Biases And Fallacies Research Paper

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Alexis Telyczka HUM102 H01 10/05/16 Biases and Fallacies Everyone has internal biases that affect the way they live their lives and interact with the world around them. They may not always be aware of these biases, but they are always there, even if they are hidden in the subconscious. These biases and fallacies may include wishful thinking, anchoring, and confirmation bias. It is important to be self-aware, and to try to recognize these biases as they are occurring. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to recognize them until it might be too late, as is exemplified in articles by Atul Gawande and William Langewiesche. (2010; 2003) Biases and fallacies can be particularly harmful when they affect one’s job. When the lives of others depend on one’s commitment to performing one’s job thoroughly, precisely, and correctly, these biases and fallacies can prove to be injurious, or even fatal. Such is the case in both Gawande and Langewiesche’s articles. In his article, When Doctors Make Mistakes, Atul Gawande describes a personal experience— an incident wherein he made mistakes while performing surgery. (2010) Langewiesche, on the other hand, describes the disaster of the Colombia spacecraft crash, and the mistakes of those involved with…show more content…
As he describes, a few NASA engineers had worried for the safety of those inside Colombia, but NASA’s managers had failed to listen to their concerns due to the fallacy of false continuum: “[…] seventeen years and eighty-nine shuttle flights had passed since the Challenger explosion, and within the agency a new generation had risen that was smart, perhaps, but also unwise—confined by NASA 's walls and routines, and vulnerable to the self-satisfaction that inevitably had set in.” Apathy on the managers’ part proved to be dangerous and, in fact, deadly, proving that the engineers’ concerns were not unfounded. (Langewiesche, 2003, para.

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