Author Topic: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes  (Read 12580 times)

TheGrimSqueaker

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Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« on: May 29, 2016, 12:46:26 PM »
We Mustachians take a lot of pride in eschewing expensive options in favor of DIY or a more frugal approach, but at a certain level we all need to be able to point at real-world examples and say: "aha! I knew it!" It's called confirmation bias, and it's an instinctive emphasis that we place on anecdotal evidence that supports a conclusion we've already reached.

I'm feeling a need for some confirmation bias. I'm in the mood for something really "good", and by that I mean one that makes me feel superior about my Mustachian life choices.

So: has anybody here gone against their better judgement and/or Mustachian instincts to try something expensive that other people rant and rave about, only to have such a negative experience that it's turned you off for life?

I'm not talking about situations where a particular kind of expensive food or restaurant meal wasn't to your taste. I'm talking about full-on food poisoning, physical injuries, major inconvenience, or significant property damage that was a direct result of buying or signing up for some overrated crap that failed to perform as advertised. Or, perhaps an experience in retail or some other industry that resulted in your total loss of respect for a product or service.

Stories, anyone?

RetiredAt63

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 02:01:40 PM »
Like Lifejoy's spa experience?  Or more serious?

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2016, 05:28:29 PM »
Like Lifejoy's spa experience?  Or more serious?

Either. The spa incident was classic but I'm sure there are more tales of overrated nonsense. It's not even necessary that the joke be on us, either. It could be someone we know.

For example...

My mother takes pride in her appearance. She's always nicely dressed, and she went in for heavy workouts and weightlifting well into her sixties. But for a few years, she belonged to a kind of social club where they kept track of their weight and occasionally gave group presentations about nutrition, exercise, and other aspects of fitness. Her goal was not to lose weight but to maintain it in a healthy way as old age set in. The other people in the group, which was part of some kind of national non-profit association, had goals that ranged from weight loss to weight gain and all steps in between. They were heavily into nutrition education.

Paying to belong to a group of people with like goals when a person can hang out with their friends for free strikes me as impractical, even when the price of admission is cheap. But, I figured, what the heck: it made her happy. It was mostly a social thing for her. She'd gotten into it through a friend from the gym. She went to the weekly meetings, learned all their cutesy sayings and acronyms, hobnobbed with some of the other people there, and generally had a good time learning about things that interested her. But the down side, with this group, is that sometimes participation at a higher level can get expensive. I'm not talking about the regular meetings where the dues were trivial. There were all kinds of optional extras that a person could buy: fund raiser T-shirts, caps, and admission to various bigger events. These were sometimes big Amway-like motivational events, which were primarily social but that cost money to attend. Then, of course there were other up-sells.

My mother called me one evening, bursting with pride. She'd been invited to a week-long conference in another town. There was a hefty fee involved, but accommodations were included and all the meals were catered. Price-wise, she paid about as much as I would have paid to go to a high-end engineering symposium or hands-on management course, most of which run several hundred dollars per day. So off she went. She was mostly incommunicado during this time, but I called her after she got back and asked how the conference was. She refused to answer, but I eventually pried the story out of my father.

When my mother arrived, the first thing she noticed was that she was by far the thinnest and fittest person there. The first event was a weigh-in, there was mandatory exercise and portion control, and people were talking about their weight loss goals. Pretty soon the pattern recognition set in, and my mother realized she'd been manipulated into signing up for, attending, and (most importantly) paying for... a fat camp. Everybody else there was obese, sometimes morbidly so, and here she was with a body fat percentage and BMI well within the fit range for her age.

My mother came home a little bit more toned, having nothing better to do than to hang out in the gym, but overall she was hacked off at herself for swallowing all the euphemisms. "Seminar." "Conference." What a load of hokum. From that point on she was a little less enamored of the group.

Making Cookies

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 07:14:49 PM »
Yeah - I tried one of the mainstream weight loss groups through work.

Anyone know of a MMM version of nutrition? People discussing food, grocery shopping and so forth and not buying into brand name...

Sorry if I derailed your topic.

We were never part of anything outrageous.

rockstache

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 07:51:32 PM »
Someone in our family paid a $30,000 "mortgage" on a time share. They now get 3 weeks a year, you know, after they pay their $900 maintenance fee.

SwordGuy

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2016, 07:59:43 PM »
My parents bought a timeshare in Branson, Missouri.   That didn't work out as expected.

Thankfully they paid to sell it before I inherited it.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2016, 08:38:38 PM »
My wife volunteered for months on end to help organize a "race" for a well known organization that helps cancer survivors... feel part of a community, maybe? Very little money actually goes to anything worthwhile. They had dozens of hours of meetings to plan for stuff that should have been decided by one competent person, but instead it was the work of endless committees.

