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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

matt49 wrote:

Overdose wrote:

I would say that it is beyond all reasonable doubt that expectation bias exists and is so powerful.  The point being that it does exist and the reasons for it are largely academic, but it's effects are obvious to see. Better to be aware of the phenomena and take it into consideration when making purchases in hifi equipment.

No-one denies that expectation bias exists: that would be sheer folly. All you're doing here is setting up a straw man.

Overdose wrote:

The only categorical statement that might be contestable is that everyone is affected by expectation bias, as this is how the brain works. However, there is little evidence that I can see that points to the contrary.

I see where you're coming from, and several people on this forum have said similar things, but I'm afraid the scientific evidence says that you're wrong. All the evidence I'm aware of -- and I've read more of it than I care to remember over 25 years of academic study of the subject -- says that expectation bias and other similar cognitive biases can be overcome. If you're interested in the scientific evidence, I'd recommend starting with Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. Kahneman argues that we do suffer from all manner of cognitive biases (the 'thinking fast' of his title) but we're also capable of thinking without them ('thinking slow'). Kahneman's a very interesting thinker, the only psychologist I can think of who's won a Nobel Prize (there being no Nobel Prize for psychology). 

To assume that the theory is correct simply assumes that most people think 'fast' as shown by the results of expectation bias tests and it is the default human setting, it also suggests that people can be trained to think 'slow' to negotiate expectation bias and other perception bias and discount those superficial differences.

Whether people can be trained to think 'slow' or not is not the point. The point is that naturally people think in automatic 'fast' mode. If this were not the case, then expectation bias would not appear so prevalent.

It also doesn't change the fact that most people hear things that do not exist in certain circumstances.

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

busb wrote:

davedotco wrote:

matt49 wrote:

davedotco wrote:

These factors can cause real differences, suffuciant in some cases to tell one amplifier from another (still listening blind of course), but it important to realise that in sighted tests these differences are swamped by the effects of expectation bias, placebo effect etc, etc.

I know it is hard to believe that you will be taken in by such effects, especially when you know what to expect, but you will be, everyone is. It's the way the brain works and there is nothing you can do about it!

 

With all due respect, I don't think you'll find any psychologists (I mean academic researchers in psychology who study precisely this area) who'd agree with this. It's certainly true that in many situations most people will experience some form of bias in their judgements. It's equally true that most (psychological) biases can be overcome with training. There's a lot of idle talk about how our brains are 'hard-wired' to respond in certain ways. In fact, almost all of this supposed 'hard wiring' is susceptible to e.g. the influence of experience. Those who've advocated the 'hard wiring' form of argument, e.g. people like Paul Ekman, Silvan Tomkins, Paul Griffiths, generally agree that there are only a very small number of 'hard-wired' systems in the human brain that are impervious to training. These are the emotions of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust.

In other words, most people may be susceptible to biases in many situations, but it is possible to overcome most biases if you work at it.

 

I don't want to take this too far from the realms of hifi but you are correct, there are plenty of researchers who play down the effects of expectation bias and placebo effect, just as there are plenty who do not. 

I use these effects, expectation bias in the main to offer an explaination why, in sighted tests differences are often described as huge, night and day etc yet the same observers comprehensively fail to identify very different items in blind test.

This to me is the point, the experimental evidence is overwhelming, time and time again jounalists and other audio professionals fail blind tests comprehensively, so much so that few will now participate in them.

Just for amusement, take alook at this....

http://www.matrixhifi.com/ENG_contenedor_ppec.htm

I know I run the risk of boring many by my repetition but far too many seem to think that double blind ABX testing is incontrovertibly flawless. Please, someone put both myself & others out of our misery & show proof it works or I'll just keep repeating my doubts.

It's very important for the curious to acknowlwdge the existance of expectation bias - if we know it can colour our thinking, we can at least take quite simple steps to lessen its effects. However, some seem to assume its very existance renders all human experience suspect which ain't that enlightening or useful. I note from this thread that its not just audio fans that are dogged by opinions masquerading as facts - formally trained psychologists appear to be no better!

