Incentives and Results

Research reports, news and blog articles have a strong effect on forming reader’s opinions. Combining this with confirmation bias and the unsaid credibility of the source, it can be quite dangerous. One good exercise before reading unvetted sources of information in any form in your life is to see what the incentives were to create such a report. News is written and reported in such a way because their incentives is to gain and maintain their audience. “Public” think tanks are funded both publicly and privately to submit deep research reports about the environment, economy and the world.

One such example was a UNESCO study that suggested phones make you smarter which led to a partnership with Nokia. Another example are these stock reports issued by financial institutions. Or the “fat is bad for you” campaign a couple of decades ago.

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