I helped with logistics on race day. What I saw completely reinforced my opinion of how useless this spectacle really is. The amount of time and money wasted on events like this makes my head explode.

It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Inaya

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2016, 08:42:16 PM »
My husband and I got anniversary tattoos--it went wrong, but not the way you'd think. They are small and relatively (for tattoos) inexpensive. We planned them in such a way that if we ever split there wouldn't be regret--still meaningful separate and no names or anything. I researched tattoo parlors for months, picked one of the better ones in the area. Do not want to skimp when it comes to permanent body modifications. I did everything I could to ensure this permanent thing wouldn't be a regret.

And had an awful experience. We were walk-ins. Well, clearly the artist I got assigned to was less than enthusiastic. Barely said two words to me the whole time (my husband's artist made the stencil and just gave it to my guy), never even checking if I was okay (I wasn't great, but I didn't want to be seen as a pansy so I stupidly didn't say anything). When we were halfway done, he disappeared completely for like 20 minutes. My fresh tattoo was dripping blood down my back, and somebody else had to swab me up. He came back and did the other half just the same--few words, then disappeared once done.

(My husband's artist was great. My husband is TERRIFIED of needles, but the artist was supporting him through the experience the whole time. Our experiences were like night and day. The only blessing here is that he got the supportive guy.)

Anyway, I was done and excited to have a pretty new tattoo. I followed aftercare to the letter. The scabs were extremely thick, but my husband's were too, so I thought that was normal. Well, it's healed up completely, and it's blotchy and ugly because of the thick scars that formed before the scabs were even completely off (and, no, I didn't pick at them). The outlines are perfect, so I don't think it was an infection or aftercare issue, which probably would have messed up the lines as well. I now suspect he just went way too deep when he filled in the color. Husband's turned out beautifully, and he followed the exact same aftercare regimen I did.

And now I'm heartbroken because I have this splotchy ugly (but small and hidden by clothes--some foresight on my part) tattoo that I did everything in my power to not end up regretting and that should have been celebratory and affirming. And it just ended up being such an awful, negative experience. And it was so negative, I don't ever want to get it retouched (nor do I know if you can even retouch over scar tissue).

So yeah, this'll make the Mustachians and the anti-tattoo folks gleeful. Commence the schattenfreude.

BlueHouse

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2016, 08:56:59 PM »
I wanted my car to feel "like new" again, so I had my car detailed by the dealership and they did a crap job!  I gave them negative feedback and honestly, the guys at the $10 car wash do a way better job in 10 minutes than the dealer did in 2.5 hours and $160.  They offered to re-do it, but I didn't want to waste my time again. So when I went on Yelp to leave feedback, I saw that I had had the same negative experience there 2 years before and I had forgotten!  How did I spend that kind of money and completely forget? 

elaine amj

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Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2016, 08:59:41 PM »
@Mybigtoe I use MyFitnessPal. Their forum members are not Mustachian per se - but believe in "eat less, move more" and feel that most weight loss fads are gimmicky and mostly marketing hype and scams. Its actually been rather refreshing and is changing my mindset about what foods are "healthy".

You'll also find a few weight loss groups here on MMM. I know there is a Whole30 group and I am part of the Losing Weight in 2016 group.

Getting back on topic - I wish I had at least bought a timeshare :( When we were first married, I dragged DH to one of those "we won a free trip" things complete with high pressure sales (of course we'll be able to say no, honey. We're smart people). We ended up spending something like $5k on a stupid travel club membership. Unlike a timeshare, it didnt even give us anything concrete - just access to discounts. We were so so stupid. Thankfully, after a few years of paying dues and not going on a single trip, we were able to cut our losses and quit.


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gimp

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2016, 10:53:12 PM »
I wanted my car to feel "like new" again, so I had my car detailed by the dealership and they did a crap job!  I gave them negative feedback and honestly, the guys at the $10 car wash do a way better job in 10 minutes than the dealer did in 2.5 hours and $160.  They offered to re-do it, but I didn't want to waste my time again. So when I went on Yelp to leave feedback, I saw that I had had the same negative experience there 2 years before and I had forgotten!  How did I spend that kind of money and completely forget?

Detailing.

Experience, as well as everything I read says basically this: you get what you paid for.

But since I try to be frugal, it's a catch 22. I'm not willing to pay for serious quality. I don't want to waste my money on a half-done job.

At the end of the day, I bought my own detailing kit... clay bars, wax, shop vac, blah blah.

What was the lifejoy spa experience?

