Viés em ciência e comunicação - um manual de campo

segunda-feira, julho 16, 2018

Bias in Science and Communication - A field guide

Matthew Welsh
Australian School of Petroleum,
University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia


This book is intended as an introduction to a wide variety of biases affecting human cognition, with a specific focus on how they affect scientists and the communication of science. A significant point, however, should be made up front: scientists are people and the biases that are discussed herein are, for the most part, generic in that they affect people in general rather than being specific to any particular group of people. That is, the decision making biases of experts and specialists tend to be more similar to those of lay-people than different (although chapter 10 will discuss situations where that is not the case). The role of this book, therefore, is to lay out how these common biases affect the specific types of judgements, decisions and communications made by scientists.

The book is divided into four parts. The first (chapters 1–3), introduces the reader to a variety of decision biases, the field of decision making in general and fundamental considerations regarding the psychology underlying different types of communication.

Each chapter in the second part of the book (chapters 4–10) will focus on a specific bias or a set of related decision making tendencies, describing the general effect, how they impact decisions and some of the implications for scientists’ decisions and communications.

Part 3 (chapters 11–13) brings insights about these individual biases together to demonstrate how they can combine and interact to produce a variety of welldocumented effects, including publication bias and stubborn denial of what, to scientists, are regarded as accepted facts. It also covers, more broadly, the ways in which biases can be overcome or avoided.

Finally, part 4 (chapter 14) draws overall conclusions about the impact of biases on science and communication, with advice on how best to move forward given what we know about their modes of action and amelioration strategies.

In all cases, an effort has been made to ensure that the latest information is incorporated and, where there are disputes or disagreements over the causes or nature of biases, alternative views are noted for those interested in following up in greater detail.

Each chapter also includes advice or exercises to help readers to identify or reduce biases in their own thinking.

@ IOP Publishing Ltd 2018

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