our preconceptions, a result of our flawed thinking? The reason chapter teaches us that the decisions, conclusions and judgements that we make are all based on what we think is the most logical explanation for a scenario or situation. We tend to incorporate our prior knowledge and all our experiences into a decision, determining if the solution is logical or not. What we tend to look over is that different people have various levels of knowledge due to age, which can affect their ability to determine the most “logical” conclusion. The exercise that was incorporated in the chapter, was a scenario of two young girls having a conversation about this young boy and how he gave one of them a flower (I think it was). One of the girls came to the conclusion that he likes her because he gave her a rose. So, their teacher overheard the conversation and she was so shock that the girls thought that once someone gives you something they automatically liked you. The question that went along with the exercise asked to explain why the girl's’ reasoning was not logically. This question and exercise will be something that I probably will never be able to understand because I personally did not think that the girl’s reseasoning was not logical . They made a logical conclusion based on their knowledge and experiences. Their teacher on the other hand made her conclusion and remarks based on what the article calls “confirmation bias”. She looked at the situation, and overheard the girls talking about the relationship between gift giving and how one feels for another and allowed her preconceptions to guide her response to the situation. The teacher’s flawed in thinking is actually a result of her experiences and former knowledge about how relationships work. She failed to realize that the children in the situation are now having their first interaction with what it means to like someone. Also the ability to argue is something that is continuously stressed through the duration of the article. The article states that “the ability to argue allows us to comes to solutions as a group that we would not be able to come to alone.” This is basically the whole “two heads are better than one” cliche. But as it relates to the two young girls in the exercise mentioned previously, their conclusion was still seen as flawed even though they worked together to come to it. So does two heads actually work better than one? During TOK class recently, we were asked to get into pairs and then given the task to complete the nine dot activity. The task entails that we connect all nine dots using four straight lines that connect to make one continuous one. When we worked in pairs we were not able to successfully complete the task. Since we were unsuccessful, our teacher decided to give us a hint, even with the hint only one student by himself was able to complete the exercise. Lateral thinking, or the ability to think “outside the box” was something that we when completing the exercise. The article insists that “educational systems focus on developing individual knowledge” but I do not think that, that is necessarily a bad thing. The one person that was not thinking or collaborating with the others, was implementing lateral thinking which forced him to think outside of the limitations that the other’s minds were in. Even though group thinking can lead to groundbreaking conclusions and amazing solutions, it is not always so in certain areas of studies.

    Knowledge Question: In what ways does language affect the conclusions reached in the natural sciences?
    -Jeneva

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  20. Is the mind’s tendency to pick and choose information to support our preconceptions, a result of our flawed thinking? The reason chapter teaches us that the decisions, conclusions and judgements that we make are all based on what we think is the most logical explanation for a scenario or situation. We tend to incorporate our prior knowledge and all our experiences into a decision, determining if the solution is logical or not. What we tend to look over is that different people have various levels of knowledge due to age, which can affect their ability to determine the most “logical” conclusion. The exercise that was incorporated in the chapter, was a scenario of two young girls having a conversation about this young boy and how he gave one of them a flower (I think it was). One of the girls came to the conclusion that he likes her because he gave her a rose. So, their teacher overheard the conversation and she was so shock that the girls thought that once someone gives you something they automatically liked you. The question that went along with the exercise asked to explain why the girl's’ reasoning was not logically. This question and exercise will be something that I probably will never be able to understand because I personally did not think that the girl’s reseasoning was not logical . They made a logical conclusion based on their knowledge and experiences. Their teacher on the other hand made her conclusion and remarks based on what the article calls “confirmation bias”. She looked at the situation, and overheard the girls talking about the relationship between gift giving and how one feels for another and allowed her preconceptions to guide her response to the situation. The teacher’s flawed in thinking is actually a result of her experiences and former knowledge about how relationships work. She failed to realize that the children in the situation are now having their first interaction with what it means to like someone. Also the ability to argue is something that is continuously stressed through the duration of the article. The article states that “the ability to argue allows us to comes to solutions as a group that we would not be able to come to alone.” This is basically the whole “two heads are better than one” cliche. But as it relates to the two young girls in the exercise mentioned previously, their conclusion was still seen as flawed even though they worked together to come to it. So does two heads actually work better than one? During TOK class recently, we were asked to get into pairs and then given the task to complete the nine dot activity. The task entails that we connect all nine dots using four straight lines that connect to make one continuous one. When we worked in pairs we were not able to successfully complete the task. Since we were unsuccessful, our teacher decided to give us a hint, even with the hint only one student by himself was able to complete the exercise. Lateral thinking, or the ability to think “outside the box” was something that we when completing the exercise. The article insists that “educational systems focus on developing individual knowledge” but I do not think that, that is necessarily a bad thing. The one person that was not thinking or collaborating with the others, was implementing lateral thinking which forced him to think outside of the limitations that the other’s minds were in. Even though group thinking can lead to groundbreaking conclusions and amazing solutions, it is not always so in certain areas of studies.