FIREwoman

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MgoSam

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2016, 01:32:08 PM »
I wanted my car to feel "like new" again, so I had my car detailed by the dealership and they did a crap job!  I gave them negative feedback and honestly, the guys at the $10 car wash do a way better job in 10 minutes than the dealer did in 2.5 hours and $160.  They offered to re-do it, but I didn't want to waste my time again. So when I went on Yelp to leave feedback, I saw that I had had the same negative experience there 2 years before and I had forgotten!  How did I spend that kind of money and completely forget?

Detailing.

Experience, as well as everything I read says basically this: you get what you paid for.

But since I try to be frugal, it's a catch 22. I'm not willing to pay for serious quality. I don't want to waste my money on a half-done job.

At the end of the day, I bought my own detailing kit... clay bars, wax, shop vac, blah blah.

What was the lifejoy spa experience?

Any advice on doing it? My warehouse has a shopvac that I can use, and I don't mind washing it myself to get it done decently and because I'm cheap (detailing runs around $40 here from what I've seen).

MgoSam

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2016, 01:34:52 PM »
My wife volunteered for months on end to help organize a "race" for a well known organization that helps cancer survivors... feel part of a community, maybe? Very little money actually goes to anything worthwhile. They had dozens of hours of meetings to plan for stuff that should have been decided by one competent person, but instead it was the work of endless committees.

I helped with logistics on race day. What I saw completely reinforced my opinion of how useless this spectacle really is. The amount of time and money wasted on events like this makes my head explode.

It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Team Ortho is a nonprofit here in MN that is shady as fuck. They are terrible about running races, for instance their Minneapolis Marathon has been cancelled less than 2 weeks prior to the race because they didn't submit their plans to the city early enough, and the plans they had included parts of the city that had been off limits due to construction FOR OVER A YEAR! There have been other races that have had curtailed hours because they didn't submit their plans early enough to get enough police support. In addition, they provide pathetically little to charities.

In general I am very cautious with anything that claims to be a charity or non-profit. All too many are just a piggybank, or poorly managed as Grim can surely attest to (through no fault of hers).

http://www.runnersworld.com/watchdog/nonprofit-race-organizer-draws-complaints-for-small-donations-to-charity-disorganization

http://www.runnersworld.com/watchdog/minneapolis-marathon-canceled-10-days-before-scheduled-start

Chris22

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2016, 01:47:56 PM »
It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Which is sadly why I always think to myself when people say they want to retire early to "volunteer", 'if you want to beat your head against a wall working with incompetent busy bodies, don't you at least want to get paid for it?!?!'

MgoSam

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2016, 01:53:25 PM »
It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Which is sadly why I always think to myself when people say they want to retire early to "volunteer", 'if you want to beat your head against a wall working with incompetent busy bodies, don't you at least want to get paid for it?!?!'

It's more just wanting to stay somewhat active and do some good. I don't know yet what I plan to do post-FIRE other than travel more. Any ideas what you might do when you retire?

Chris22

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2016, 01:55:31 PM »
It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Which is sadly why I always think to myself when people say they want to retire early to "volunteer", 'if you want to beat your head against a wall working with incompetent busy bodies, don't you at least want to get paid for it?!?!'

It's more just wanting to stay somewhat active and do some good. I don't know yet what I plan to do post-FIRE other than travel more. Any ideas what you might do when you retire?

I'd like to teach business/accounting in a community college or similar.  And take up fishing.  And play with my sports car (maybe cars).

MgoSam

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2016, 02:30:43 PM »
It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Which is sadly why I always think to myself when people say they want to retire early to "volunteer", 'if you want to beat your head against a wall working with incompetent busy bodies, don't you at least want to get paid for it?!?!'

It's more just wanting to stay somewhat active and do some good. I don't know yet what I plan to do post-FIRE other than travel more. Any ideas what you might do when you retire?

I'd like to teach business/accounting in a community college or similar.  And take up fishing.  And play with my sports car (maybe cars).

Nice!

No Name Guy

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2016, 08:33:08 PM »
It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Which is sadly why I always think to myself when people say they want to retire early to "volunteer", 'if you want to beat your head against a wall working with incompetent busy bodies, don't you at least want to get paid for it?!?!'
That's a shitty attitude Chris.

Retiring early so I can volunteer is EXACTLY one of my motivations.  The thing is, as a volunteer crew leader, I kind of get to set the agenda, the project, hand pick my volunteers, etc.  I was just out the other day enjoying the fruits of my volunteer labor...multiple years / ~3,000 hours of volunteer time put into a restoration project and it was so flipping pleasant a place to be.  Yeah, guess it was beating the head against the wall.

