The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Posted On Nov 17, 2021 By Addison Wiggin

In our customary haphazard way this weekend, we stumbled across an article titled, “How ideas from ancient Greek philosophy may have driven civilization toward climate change.” Name an ill, and you can find someone who will link it to ancient thinking. So…why not include climate change? In fact, there’s already a name for this kind of specious argument. It’s known in psychology as “the Baader–Meinhof phenomenon.” It’s a combination of selective attention and recency bias. The name stems from a research subject who learned about a terrorist group called Baader-Meinhof, then suddenly noticed more articles on them — making him think they were a bigger deal than they really were. Therefore fueling his own delusions. You’ve probably suffered from a similar effect when you purchase a new car.

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