    Knowledge Question: In what ways does language affect the conclusions reached in the natural sciences? -Jeneva

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    1. The knowledge question posed is a good one. What examples can you think of? Does this particular KQ work with one of the prescribed titles?

      We saw that influence of scientific language with respect to the ads.

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  21. Camiella,
    The article briefly explained the fallacies that come with inherent human nature such as our need to argue. It also explains how as a group, one is forced to think more critically and therefore, able to form better arguments. I agree wholly with the statement that humans suffer from confirmation bias, this tendency to support our preconceived notions, I believe comes from our human want to to always get our way. Humans are known to be selfish, so to support our reasoning which may not meet public need.. I believe that our language and reason is always going to be altered to fit our growing desires. We learned to argue in order to persuade others to give us what we want, not because we wanted more intelligence. In my Principal Business and Management class,my teacher explained how humans have skewed the line between needs and want, up to the point that our luxurious wants are being reasoned as needs. This fallacy, is so that we can justify our need to want luxury goods.For example, one needs shelter in order to survive, but wanting a big comfortable house is not a need. Even though some may treat it as such. Another example would be when people go to the mall, and try to convince themselves that they need and deserve a certain outfit. “Your brain evolves to persuade”, Dan Jones. The previously stated sentence perfectly embodies my statement, we evolve different ways to persuade others to give us our way. This can then be connected to lateral thinking. As humans we look for different logical ways to convince ourselves and others to make a decision that best benefits that person, even if it is just at the time. We look for any reason to justify why we do a certain thing, even if that reason is irrelevant to the subject. At times one may even purposefully attempt to give irrelevant reasons in order to convince that person so they may not challenge our decisions, Or one may simply be louder than the other, this is of course not a formal way to argue however it may cause the other to succumb to that person's want. Ex: when I go to the store and see someone arguing the cashier over a certain price they just keep getting louder and louder even if it is not the truth until the cashier gives up. We are no longer applying logic, instead our emotion grabs the reins. We are cunning individuals, we claim to evolve in the name of gaining intelligence and learning more about the world, but I believe it is so that we may find a way to make others submit to our whims, but they themselves are trying to do the same to us so it may cause a stalemate. It is duped or be duped. Retail companies may offer cheap deals, but have fine print that contradict those deals such as a minimum purchase; they choose to make this smaller and flash quicker across the screen so that they can justify they warned the audience, when they realize it.
    part 1

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  22. Camiella prt 2,
    When we are asked to work in a group where we would have to justify our choices, we try now to apply factual logic such as advantages and disadvantages in fear of being judged or discriminated against. In my Youth Ambassador group, one of the students proposed the question of killing 4 family members, or 400 random strangers. This choice was hard to make as the four were people that we grew up with and loved, yet 400 were a lot of lives who belonged to other people as well. It hurt to admit but we chose the others. A reasonable person I think may try to avoid losing many lives but we let our emotions get the best of our decision.
    In connection to lateral thinking, we are always encouraged to think other possibilities to a problem and in History when we take on the minds of historians, we are asked to see if there could be another way to dissolve an issue other than that which was chosen such as war. With the cold war, could there have been another way for the U.S to deal with Latin America so that they did not have to be flood with oppressive dictators such as the Somoza family, Pinochet etc ( all who were supported by the U.S to some extent, for keeping communism at bay). Honestly, I believe there could’ve but we would also have to factor in other proxy wars the U.S was participating in and their budget. But then again, like the article says, we chose what we felt was right at the time, a fallacious way of reasoning.
    Group thinking reminds me of why a president has a cabinet , it encourages him to be able to accept criticism before making decisions as well as thinking critically before executing something. Also why the government has to go through the president.That is also why the U.S allows its citizens to openly criticize legislation. It can distinguish reasonable vs unreasonable ideas.
    KQ: How are conflicts between emotion and reason be resolved in the field of art.
    This question was posed because the article briefly stated how when emotion is introduced, we tend to become harsher with our decisions, such as disgust, we may shy away from that are. With art one paints what they feel yet there has to be some reason to it, hence why some critics may call one piece “ exquisite art” and another receive no attention.

