Friday, 22 May 2009

Madeleine McCann Hope Belief Expectations and Certainty

The news is full of a new suspect in the search for Madeleine McCann today. It's tempting to believe that the private investigators 'have got something' here. There's no smoke without fire, or so we like to think. In the abscence of information its seems natural to want to fill the gap as soon as possible. To make things fit.

I've just spent 5 minutes scouring the photo-fit and the photo of convicted paedophile Raymond Hewitt looking for similarities. That's what we do with information when we start to loose our objectivity. We seek out information that supports our hunches and find increasingly sophisticated ways of denying any disconfirming evidence.

Of course the detectives are saying its just one of many lines of enquiry. Lets hope, unlike the original Portugeuse investigator they are able to resist acting on hope belief and only seeing things that confirm their expectations.

Then there are the news papers and news sites. Perhaps editors have decided we have had our fill of outrageous British MP expense claims and we need a change. Is this is a 'none' story introduced to 'mix it up' and drive flagging sales and visits because of 'sleaze burn-out'.

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