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Massimo Gorla
Works at Comune di Novara - Informatica
Attended Università degli studi di Milano
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Massimo Gorla

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Can you do this? :D
The personal site of Parth Vikani : It's Me Parth Vikani. Skilled in languages such as HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, PHP, Node.js, ASP.NET and J2EE web development.
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Dal 1 Gennaio 2018 l'offerta si rinnova a 10 euro 
ogni 4sett. con 1000 minuti e 3GB di internet.

https://passa-a-tim.tim.it/wb/galaxygo/index
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Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds in 1994. Can you identify GUI?
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La seggiovia di Pontechianale, Valle Varaita, provincia di Cuneo

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What's the best way to deploy Android for Work? Here are some recommendations: goo.gl/2cDlcZ
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Do you prefer news that agrees or contradicts with your beliefs? It matters more than you think...

There may be no better demonstration and explanation of confirmation bias than an experiment conducted by Peter Cathcart Wason in 1960 using students at University College in London (1). He conducted the following exercise:

Subjects were told that the three numbers 2, 4, 6, conformed to a simple relational rule.

Their task was to discover the rule, within 45 minutes or less, by making up successive sets of three numbers and submitting them and only being told whether this new set conformed or did not conform to the rule.

They were permitted as many submissions as needed until they were confident they knew the rule.

There are countless possibilities, but some of the obvious ideas might be:
Hypothesis A: They have to be even numbers
Hypothesis B: They have to increase by 2
Hypothesis C: The middle digit must be the average of the outer digits
Hypothesis D: The last digit must be the sum of the first two digits

Let's say you had a feeling it was Hypothesis C. You submit the sequence 10, 12, 14 and get a confirmation. Jackpot! Except, that hasn't proven much, since that sequence also follows A and B. Though it does rule out D.

Next you try 11, 13, 15, and get another confirmation. Excellent. Hypothesis C is still looking good, and now you've ruled out A.

You submit 10, 15, 20 and get a confirmation, which rules out B and getting yet another confirmation for C.

If you are like 80% of the students in the study, you're smart enough to to submit at least a few more rounds of your hypothesis just to be certain. So you submit 50, 100, 150, and it conforms. You submit, 6, 11, 16. Again, it conforms. You keep submitting...

-9, 4, 13 conforms
21, 64, 107 conforms
1, 2, 3 - conforms

Every time you submit a sequence with the middle digit as the average of the outer digits, you get a confirmation. That's eight confirmations in a row.

Suppose a student sitting to your left whispers in your ear that she thinks your hypothesis is wrong. You smile and submit 1, 999, 1997 just to prove your point.

Low and behold, your sequence is confirmed yet again! How confident should you be about your hypothesis?

Human Tendency

What Wason discovered is that 80% of the students sought to confirm their theories just as we did above, which proved to be a fruitless task. The actual relational rule used was merely successive numbers, something that seeking conforming patterns never eluded to.

In fact, you could have had the same go around with any of the hypotheses and found the same number of confirmations. Every single sequence you can think of for any of the hypotheses would have received a confirmation, unless the numbers did not go in sequence.

The Takeaway

In almost every instance, only those who sought to continually disprove their hypotheses managed to determine the correct rule within the allotted time.

The moral here is that repeated confirmations do not equate with an increase in reliability. If you genuinely wish to be accurate, you're better off examining ideas that don't conform with what you believe.

The political arena is the perfect illustration of this, whereby most of us will watch, read, and listen to stories that align with our feelings and quickly dismiss (or all out ignore) those that don't.

We don't have the luxury of instantly determining whether our beliefs conform with the truth. But we should recognize the futility of merely seeking to confirm our already made up minds.





___________________________________

1 - Wason, Peter (1960). "On The Failure to Eliminate Hypotheses in a Conceptual Task". Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

(Artwork by: Markus Pierson)
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Take a Virtual Reality Tour of the World’s Stolen Art
A museum which contains only works of art that nobody can find sounds like something Jorge Luis Borges would've dreamed up, but it has twice become a reality in the 21st century — or twice become a virtual reality, anyway. 'The Concert by Johannes Vermeer. Poppy Flowers by Vincent van Gogh.
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The Hello World project is a time-honored tradition in computer programming. It is a simple exercise that gets you started when learning something new. Let's get started with GitHub! You'll learn how to: Create and use a repository; Start and manage a new branch; Make changes to a file and push ...
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Introduction
I'm into solving problems and constantly learning

Professional Programmer and Sysadmin. Amateur photographer, gamer, motorcyclist and... willing new dad and husband.

Dungeon Master since 1992.


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Sono talmente avanti che se mi guardo indietro vedo me stesso.
Education
  • Università degli studi di Milano
    informatica
  • ITIS Fauser, Novara
    informatica
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Occupation
Programmatore e sistemista
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  • Comune di Novara - Informatica
    Programmatore esperto, 1999 - present
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