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    1. Your knowledge question is an interesting one as it makes me think of art that offends. Because people have a negative emotion reaction to it, then they easily dismiss it as art itself.

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  23. Alexander PART 1
    According to Mercier and Sperber, human argumentation and critical thinking stem from our ancestor’s needs to evaluate when faced with new social decisions. The attraction effect is a form of influence on the judgement of choices that can make people chose alternatives that are irrelevant to one’s needs. For example, clothing and shopping. On the need level, one might need a shirt, perhaps gray, with no buttons. However, an alternative choice, would come in many colors and different designs. Here the alternative, does fulfill our needs, and at the same time adds a level of personality to the article of clothing. Marlow’s hierarchy of needs, showcases that once humans have what they really need, then another level of need is opened, to ensure human happiness. This is a model used in employee satisfaction and can be applied to see how humans work in a macroeconomic level. In history class, we learned that Soviet markets had one type of soap, which was literally branded as “Soap” on the shelves. The people did not have an option, only one which fulfilled the need. Therefore, this attraction effect might be actually beneficial for human development and socialization. It allows us to portray our personalities through the use of material objects which in the end, will become our need, instead of our wants. Besides, if this pseudo-utilitarian ‘effect’ was applied, then could an argument by made for one language to be spoken, which fulfills our needs?
    Secondly, the framing effect shows how language affect interfere with the communication of math. As stated in the article must people would shy away from 10 percent fat, while most would buy 90 percent fat free. Here we see the half full, half empty effect, in the article. Both are the same thing, but the half full option sounds better than the half empty, because it implies that the invisible waiter gave you half, instead of taking away half. As we learned from math last year, the communication of data has to have ethical implications in mind from both a perception mindset and a legal mindset. Also, the percentage can play on people’s ignorance. For example, a few years ago a restaurant want to challenge McDonald’s burger dynasty and decided to introduce a 1/3 pounder burger in comparison to the quarter pounder. What most didn’t know is that a 1/3 pounder is more than a ¼ pounder. Therefore, miss communication and ignorance can lead to ‘unreasonable’ results. More is not always better, and can be overwhelming. For example, people were given the option to play a game that was randomly generated that cost $60. Meanwhile another game was pre generated and cost less. The people who bought the 60-dollar game thought it would have more stuff solely on the price, and many commented that “they had nothing to do”, but in reality, they just found it immensely overwhelming to the point that it was boring. Which leads us to the third point, which states that choices are done better in groups.

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    1. I see you are revisiting the idea of a universal language. I hope to see you explore that in your internal assessment for TOK. What are some counterarguments? Is feeling unique a human need?

      Good KQ...
      What are your thoughts on (cultural) relativism as it relates to ethics or morality?

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  24. Alexander Part 2
    Collective intelligence: group think is based on a mixture of social cues and way the group works together to find common ground. A common trope in reason is the golden mean fallacy which states that the true lies in a moderate solution to an argument. This is a problem our founding fathers faced with drafting our constitution. Yes, it is a pretty swell document in the fact that it still works and is enriched with the ideas of the enlightenment period, but it lacks in the department of one very small insignificant, minute concept that did not shape our country what so ever: slavery. Yes, we know the magic number: 3/5. This is a prime example of how a group collective thought is a bad idea when you expect people to form a macrosystem. Literally the main counterexamples the author gives are the big picture, while the benefits are found at the microlevel. The 3/5th compromise was the idea of appeasing the south because it basically bankrolled the revolution. It was seen as ‘reasonable’ and sometimes you’ve got to appease people. But not Hitler, or the South, but in times of immense “what are we going to do next” it’s perhaps best not to open a can of worms. However, appeasing Hitler led to WWII and 3/5th eventually led to the Civil War. Collective thinking may very well work in groups where one issue is at hand, but when the big picture is at risk, multiple variables truly make it almost impossible in the same way that a utopia is impossible.
    In fairness, the researchers’ actual work maybe be interesting to read, but until then, it becomes watered down in popular science articles such as this one. And in cases, the attraction effect does explain cognitive dissonance in the form of “Buyer’s remorse” when a customer comes to the point where they ask themselves, “why did I buy this?’ The ethical implications of the dilemma with the plans is also an interesting thought experiment, but it can be just as reasonable to not chose a plan, as it is to choose. An argument could be made that one doesn’t have the right to decide, while the other side can say that the number of people saved are worth the number of people who die. But since humans are social little devils, then the only option that a person will chose when exposed, would be different than the option is not exposed, which the article rightfully so states. Sadly, I believe that the collective intelligence falls under the tropes of basic human psychology. If 100 people see a bee, but 10 see a cloud, then the 10 might not say something to not sound reasonable. This is how truly evil ideas become reasonable, and the only way to combat this is teach people to speak up. The concepts here are best taught to be used to teach children, than to actually expect them to make the right decision.