 

Lol ...i'd wager most of these so called psycologist bought their certificates off the internet........this issue can be rsolved so easily, I swear.

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

busb wrote:

It's very important for the curious to acknowlwdge the existance of expectation bias - if we know it can colour our thinking, we can at least take quite simple steps to lessen its effects. However, some seem to assume its very existance renders all human experience suspect which ain't that enlightening or useful.

Couldn't agree more.

busb wrote:

I note from this thread that its not just audio fans that are dogged by opinions masquerading as facts - formally trained psychologists appear to be no better!

Can you point us to evidence of this? What are you referring to? I'm interested.

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

I can't believe I let myself get suckered into reading ANOTHER of these threads.

The only thing I got out of it was this

davedotco wrote:

I'm reminded of the old motto. "Never argue with idiots, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with their experience".

Which made me lol 'cos I hadn't heard it before.

As I write this Eleanor McEvoy is singing in a space between my speakers. I know she isn't and I know the sound is coming from those boxes but it doesn't sound that way and that is the power of the auditory illusion. Your brain can interpret auditory and visual clues and create an illusion which does not need to have any bearing on reality. This is why it is too easy to convince oneself that A is better than B.

If you like it, listen to it and stop wasting time arguing. We all believe what we believe and 'resistance is futile'

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

visionary wrote:

I can't believe I let myself get suckered into reading ANOTHER of these threads.

The only thing I got out of it was this

davedotco wrote:

I'm reminded of the old motto. "Never argue with idiots, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with their experience".

Which made me lol 'cos I hadn't heard it before.

As I write this Eleanor McEvoy is singing in a space between my speakers. I know she isn't and I know the sound is coming from those boxes but it doesn't sound that way and that is the power of the auditory illusion. Your brain can interpret auditory and visual clues and create an illusion which does not need to have any bearing on reality. This is why it is too easy to convince oneself that A is better than B.

If you like it, listen to it and stop wasting time arguing. We all believe what we believe and 'resistance is futile'

No one is forcing you to read, let alone reply!

Anyway, it seems you ar suffering from expectation bias - you expect to enjoy the music on your equally enjoyable system so you do!

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Overdose wrote:

To assume that the theory is correct simply assumes that most people think 'fast' as shown by the results of expectation bias tests and it is the default human setting, it also suggests that people can be trained to think 'slow' to negotiate expectation bias and other perception bias and discount those superficial differences.

Yes, I agree.

Overdose wrote:

Whether people can be trained to think 'slow' or not is not the point.

Well, it was my point, because davedotco said it was impossible for people to train themselves to overcome expectation bias. I only contributed to this thread to contest davedotco's claim.

Overdose wrote:

The point is that naturally people think in automatic 'fast' mode.

If by 'naturally' and 'automatic' you mean that people prefer to think in fast mode in most circumstances, then yes you're right. But if you mean people always do so by default, then no. No-one prefers to think in fast mode when doing quadratic equations or translating Ancient Greek poetry. Horses for courses.

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

matt49 wrote:

busb wrote:

It's very important for the curious to acknowlwdge the existance of expectation bias - if we know it can colour our thinking, we can at least take quite simple steps to lessen its effects. However, some seem to assume its very existance renders all human experience suspect which ain't that enlightening or useful.

Couldn't agree more.

busb wrote:

I note from this thread that its not just audio fans that are dogged by opinions masquerading as facts - formally trained psychologists appear to be no better!

 

Can you point us to evidence of this? What are you referring to? I'm interested.

Only evidence that it was stated in this thread:

"I don't want to take this too far from the realms of hifi but you are correct, there are plenty of researchers who play down the effects of expectation bias and placebo effect, just as there are plenty who do not."

My comment was more about observing the irony than factual edification. As a general observation, professionals in any field for all their training that instills rigor in the so-called scientific Method, are just as likely to disagree with each other than not.

