Yes Requires the Possibility of No

1. A group wants to try an ac­tivity that re­ally re­quires a lot of group buy in. The ac­tivity will not work as well if there is doubt that ev­ery­one re­ally wants to do it. They es­tab­lish com­mon knowl­edge of the need for buy in. They then have a group con­ver­sa­tion in which sev­eral peo­ple make com­ments about how great the ac­tivity is and how much they want to do it. Every­one wants to do the ac­tivity, but is aware that if they did not want to do the ac­tivity, it would be awk­ward to ad­mit. They do the ac­tivity. It goes poorly.

2. Alice strongly wants to be­lieve A. She searches for ev­i­dence of A. She im­ple­ments a bi­ased search, ig­nor­ing ev­i­dence against A. She finds jus­tifi­ca­tions for her con­clu­sion. She can then point to the jus­tifi­ca­tions, and tell her­self that A is true. How­ever, there is always this nag­ging thought in the back of her mind that maybe A is false. She never fully be­lieves A as strongly as she would have be­lieved it if she just im­ple­mented an an un­bi­ased search, and found out that A was, in fact, true.

3. Bob wants Char­lie to do a task for him. Bob phrases the re­quest in a way that makes Char­lie afraid to re­fuse. Char­lie agrees to do the task. Char­lie would have been happy to do the task oth­er­wise, but now Char­lie does the task while feel­ing re­sent­ful to­wards Bob for vi­o­lat­ing his con­sent.

4. Derek has an ac­com­plish­ment. Others of­ten talk about how great the ac­com­plish­ment is. Derek has im­poster syn­drome and is un­able to fully be­lieve that the ac­com­plish­ment is good. Part of this is due to a de­sire to ap­pear hum­ble, but part of it stems from Derek’s lack of self trust. Derek can see lots of pres­sures to be­lieve that the ac­com­plish­ment is good. Derek does not un­der­stand ex­actly how he thinks, and so is con­cerned that there might be a sig­nifi­cant bias that could cause him to falsely con­clude that the ac­com­plish­ment is bet­ter than it is. Be­cause of this he does not fully trust his in­side view which says the ac­com­plish­ment is good.

5. Eve is has an aver­sion to do­ing B. She wants to elimi­nate this aver­sion. She tries to do an in­ter­nal dou­ble crux with her­self. She iden­ti­fies a ra­tio­nal part of her­self who can ob­vi­ously see that it is good to do B. She iden­ti­fies an­other part of her­self that is afraid of B. The ra­tio­nal part thinks the other part is stupid and can’t imag­ine be­ing con­vinced that B is bad. The IDC fails, and Eve con­tinues to have an aver­sion to B and in­ter­nal con­flict.

6. Frank’s job or re­la­tion­ship is largely de­pen­dent to his be­lief in C. Frank re­ally wants to have true be­liefs, and so tries to figure out what is true. He mostly con­cludes that C is true, but has lin­ger­ing doubts. He is un­sure if he would have been able to con­clude C is false un­der all the ex­ter­nal pres­sure.

7. Ge­orge gets a lot of so­cial benefits out of be­liev­ing D. He be­lieves D with prob­a­bil­ity 80%, and this is enough for the so­cial benefits. He con­sid­ers search­ing for ev­i­dence of D. He thinks search­ing for ev­i­dence will likely in­crease the prob­a­bil­ity to 90%, but it has a small prob­a­bil­ity of de­creas­ing the prob­a­bil­ity to 10%. He val­ues the so­cial benefit quite a bit, and chooses not to search for ev­i­dence be­cause he is afraid of the risk.

8. Harry sees lots of stud­ies that con­clude E. How­ever, Harry also be­lieves there is a sys­tem­atic bias that makes stud­ies that con­clude E more likely to be pub­lished, ac­cepted, and shared. Harry doubts E.

9. A bayesian wants to in­crease his prob­a­bil­ity of propo­si­tion F, and is afraid of de­creas­ing the prob­a­bil­ity. Every time he tries to find a way to in­crease his prob­a­bil­ity, he runs into an im­mov­able wall called the con­ser­va­tion of ex­pected ev­i­dence. In or­der to in­crease his prob­a­bil­ity of F, he must risk de­creas­ing it.