    KQ: How, if at all, can conflict between emotion and reason be resolved in the field of ethics?

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  25. Hannah

    Much of this article reminded me of last year’s TOK class, where we watched a Ted Talk that portrayed the idea that the visual sense provides better clarification than the auditory sense. When humans hear something pleasing to their own personal judgment, they become oblivious to any negative connotations of the idea. While reading the article, it also reminded me of the marketing strategies used in business, which we learned last year. For example, a store pricing something at $1.99 makes it seem cheaper than pricing it at 2 dollars because the visual sense makes them believe that the first option is still a better bargain than the second one due to the format of the price. Personally, when I am shopping, this tactic always gets into my head as I tell my mother that the candy bar I want is “only 1 something”, then she corrects me saying that it will round to $2.00. The part that explained how the food is 90% fat free rather than saying that it's 10% fat is more pleasing, made me think of how this technique is used heavily on cleaning products. This then made me think back to the advertising techniques used to appeal to buyers in the business world from day to day. For instance, hand sanitizer products always promote that they kill 99.9% of germs; rather than mentioning the 0.1% that it does not kill.
    The article mentioned that the most persuasive lines of reasoning are not always logical because others want people to see their point of view. This again reminded me of how the first part reason of the chapter sort of steered towards the logical aspect, while the second part steered toward emotion and such. This similar idea of fallacies was brought up in class from the chapter and it was explained that when people include reason while persuading others, they appeal more towards their emotions rather than logic in order to justify their actions and push their point of view. This is otherwise known as the argument-um ad metum fallacy. In class, a video of Donald Trump was shown that was a prime example of this, where he appealed to African American’s emotion of fear but made no logical sense. This is an issue that most people have problems with as they allow their attacked emotion to influence their logic and judgement.

    Possible knowledge question: How can one eliminate the effect of emotion on their better judgment in political sciences?

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    1. I saw Trump's statements as examples of either sweeping of hasty generalizations. I lean toward these as they are hurtful and stereotypical.

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  26. Remi

    In Business, they often use the 6 hats to conduct a meeting in order for it to be organized and to get all the thoughts out there. I connected this to when the article discussed “groupthink.” Group thinking was used to explain catastrophic group decisions such as the escalation of the Vietnam war. So this makes me think that people need to evaluate their decisions in order to make logical decisions. They need to evaluate them because it shows the foolish side of their reasoning and once an idea is said out loud it is easier to think about it and think about the possibilities.
    Every time my sister burps very loud and in a disgusting way around my mom, my mom would say that isn’t ladylike and says that she needs to control her burping. That is fine and all except my mom does it too. Recently, the same situation happened and my sister said the same thing to my mom of what my mom says to my sister. My mom reasoned that it’s okay for her to do it because she’s an older women and that my sister is a young lady. My mom’s reason for my sister burping like a caveman is similar to when the article said “Our brains’ apparent foibles may result from this need to justify our actions and convince others to see out view point.” So when my mom said that she is an older woman she was trying to justify her action of basically being a hypocrite but she knows that her reasoning isn’t per say right. It isn’t right because her being an older woman has nothing to do with burping like a caveman.
    In the article it discusses how kids can learn to see group reasoning as a kind of enlightened self-interest that benefits everyone, this reminded me of the section I read in the Reason chapter called “Woofs, wags, and ways of knowing.” In the section a mother tells her son that a big brown animal is a “doggie” so every time the child sees big brown animal he thinks of a doggie but sometimes he would see a cow instead and the mother would correct him on the animal. This is getting the child prepared to think if it’s a certain size and brown then it is either a dog or a cow. This also reminded me of the in class discussion of lateral thinking. We talked about solving techniques and one of them were to assume nothing. Recently my mom and I did some riddles where we had to explain how something happened. While doing the riddles we realized that we had our mind in a certain box and didn’t allow it to venture out and explore different possibilities. There was one that said “there were six eggs in a basket, six people take one egg. How can it be that one egg is left in the basket?” My mom and I couldn’t think of anything other possibilities since we were both stuck on the fact that each person took six eggs. Comes to find out that the last person took the basket and the egg. This shows that my mom and I were familiar with having information already presented to us and it was hard for us to think outside the box.
    To what extent might validity affect scientific knowledge?

