Fake News, Implicit Bias, Bad Reasoning, and Misperception: Why Our Brains Make It Hard To Be Rational
Scientists keep discovering new ways in which our perception and thought about the world systematically depart from a model of ideal rationality. Our actual perceptual and cognitive systems turn out to be structured in ways that regularly lead to profound distortions and biases. These factors then often lead us to form false beliefs about important matters. But because their influence is typically very hard to notice, it’s difficult to compensate for them. We will examine some key ways in which our perceptual and cognitive systems fall short of rational ideals, the origins and consequences—both positive and negative—of those failings, and what steps can be taken to ameliorate their potential harms.