Forever Under Construction

Too many bugs

Posted in Society by homeyra on April 19, 2009

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Cannibal cub scout, Scott G. Brooks

One thing leading to another, I looked up “Social engineering”, one reads the following: All social engineering techniques are based on specific attributes of human decision-making known as cognitive biases. These biases, sometimes called “bugs in the human hardware,” are exploited in various combinations to create attack techniques …

Our hardware bugs are listed extensively. To name a few:

Bandwagon effect — the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same.
Confirmation bias — the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.
Déformation professionnelle — the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one’s own profession, forgetting any broader point of view.
Endowment effect — the fact that people often demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it.
Focusing effect — prediction bias occurring when people place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.
Framing — by using a too narrow approach or description of the situation or issue. Also framing effect — drawing different conclusions based on how data are presented.
Illusion of control — the tendency for human beings to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes that they clearly cannot.
Mere exposure effect — the tendency for people to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them.
Need for closure — the need to reach a verdict in important matters; to have an answer and to escape the feeling of doubt and uncertainty. The personal context (time or social pressure) might increase this bias.
Not Invented Here — the tendency to ignore that a product or solution already exists, because its source is seen as an “enemy” or as “inferior”.
Omission bias — the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions). …. more

  • Biases in probability and belief: Many of these biases are often studied for how they affect business and economic decisions and how they affect experimental research.

Authority bias — the tendency to value an ambiguous stimulus (e.g., an art performance) according to the opinion of someone who is seen as an authority on the topic.
Availability cascade — a self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public discourse (or “repeat something long enough and it will become true”).
Hindsight bias — sometimes called the “I-knew-it-all-along” effect, the inclination to see past events as being predictable.
Observer-expectancy effect — when a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it.
Overconfidence effect — excessive confidence in one’s own answers to questions. For example, for certain types of question, answers that people rate as “99% certain” turn out to be wrong 40% of the time.
Rosy retrospection — the tendency to rate past events more positively than they had actually rated them when the event occurred … more

Actor-observer bias — the tendency for explanations of other individuals’ behaviors to overemphasize the influence of their personality and underemphasize the influence of their situation. However, this is coupled with the opposite tendency for the self in that explanations for our own behaviors overemphasize the influence of our situation and underemphasize the influence of our own personality.
Herd instinct — Common tendency to adopt the opinions and follow the behaviors of the majority to feel safer and to avoid conflict.
Illusion of asymmetric insight — people perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers’ knowledge of them.
Ingroup bias — the tendency for people to give preferential treatment to others they perceive to be members of their own groups.
Just-world phenomenon — the tendency for people to believe that the world is “just” and therefore people “get what they deserve.”
Money illusion – an irrational notion that the arbitrary values of currency, fiat or otherwise, have an actual immutable value.
Notational bias — a form of cultural bias in which a notation induces the appearance of a nonexistent natural law.
Outgroup homogeneity bias — individuals see members of their own group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups. … more

2 Responses

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  1. 99 said, on April 19, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Ha! I’m having a fine day blogging today. I have not made many posts, but everywhere I go today I keep finding posts that address my posts, and this one has addressed stuff I’ve been hassling over on another blog, plus ended my dithering on how to write “groupthink”. I can’t ever decide whether to keep it one word or make it two and capitalized or whut, and I keep trying to remind myself to DECIDE and then stick to that decision, and the Wikipedia entry just made me finally decide.

    I mean, I’m always hollering about “groupthink”, calling some of the most popular blogs that as a generic-but-hugely-descriptive way of addressing them, and so I should have this little aspect settled. It’s settled.

    Now I just have to decide if I will capitalize it when referring to those blogs, elevate it into a proper noun, or just leave it generic…..

    Decisions, decisions…😛

  2. homeyra said, on April 20, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Wow! Busy busy day!🙂
    I wonder 99, if someone has made an inventory of our “altruistic bugs” and hiding it from us!


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