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    1. What was your mother's fallacy when she justified her burping as opposed to your sister's? Which fallacy would you use to identify the irrational thinking?

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  27. yared

    All of us have our own ideas and understanding and this is evident in our everyday life. We all have our own views and this view is based on the way we look at the world. This creates its own bias and as the article outlined, “confirmation bias is the mind’s tendency to pick and choose information to support our preconceptions.” This is interesting because after our brain picks the information that is needed it then “[Ignores] a wealth of evidence to the contrary.” This is the reason a number of people (including myself) have an easy time arguing for hours. In Ethiopia soccer is a major sport so I had my own favorite team and my friends had their own. Regardless of my team losing or winning, I am always going to defend them by just looking at the good side. On the contrary, I am able to choose the weakness on the other teams while completely ignoring their success. I find these types of arguments fun but I do recognize they never have an ending.

    I find arguments fun, but scholars around the world, view it as something more serious and key to understanding reason. Hugo Mercier at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland and Dan Sperber, at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary believe human reasoning evolved to help us argue. This is why our reasoning, just like our argument, isn’t always logical. As the article outlined, “the most persuasive line of reasoning are not the most logical.” This means our reasoning is a way of “supporting our preconceptions” so it isn’t surprising it developed to help us argue. This takes us to inductive and deductive reasoning as outlined in the reason chapter. My soccer argument is an inductive reasoning because I am combining small pieces to make the big conclusion like, “my team is better than the opposition” (which by the way they are).I also make deductive reasoning in English class to understanding large books like the Iliad. I saw the book as teenagers maturing through the different problems they encounter, but I am sure my classmates had different ideas. I can defend my position with evidence and in my argument; I would try to reason my idea is better.

    An important part of reasoning is finding validity and this is the same with argument. When I argue I don’t just states the strength of my position, but I also try to find weakness in the other position. This one of the ways arguments developed our reasoning of different topics and subjects. Right now we are getting closer to a presidential election and reasoning is an important part of our decision. This is good because we can distinguish things that don’t make any sense to the audience, but just like our arguments we can “ignore all of the flaws.” This means we would defend a candidate regardless of what they might have said or done. This is where most people would think of using Lateral thinking because it is a new approach to looking at things. According to de Bono, our mind automatically places things in different categories in order to make sense of the world or in our case to reason/argue. Lateral thinking can make it possible to look outside that barrier by promoting creative thinking. We have discussed a number of weaknesses to this theory but if it actually works, it seems like a good way of improving our reasoning. This could be useful for our presidential election right now and could also help with other situations that might require a new way of thinking.

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  28. Yared

    Another important part of reasoning are fallacies (discussed in the reason chapter) and as we already know, they don’t have anything to do with logic. Fallacies are also an important part of argument because it allows a person to be convincing without having to be logical. I had the chance to discuss this in history class when talking about Hitler. He was a man that convinced his audience with the simple use of fear (the reason chapter calls this argumentum in terrorem). He didn’t use logic but his appeal to fear was enough to gain him the support of the a number of German citizens. There are other fallacies that can have similar effect and they can usually be a substitute to logic.
    A final point that was raised in the article is the idea of justification. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman of Princeton and Amos Tuerskey proved people react to the same option differently depending on the way it is presented. This is because our brain need to give justification for the decisions we make. As the article states, this is the reason why a person on a diet would be more attracted to “90 percent less fat” a lot more than “10 percent of fat.” This is also the same with the conclusion I reach after looking at an art piece; I know any conclusion I make needs to be based on an evidence so I make the conclusion that I am able to justify or explain.

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  29. Yared
    How are conflicts between reason and fallacies resolved?

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  30. Efi
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gzRuCHRFdjMvyTuMKkQYQ-0UeXyG2b66ISErLoeYBOQ/edit?usp=drive_web

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Thanks for posting!!

Swift