Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Confirmation Bias

A striking aspect of the Willingham case is the role that confirmation bias plays in the view of the evidence. Confirmation bias is that idea that how we view evidence is effected by our bias, thus if we presume guilt--even evidence of non-guilt confirms in our view guilt. In Cameron Willingham's case Willingham's understandable grief and shock at the scene of the fire is later construed by witnesses--now biased to believe that Willingham committed arson-murder--as overacting, pretend emotion. Wilingham's tattoos were viewed by "experts" to confirm their view that Willingham was a sociopath. Confirmation bias is an irrational tendency to search for, interpret or remember information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions or working hypotheses. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. These biases in information processing are distinguished from the behavioral confirmation effect (also called self-fulfilling prophecy), in which a person's expectations influence their own behavior.[1] source: Wikipedia.
My friend, Chuck is a right wing bastard. Since my friends are for the most part: lefties, since I'm a left-ee--being friends with Chuck is a challenge. Still, Chuck is like a mirror--his irrational hatred of Obama is often comic and serves to remind me that the way I look at the world is no less biased.

Here's where I prove what an asshole I am. How dare I talk about true injustice of Cameron Todd Willingham, and then segue into the poor-me, but this is my Blog, get your own if you don't like it.

Being a sorry-assed Bad Lawyer I've been trying to understand how it is that certain of my actions and inactions have been found to be intended by me as "a scheme" to avoid garnishment supporting a disciplinary suspension! How did my actions intended to enable a client to have time to review his rights with the appropriate legal expert--become the act of malpractice in this area of law that I expressly deny any expertise---confirmation bias? If you conclude that I am a Bad Lawyer, all my acts and omissions are the acts and omissions of a Bad Lawyer--including those acts that exculpate, those acts which are innocuous. This Blog is nothing if not self-justifying and self-pitying and yet occurs to me that I lack the courage to really let it all hang out. Well, I'll work on it

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