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scott adams on economics, global warming, and communication breakdown October 1, 2007

Posted by AP in Uncategorized.

interesting post

The primary skill of an economist is identifying all of the explanations for various phenomena. Cognitive dissonance is, at its core, the inability to recognize and accept other explanations. I’m oversimplifying, but you get the point. The more your brain is trained for economics, the less it is susceptible to cognitive dissonance, or so it seems.

The joke about economists is that they are always using the phrase “On the other hand.” Economists are trained to recognize all sides of an argument. That seems like an easy and obvious skill, but in my experience, the general population lacks that skill. Once people take a side, they interpret any argument on the other side as absurd. In other words, they are relatively susceptible to cognitive dissonance.



1. Afshin - November 12, 2007


I’ve come back to this because I thought I might share something that I read in the New York Times about how cognitive dissonance is something we naturally do. The article essentially says we have the problem in the first place because of our innate ability to rationalize our decisions. So the “easy and obvious skill” might be something that’s actually the opposite of what we actually do…

Just some food for though. Keep up the good work, I love the sound bites you guys give.


2. Afshin - November 12, 2007

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