Cognitive Biases and “Doing Your Own Research”, Part 2 – The Social Biases

Cognitive Biases and “Doing Your Own Research”, Part 2 – The Social Biases

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Following on from part 1 of cognitive biases to look out for when doing your own research, I want to now go into the social biases side of cognitive biases. Social bias, also known as attributional error, occurs when we unwittingly or deliberately give preference to (or alternatively, to look negatively upon) certain individuals, groups, races, sexes etc., due systemic errors that arise when people try to develop a reason for the behaviour of certain social groups (or what we believe is that groups behaviour). These prejudices are exhibited by all of us at some point, so whilst their elimination is arguably not possible, we should still aim to reduce our social bias. Furthermore, we should be able to identify when a social bias is manifesting itself, particularly when people are using mediums like the internet for their own research into an area. Below are some of the common social biases found (with real examples) which often lead to fallacious activity.

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Hawaii’s Kīlauea Volcano

Hawaii’s Kīlauea Volcano

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Kīlauea Volcano Photo by USGS

In this edition of Science Picture of the Week, we look at Hawaii’s Kīlauea Volcano. This image was taken on January 31, 2013 in Kīlauea showing a small lava lake, which has been present on the northeast side of the crater floor for nearly a year.

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Curing Type 1 Diabetes with Gene Therapy

Curing Type 1 Diabetes with Gene Therapy

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Type 1 diabetes mellitus (sometimes called insulin-dependent diabetes) is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin. People with this form of diabetes require injections of insulin every day to control the glucose levels in their blood, or they will die.

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Avoiding a Cold & Flu This Season

Avoiding a Cold & Flu This Season

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Colds and Flu like illnesses cost billions of dollars in medical visits and missed days of work each year. Even with continuing advanced knowledge of their virulence, pathogenesis, clinical characteristics, treatment and prevention, we are pretty much left to fend for ourselves

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