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

I do not think that I said that people could not be trained to overcome expectation bias, I have no idea whether they can or can not, just that most people are subject to it and that knowing about it does not, in itself, minimise it's effects

If I said or implied differently then I take it back, I was not being precise.

 

To paraphrase the great Arthur C Clarke.......

"The brain is not only stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think".

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

busb wrote:

Only evidence that it was stated in this thread:

"I don't want to take this too far from the realms of hifi but you are correct, there are plenty of researchers who play down the effects of expectation bias and placebo effect, just as there are plenty who do not."

Ah, I see. But davedotco was just putting up a smokescreen. There was no actual substance in that statement.

busb wrote:

My comment was more about observing the irony than factual edification. As a general observation, professionals in any field for all their training that instills rigor in the so-called scientific Method, are just as likely to disagree with each other than not.

In any given field of science scientists agree with one another 99% of the time. The 1% where they disagree is at the cutting edge of science, where new knowledge is being produced and new and controversial theories have to be thought up to explain it. Scientists disagree, then they resolve their disagreements and move on. That's how science works. What would be the point in endlessly repeating Faraday's Law once it's known to work? We pay these people to disagree for a very good reason.

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

davedotco wrote:

I do not think that I said that people could not be trained to overcome expectation bias, I have no idea whether they can or can not, just that most people are subject to it and that knowing about it does not, in itself, minimise it's effects

If I said or implied differently then I take it back, I was not being precise.

Well, you sort of did say that people can't learn to overcome expectation bias, and that's what I was getting at. The scientific evidence is very clear: people can learn to overcome cognitive biases, including expectation bias. And learning to overcome expectation bias must begin with awareness that it happens. Of course, whether people can be bothered to learn to overcome expectation bias is a different matter. And there your comments about the failure of hi-fi 'experts' in blind tests are all too true.

I've said before on this forum that there ought to be much more blind testing of hifi. Even if it proved nothing, it'd be great fun. It'd be an education. But it ain't gonna happen. Too much resistance, too much inertia.

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

matt49 wrote:

I've said before on this forum that there ought to be much more blind testing of hifi. Even if it proved nothing, it'd be great fun. It'd be an education. But it ain't gonna happen. Too much resistance, too much inertia.

I think it would be naive to assume that the lack of blind testing wasn't driven primarily by commercial considerations.

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Thompsonuxb wrote:

Honestly, utter piffle.....

What does playing various tones at varing phase shifts really have to do with listening to music on a domestic set in your home?

I mean c'mon...this is why I throw down the 'come lets have a listen' challenge to you guys, its nonesense and in real world terms is about as useful has...er...something thats totally useless ... I mean really really useless.

music is recorded -  sources, amps and speakers play it back - on a given amp it will play back said track exactly the same if nothing is changed, my argument to you is if one part of said system is changed lets say the interconnect between source and amp, audible differences can be heard by the human ear, variations on certain aspects of said track can be picked up.

you don't need to do a 3year study on the subject just set your own kit up and try it for youself.....and believe your ears.  

 

wow.

 

did you try the tests I linked to?  Were your ears fooled?  Simple yes or no.....

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Here's a video from the AES conference on audio myths. Interesting stuff, particularly the Poppy Crum segment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYTlN6wjcvQ

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

andyjm wrote:

matt49 wrote:

I've said before on this forum that there ought to be much more blind testing of hifi. Even if it proved nothing, it'd be great fun. It'd be an education. But it ain't gonna happen. Too much resistance, too much inertia.

I think it would be naive to assume that the lack of blind testing wasn't driven primarily by commercial considerations.

Agreed.

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

andyjm wrote:

matt49 wrote:

I've said before on this forum that there ought to be much more blind testing of hifi. Even if it proved nothing, it'd be great fun. It'd be an education. But it ain't gonna happen. Too much resistance, too much inertia.

I think it would be naive to assume that the lack of blind testing wasn't driven primarily by commercial considerations.

Agreed.

I've got a 69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

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