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Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 14:03   #1 (permalink)
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Default Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

So I'm taking psychology in college and one of the things I learned about was something called Confirmation Bias.
Confirmation Bias: (taken from wikipedia but states the same thing as my psychology book)
is a tendency for people to prefer information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses, independently of whether they are true.[2][3] People can reinforce their existing attitudes by selectively collecting new evidence, by interpreting evidence in a biased way or by selectively recalling information from memory.[4] Some psychologists use "confirmation bias" for any of these three cognitive biases, while others restrict the term to selective collection of evidence, using assimilation bias for biased interpretation

I actually noticed it applies immensely to 40k, and I've met many a player who thought a rule worked a specific way no matter what evidence you presented to them. I'm sure alot of us have run into those players, and may even been the person taking the bias. I know I'm not perfect enough to say I haven't been. But after learning about it it does make you think about things from a weird perspective. Like "Am I just being stubborn here and I'm actually wrong, or am I right and is this person being stubborn"

We'll I just thought I'd share this, it might not even belong in general but I couldn't really think where it might apply.
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 14:17   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

Yeap, something of a must-know for all psychological students (confirmation bias).

You can always apply this to powergamers, fluff nazi and rule-lawyer, whose logic sometimes confounds other people.
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 14:21   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

Yeah, also from a more philosophical angle, there was R.M.Hare's 'Bliks' argument which talked about how everyone interprets the available evidence according to their own original viewpoint.

Both his, and the psychological label 'confirmation bias', are pretty obvious really. It's just difficult to tell whether a persons holds a viewpoint because of their 'blik' / 'confirmation bias' , or is coming to an objective conclusion that they allow to alter their perception of things. That's the tricky part.
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 19:37   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

And now I get to take a test on it in class, wonder if I'll remember it because of long winded debates on these here forums.

If I find more psychological goodies that I can relate to 40k I'll post them too.

I kinda wanna hear some stories about anyone whose dealt with it in real life, PM if it isn't a 40k story.
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 20:58   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

Well there are plenty but I wouldn't necessarily condone using psychological tricks to manipulate your opponent in the meta-game, only by your actions in-game.

But you could encourage someone to conform to an imaginary standard, by telling them all the great Marine players do X, you might get him to do X if he plays Marines and is susceptible to peer pressure. But it could backfire if they are consciously independent and choose to do the opposite.

Or you could encourage them to spend more attention on a particular unit by making it stand-out with a different paint scheme, or by telling them it always performs well.

Or you can even pretend to let things slip, by acting as though you are thinking out loud about what you're going to do. Or act dismayed when they do something when it is actually something you want them to do. Or spend a lot of time looking at a point on the board as if you are trying to decide something so they spend less time looking elsewhere while they try to work out what you are thinking of doing.

But like I said, all cheap tricks really, that aren't particularly sporting or reliable.
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 21:13   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

Oh, I was morely asking about a heated debate over a rule or something that you can tell they convinced themselves was the correct way to handle a rule.

Like how people use to insist that Vulcan twinlinked the Sisters of Battle if taken as allies despite them not having chapter tactics.
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 21:20   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

If i post a link to the perfect thread to demonstrate this, i will be mod slapped, and seth with try to kill me.
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 22:15   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

Hmmm... I use psychological warfare all the time when playing. While 40k (and any game in general) may seem to be a game of tactics and dice rolling, human interaction dictates a level of psychological warfare also. I try and keep this friendly, and the fact I never lack people willing to play games says I do a good job, but it is always in the back of my mind... Repeatedly talking about a units abilities, about how well they have done in the past, can get an opponent to focus on them when they should focus elsewhere... Or sometimes avoid them when they shouldn't... Depends on the game, and what you say / when you say it... Convincing your opponent to do what you want them to do, that's part of the game... None of this has to be verbal, either. Moving tactically useless (but seemingly useful) models / units where they distract your opponent, tempting him/her to attack or move in reaction, when he/she would be better off doing something else, is part of the psychological meta-game. For example: If a player has a favorite model / unit, I will target said model/unit even if they are not the most logical target, because a loss of a favored unit or model will either lower their moral, allowing for an easier victory, or cause them to get flustered / angry and make mistakes. Of course, a good player will feign love for a unit, thus potentially distracting me...

Now, I'll never let an opponent miss moving units or shooting or such, that would be wrong... Distracting your opponent so they forget to do things is not cool... Or omitting information, or lying about abilities, or such... That's outright cheating...
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 22:54   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

I must admit I do play phsycehammer all the time.

Though it is simply the usual things such as focusing on other parts and making unimportant units apear integeral. Or if something bad happens you put on a sort of sly smile to yourself looking at the area making them think they just helped you which throws a spanner in their plans. Or if an opponent is choosing targets i will glance frequently (htough not obviously) at a target that isn't integeral.

Keep in mind that alot of this i sometimes do without even realising or thinking. Being a physically weak person all my life has kindof taught me how to mess with peoples minds and I guess this just naturally followed into 40K when i started.

I don't do ridiculous over the to things or let it be too bigger part of the game but i do enjoy having it as a small aspect of it.
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Old 13 Apr 2010, 23:10   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Confirmation Bias (Learned about recently)

Ugh, I ran into this last night, where someone claimed after a game I couldn't tank shock a unit of bikers because they were within 1" of a vehicle, even though I could pivot and run through them. He even tried to pull pivoting on the spot is not tank shock and completely ignored the other parts of my argument, where I pointed out that its not a vehicle and its not a friendly unit, I can still move through them anyway and they still suffer tank shock, the move doesn't end unless the vehicle goes or they hit a friendly. Despite my repeated attempts, and even at one point try to walk through it step by step the logic, he just kept interrupting with "pivoting on the spot isn't a tank shock."
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