Why “Statistics Show” And “Science Says” Can’t Always Be Trusted

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics!” Have you heard this phrase before? It demonstrates how people can use statistics to strengthen arguments, specifically weak arguments. This simple comic demonstrates a logical fallacy we often fall for. We have all deferred to an expert or a position of authority before, yet how do we know they were accurate? This is called Authority Bias. Let’s take a look at how this works:[1] Person X is an authority in a particular field. Person X says something about a topic in their respective field. Person…

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Science Explains Why Our Memories Can’t Be Trusted

“I remember where I was when…” A phrase so commonly used when describing our recollections of, often tragic, events. And yet, this common expression has allowed psychologists to trace the unreliability of narratives that human beings place so much faith in; that of major events in our own lives. A group of researchers, looking at the way our memories of personal experiences shift with time, began an investigation in 2001 days after the 9/11 attacks. The psychologists from more than a dozen universities across the US asked 2,100 Americans to detail…

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