Bias doesn't always undermine truth

When biased reasoning doesn’t lead us astray

Most of us tend to think that biased reasoning always leads us astray. But Katherine Puddifoot challenges this common-sense assumption and argues that motivated reasoning can lead us towards the truth.


Suppose you are considering your career choices. You decide you are going to be a world-leading research scientist. You believe that you are as likely to succeed as anyone else. You are also a young woman. Women are statistically underrepresented in higher level science, and you are aware of countless articles describing structural barriers faced by women in the sciences making it harder for them to reach the higher echelons of the profession. There isn’t anything about your skills or upbringing that gives you reason to think that you are less likely to face these barriers than other women. Nonetheless, because you want to believe that you are as likely to succeed as your male counterparts, you focus your attention on the successes of specific high profile wo

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