In this document two articles will be referenced and essential elements pertaining to the biases they contain discussed fully. Biases are considered systemic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment’ ( Baron, 2007). There are a number of biases categorized as social; decision-making, belief and behavioral and memory errors. Theoretically, biases are cognitive confrontational adaptations (Baron, 2007).
Article 1:- Why smart people are stupid
Bias Identified: — Decision making, belief and behavioral bias (Neglect for probability)
The focus of this article promotes a bias understanding of smart people at the onset. The insinuation is that all smart people are stupid. Therefore, the probability that there may be two or three out of the set of smart people who might really be cleaver was not taken into consideration. Precisely, neglect for probability bias clearly states that the individual making this assumption shows a tendency to altogether ignore probability when making a decision, especially if there is some degree of uncertainty contained in it.
Importantly, it means that this individual violates normative rules, which specifies that there is a possibility that all smart people are not stupid. The continuum between extremes is totally ignored in this case. Further, the author gives a short mathematical calculation to the reading audience and assumes that most people will give the wrong answer insinuating that these are the inferred smart people in the world.
This is a very strong example because the author continues to highlight examples of how smart people are stupid by simply making judgments without any research evidence. Apart from inferring that smart people cannot do simple calculations he continues to argue that intelligence may seem a buffer to biases, but people are irrational beings; since this is so smart people are stupid because they think without thinking or think too quickly. Hence, while making a valid point on the irrationality of people the author did not calculate the probability that a few people might be geniuses or different.
To override this cognitive error the caption could have been, ‘despite many people are known to be smart there are ways in which they act stupid at times.’ In this way the probability of some people being smart and making errors could be reconciled and an adequate premise for establishing smartness and stupidity boundaries would be clarified.
Article 11:- Health law’s rules help hospitals cut patient readmission rate
Bias Identified: – Social Bias (System Justification)
System justification embodies the theory that people have the motivation to defend a status quo. In this article, ‘Health law’s rules help hospitals cut patient readmission rate’ the author defends the law with supportive data from several analysts to the extent of putting at risk elderly Medicare recipients. The impact of this bias on the information projected in ‘Health law’s rules help hospitals cut patient readmission rate’ is that besides people, such as reporters making themselves look good in the eyes of the public through ego and group justification there is a deep innate desire to control the social structure by promoting social order. This is really system justification bias.
In my opinion this article is not just a typical example of system justification within media reporting, but an example of how groups of people within the social structure could be marginalized through system justification biases. Theoretically, the effects of system justification biases are severe because as it is further described laws such as the one projected in the article are preferred. Therefore, existing social, economic, and political arrangements are given full media coverage in promoting the status quo even if inequality becomes visible in the long term, which is the implication of maintaining the status quo.
The actual bias is accurately communicated when the reporter claimed many analysts have pointed out that Medicare is continually threatening the country’s long-term fiscal health due to the aging baby boomer crisis across the world and particularly in America. Therefore, in reducing hospital admissions they would cut costs thereby reduce Medicare spending. It has been interpreted as powerful and politically palatable to do so (Aizenman, 2013).
In reality America’s health care is the most expensive and least accessible among developing nations. Health insurances can hardly cover basic health care expenditure within the nation. Medicare is the only health care salvation for America’s aging population (Aizenman, 2013). How reformative is health care when the elderly are pushed out of hospitals earlier than usual because of the desire is to reduce cost?
In the absence of system justification bias this reporter could have reported the plain truth about America’s health care system. Analysts could have been quoted who researched the system and found that it was unfair for elderly Americans to spend less time in hospital in order to cut costs. It could have been highlighted that due to rising healthcare costs the elderly cannot afford healthcare without adequate Medicare coverage. Therefore, it was unconstitutional for ‘Health law’s rules to help hospitals cut patient readmission rate.’ It could have been projected that the American elderly deserve better health care to prevent readmissions. Cutting Medicare costs/coverage would not address the problem
Aizenman, N. Health law’s rules help hospitals cut patient readmission rate. The Washington Post. February 27, 2013
Baron, J. Thinking and deciding (4th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 2007. Print
Lehrer, Jonah. Why Smart People are stupid. The New Yorker. June 12th 2012.