10 Answers

  1. This is when, when testing an assumption, we take into account only the data that confirms it. And we either don't take the rest into account, or we organize the experiment in such a way that there won't be any other data.

    An excellent example of such a mistake is the joke about cucumbers. If you take all the people who died in the last 100 years, it turns out that each of them ate cucumbers at least once in their lives. Conclusion: cucumbers are a terrible poison!

    Another example is the infamous Ermakova study. During the experiment, the harm of GMOs was allegedly proved, although after a more detailed review, it turned out that the experiment was conducted with violations of the methodology. Relatively speaking, rats that ate a normal diet were compared with rats that ate only a normal diet.GMO soy (and nothing else). Ermakova's result was not confirmed with the correct formulation of the experiment.

  2. The Texas shooter would shoot at the barn, then walk up and draw a target so that it covered most of the holes.

    Unfortunately, this method is incredibly common even in natural science research. Often, one or two values obtained as a result of an experiment spoil the whole picture and they are simply discarded. Most often, they do appear as a result of someone's crooked hands, but sometimes they hide a fundamental error in the theory or a previously undiscovered(not described) property of the system.

    In economics, almost all discoveries are made using the Texas Arrow method. The first person to beautifully describe why this happened and how it could have been avoided gets the Nobel Prize. Then, based on his theory, he writes recommendations on what to do now to make it better. They do this, and after a while we get a new crisis, and again someone after the fact juggles data, draws formulas, draws graphs, and explains everything in a popular way.

    Well, that is, you have already seen a football match, and now your task is to tell us why the winner won and the loser lost. It is desirable that everyone (or almost everyone) agrees with you.

    Something similar is used by crooks, consultants, etc. they give several pre-prepared examples and confirm their thesis with them or draw far-reaching conclusions based on them


    For example,

    Sberbank uses scripts for employees;

    Beeline uses scripts for employees;


    Scripts are what make a company successful.


    Successful businessmen drive expensive cars;

    Successful businessmen wear expensive watches;

    A successful businessman wouldn't even think of saving on groceries.


    To be a successful businessman, you need to train yourself to be rich. By all means, get an expensive car, a Swiss watch and eat lobsters with black caviar.

    That is, the error of the Texas shooter is a delusion that a person introduces himself or (and) others due to the fact that he is looking for (showing) only confirmation of a hypothesis/statement, not noticing/ignoring/hiding facts that could cast doubt on his “accuracy”.

    An example from my personal life.

    As soon as I started working, and for many years after that, the idea was firmly in my head – “Now I'll make a big deal, sign a contract with a big client, and the freebie will start. Beautiful life, money flowing, you can do whatever you want.”It didn't bother me at all that most of the supporting examples were in movies and bikes. I easily ignored the fact that literally every rich person in sight worked the same 8 hours a day, or even more. That success is not a milestone, but an eternal workflow.

  3. The name comes from an anecdote:

    -“How does a Texas shooter manage to shoot so accurately?”

    — Very simple: he raises his revolver, fires all the bullets into the wall of the barn, and then draws a target around the hits!

    The Texas shooter error is when experimental data is obtained first, and then a system for evaluating them is devised that confirms the desired hypothesis.

    Let's say we have come up with a certain hypothesis (theory). We want to check it honestly. What do I need to do for this? You need to come up with an experiment that will give a certain result if the theory is correct, and another, different from the first, result if the theory is NOT correct. Moreover, the expected results should be described BEFORE the experiment is performed. That is, we sort of “draw a target on the barn”. Then we still conduct an experiment (“shoot at the target”), and based on the previously formulated criteria, we conclude: is the theory confirmed or not? (did we hit the target we drew earlier?) If so, we will continue working with it (we believe that the shooter is accurate). If not , we reject it or make changes to it (arrow-mazila).

    The” Texas shooter ” consciously or subconsciously wants not to TEST the theory, but to CONFIRM it. So he invents an experiment, then sets it up (“shoots the barn”), and, having received some results, tries to find CONFIRMATION of the hypothesis in them. At the same time, the criteria for evaluating results can be adjusted (“we draw a target around hits”), some experimental data can be discarded under the pretext of “unreliability”, “inaccuracy” or something else (we say about several obvious mistakes, that “I shot last time, so you can not count”), other methodological errors can be allowed. As a result, the solution of the problem is “adjusted to the answer”: the hypothesis is confirmed (“the arrow is accurate”), but in reality such confirmation turns out to have no value.

  4. Accepting the first suitable output? Not exactly. Every theory is viable to the extent of its reliability. So the accuracy of the assessment of the viability of the theory depends on the skill of the shooter.Experience is very important.

  5. The error of the Texas shooter is a consequence of the inability, unwillingness (or even a conscious distortion) to build a logical model and an uncritical attitude to one's own conclusions, at the expense of discarding inconvenient facts. For example, we build a logical model: all leaves are green, this car is green, and therefore cars are leaves. We simply rejected the fact that cars are not only green and got an absurd conclusion.

  6. What is the question is the answer. The Texas shooter wasn't wrong.There is no mistake of the Texas shooter-there is a method. The origin story is well described in Ivan Kudryashov's answer. It would be correct to speak of a “Method”,”The result obtained by applying the method” (in an ironic sense), and not a mistake, “Texas shooter”. There are also incorrect results obtained without taking into account additional factors, but this is another topic.

    Addendum: No kidding, the Texan could really prove his marksmanship based on his accuracy when firing an un-fired weapon.

    PS Another similar “British scientists have established” 🙂

  7. As far as I know, there were three groups of rats: one on standard vivar feed, another on normal soy and the third on gmo soy, and it was then that it gave degeneration in the third generation. If we recall that there was a message about the death of a tourist from gmo tomatoes in a dish that he ate – they said he had a rare allergy-then I think the concerns about gmo food are not unfounded. I suggest that the author, before writing an unfounded campaign, conduct an experiment on himself and report the results. As for me, I prefer natural food, for which my body has been adapted for millions of years of evolution. In general, I am very skeptical of any “benefactors” who want to save the world, whether from hunger or from a “terribly deadly global sore”, because who is smart to say:� “with good intentions …”

  8. I haven't seen this particular phrase, but its meaning is clear. Unlike other authors, I will not express a lot of negativity in the direction of this assessment of something. If you remove self-deception from this story, then it's quite a stat. method. In statistics, this is what they do, discarding strongly falling values from a certain series. Moreover, if such a thing is firmly embedded in human thinking, then it was evolutionarily useful. There's still a lot to say, but I'm stopping what I'm allowed to say.

  9. this is a mistake in understanding! the bottom line is that a good shooter who hits the target understands how the gun works bullet power barrel length distance and ballistics of the bullet's flight with all the offsets and hits! getting the final result as a result of knowing a lot of seemingly unrelated factors and this is how discoveries occur, for example, in related areas by combining several different unrelated factors such as the steel of the barrel gunpowder in the cartridge and the laws of physics in the flight of a bullet

    based on this we see that the Texas shooter is in fact an amateur and a bolobol who tries to deduce a false pattern by drawing targets in a circle of bullet holes no matter where they hit!

  10. In mathematics, there is a concept: necessary and sufficient.So this error ts relate to the concept of enough.Example: to be a human you need to have two legs, then the chicken is a human.

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