Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias

I have a number of rant posts lately (and you should see those that I am not publishing), probably because I am doing a lot of research on my book. Today’s post was triggered by an article that I found really funny because its author was complaining about cognitive dissonance in others, whilst being the co-author of a paper that in my view is the mother of cognitive dissonances when it comes to justifying the use of HIT in a training setting.

For the record, I am not anti-HIT, I consider it as one-amongst-many-possible training styles; my issue with that particular paper is that simply everything that could possibly suggest the HIT is good and everything else is bad was uncritically put forward.

I am not mentioning this to make a point on this particularly instance, but because this is something that is widespread in a number of avantgarde (or minority) communities, be it Paleo/Primal/Ancestral, or be it Vegan, or be it CrossFit, or be it HIT in this case. It appears to me that those communities are full cognitive dissonances and confirmation biases – and on top of this, they accuse everyone else of exactly that. Nothing funnier than to have a hardcore paleo guy have a go at Durian Rider or vice versa (…linking to his blog, guess what is the latest post?…).

Now the first interesting question is (a) whether I am full of the proverbial and just fell foul of my own biases? And  (b) – if this is true indeed – then why is this the case?

My hypothesis’ on those are (a) I am the only unbiased person on this whole f’ing planet, and (b) it is probably that whilst confirmation bias in people following the mainstream is due to ignorance or lazyness (or both), in the avantgarde it is something more substantial: being avantgarde is usually a defining characteristics for someones personality (“I am hardcore / firebreather / cavemen / smarter-than-the-average-meathead-bodybuilder”) so of course, cognitive dissonances and confirmation biases become a survival strategy.

Anyway – gotta get back to the Book now (or rather, the Guides) now…

One thought on “Cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias

  1. Pingback: Is Durianrider trying to use subliminal messaging when having a go at Mark Sisson… | Thor Falk

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