Heading out this coming weekend....I have 24 people signed up for a project.  We'll get a lot of good done - not a single incompetent on the crew (at least in the leadership / key technical positions). 

So yeah....How about you just find yourself a decent volunteer program there Chris, and lose that shitty 'tude.

[MOD EDIT: Forum Rule #1.] 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 02:42:01 AM by arebelspy »

Making Cookies

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2016, 09:31:46 PM »
@Mybigtoe I use MyFitnessPal. Their forum members are not Mustachian per se - but believe in "eat less, move more" and feel that most weight loss fads are gimmicky and mostly marketing hype and scams. Its actually been rather refreshing and is changing my mindset about what foods are "healthy".

You'll also find a few weight loss groups here on MMM. I know there is a Whole30 group and I am part of the Losing Weight in 2016 group.

Thank you!

gimp

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2016, 01:33:21 AM »
Detailing.

Experience, as well as everything I read says basically this: you get what you paid for.

But since I try to be frugal, it's a catch 22. I'm not willing to pay for serious quality. I don't want to waste my money on a half-done job.

At the end of the day, I bought my own detailing kit... clay bars, wax, shop vac, blah blah.

Any advice on doing it? My warehouse has a shopvac that I can use, and I don't mind washing it myself to get it done decently and because I'm cheap (detailing runs around $40 here from what I've seen).

I like the subreddit https://www.reddit.com/r/autodetailing

Generally, I'd say that detailing for $40 is exactly what I mean by just not worth it. You'll get your car back with swirl marks in the paint, maybe a couple new scratches, and an almost clean interior, with a whole host of small things that bug you. And none of the real benefits of a proper detail. It's basically like wasting $40. IMO, you're better off just paying like $6 and rolling the car through an automatic car wash at that point. You'll get the same new minor scratches, but you'll pay a lot less, and you won't get your hopes up.

It seems to me that what you gotta do is basically this, for a full clean and basic maint (both at once is easy, because you're already cleaning under the hood, and so on):

- Vacuum interior, then do it again
- Shampoo interior - I am way too lazy for this, come on
- All leather in the interior gets treated with leather... treatment... stuff.
- All plastic in the interior gets treated with plastic... treatment... stuff. Which may be the same as the leather stuff. I dunno.
- All surfaces get wiped clean. No more dust.
- All windows get cleaned from the inside with something like invisible glass.
- Locks get lubed
- Door hinges get lubed
- Hood and trunk latches get lubed
- Glovebox latch, console latch, other flippy bits in the interior get lubed
- Hood and trunk struts get lubed and/or checked (if they are leaking/sweating, it's like $12 to replace these)
- While your hood is up, throw in a new cabin air filter, super easy
- And also vacuum out your engine bay, vacuum the crap where your hood closes, vacuum the crap where your trunk closes
- Remember that leather / plastic / rubber treatment stuff? Go over the weather sealing on the doors, trunk, and bottom of windshield, and sunroof/etc if you got one
- Windshield wipers get checked, replaced if necessary, cleaned if they're fine
- Polish headlights if they're a bit grungy... eventually the inside yellows though, and that's a lot harder to take care of
- Inspect all light bulbs, replace any that need it
- Check coolant, oil, and trans if you got a trans filler tube (some new cars don't) (need engine running, car parked in a flat space)
- Check power steering and brake reservoirs (master cylinders, whatever)
- Top up washer fluid; bug cleaner in the summer, cold resistant stuff in the winter
- Clean the car with your hose, or two bucket system, or whatever
- Now we get to the fun part: claying; clay bar the entire car; this removes crap embedded in the clearcoat / paint
- Touch up the clearcoat if it makes sense to do so... generally this is not something you want to be doing
- Immediately wax the car after claying; a proper hand wax that stays on for a long time
- All windows get cleaned from the outside with invisible glass, then get rain-X'ed or a similar water repellent treatment. Especially the windshield.

A proper detailing place will do all of this, except they probably won't be getting you a new air filter or checking/topping off fluids. Or lubing your moving components. Just the full clean, treatments, wash, clay, wax, etc.

Would anyone do all of the cleaning stuff for $40? No. Suddenly the $200 detailing packages make sense. They've gotta pay for several hours of labor, material cost, rent, bills, ads, and so on. Can't do this shit in 20 minutes.

