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09 October 2007


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You have buttoned the button on the perils in homophily in social networks Josie - connecting with the similar makes us so vulnerable to "confirmation bias"

Nassim Taleb in the must read book for 2007 "The Black Swan" elaborates on our "natural tendency to look only for corroboration; calling this corroboration error the conformation bias."

Homophily exaggerated through social networking can only exacerbate our propensity to misthink.

"You can test a given rule either directly, by looking at instances where it works, or indirectly by focusing on where it does not work. ... disconfirming instances are far more powerful in establishing truth. " p58

Thank you too for bringing this concept to the fore.
So by writing a thankful comment, am I verifying conformation bias?


Hi Christopher!
Naw, not to worry about that - since other people have gone with "awful word" and "It's not even interesting!", it's obviously contestable :)

I pointed my students in the direction of your post & Stephens ... they had quite an interesting discussion - in particular round the choice of the word "Homophily" to describe the phenomena. It's clear some weren't too happy with the word -while others were able to refer back to the Greek origins of the two parts.

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