The odd phenomenon of "blind insight"


Interesting. I had to think about Bulgaria for ten or twenty seconds, but once I got it I was pretty sure I was right. On the other hand, Rome came instantly but I immediately second-guessed myself: “Wait, is it? It seems too obvious. Is this a trick question, like ‘do you pronounce the capital of Louisiana New OR-lins or New Or-LEANS?’”

“For instance, in studies where subjects are shown a photograph of two people and asked which person they find more attractive, people will reliably choose one photo over the other. The experimenter will then perform some sleight of hand and remove the photo the person picked and pretend that the photo left behind, the one the subject didn’t pick, is actually the one she said she preferred. Most people don’t notice, and if you then ask a subject why she picked that photo (again, she didn’t), she will begin describing all the ways that person is more attractive than the person in the photo that was removed. In situations like this, you are unaware that you are guessing and just making things up. You assume you know why you feel the way you feel and think the things you think, but this sort of research suggests it’s often just a guess – and you often don’t know you are guessing”

I wonder if the author has considered the possibility that the subjects just don’t give a flying f*ck which picture is more attractive and just picks one without thinking about it merely to satisfy the investigator. And then similarly just makes up reasons for the choice. That seems like a strong likelihood to me.


I thought it was norlins…
edit: or nawlin

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Maybe I have an unusual accent, but I pronounce it “Baton Rouge.”


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