If you really want to get sexy with it:

- Jack car up
- Get an oil change going
- Take your wheels off
- Inspect your brake rotors and pads (and drums, if you have them - sorry) for thickness, surface wear, pitting / grooving
- If you're going to be fancy with it, take off your calipers / caliper brackets, and use brake clean to clean your brake rotors, and clean up your calipers / caliper brackets, you can even apply new anti-squeal / brake quiet to the rear of the brake pads
- If you removed your brakes, you might want to have spare brake parts lying around, so you can put on new brakes if you decide it's time
- Clean all the brake dust off your wheels, get them looking brand new again
- Clean your tires, especially the sides; maybe shine the sides if you want (I do not recommend it)
- Hey, now you can rotate your wheels! If they're not staggered / or have directional tires, that is.
- Inspect car from underneath, see if anything moves that shouldn't, or doesn't that should
- Maybe flush the coolant, maybe flush the brake fluid, maybe do trans fluid
- Finish up the oil change, reinstall the wheels, lower the car, torque the wheels properly

Now your car is super clean, has new fluids as necessary, and has been inspected by you.

BlueHouse

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2016, 04:33:32 AM »
I wanted my car to feel "like new" again, so I had my car detailed by the dealership and they did a crap job!  I gave them negative feedback and honestly, the guys at the $10 car wash do a way better job in 10 minutes than the dealer did in 2.5 hours and $160.  They offered to re-do it, but I didn't want to waste my time again. So when I went on Yelp to leave feedback, I saw that I had had the same negative experience there 2 years before and I had forgotten!  How did I spend that kind of money and completely forget?
$40 is about the cost of an inside outside wash around here. (Including tip). I finally paid a young man who started a detail business $120. He showed up to my house with his own generator and water and cleaned every nook and cranny of the car with q-tips. He scrubbed some stains out of the seats that had been there since the day I bought the car and put a shiny black briefcase against the back of the seat. And he buffed a bunch of scratches out of the paint.  He did the best job I could have imagines and you bet I tipped him nicely.

Detailing.

Experience, as well as everything I read says basically this: you get what you paid for.

But since I try to be frugal, it's a catch 22. I'm not willing to pay for serious quality. I don't want to waste my money on a half-done job.

At the end of the day, I bought my own detailing kit... clay bars, wax, shop vac, blah blah.

What was the lifejoy spa experience?

Any advice on doing it? My warehouse has a shopvac that I can use, and I don't mind washing it myself to get it done decently and because I'm cheap (detailing runs around $40 here from what I've seen).

ender

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2016, 09:02:24 AM »
I can't decide on if this conversation about writing off volunteering because of personal anecdotes in a thread asking for "confirmation bias anecdotes" is intentionally ironic or not.

Tabitha

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2016, 06:15:53 PM »
I can't decide on if this conversation about writing off volunteering because of personal anecdotes in a thread asking for "confirmation bias anecdotes" is intentionally ironic or not.

I suspect it was not intentional. But ironic nonetheless.

My on-topic contribution: feather beds, actually feather mattress topper.

About 10 years back I was able to choose a reward prize from a small catalog of mostly useless stuff. Our mattress at the time slept hard and I was often sore and thought "oh, softness, perfection."  What I should have thought was "oh, feathers, crap." 

I don't know if it was poor quality ticking or if they are all this bad, but after about a month we noticed pin feathers poking out, through the ticking, then through the mattress cover I'd put over it, through the sheets, in to the mattress below, through the blankets and duvet on top, and definitely in to us. After a year we'd had enough and gave the feather mattress away. It was another two years before I stopped picking pin feathers as they worked their way out of the rest of our bedding.

A feather bed sounded good in theory, but I'm glad I didn't spend money on it, sorry I wasted my reward on it, and wouldn't accept another one as a gift.

obstinate

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2016, 11:41:40 PM »
I own a house worth a tad more than two million dollars. It has a really fancy upstairs master suite which I'm sure drove up the price by a significant margin. There are three other bedrooms downstairs. I bought it when it was just me and my wife.

We now have one kid, maybe working on another sometime soon. We currently only use three of the bedrooms and don't really have a conceivable plan of using the fourth. We have moved downstairs out of the fancy bedroom because it's too hot up there during the summer and we don't want to run the AC.

I've been lucky enough to see the price rise, but you can't count on that. I should have bought a one-story three bed place. Don't let the fancy furnishings fool you. We're perfectly happy in the downstairs bedroom that is significantly less updated.

Kaydedid

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2016, 06:25:04 PM »
My mom's family is from northern Germany, and we go over to visit every few years.  We  have a ton of relatives to visit in a short time, so not much inter-country travel happens.

My mom decided that she wanted to see the rest of Germany, but instead of asking relatives to show us around, she decided to buy a 2 - week-long guided tour for her and myself.

 We had done this 10 years before with the same company in Italy and Greece, and it was wonderful.  Due to group discount rates, we got significantly more for our money, and we got to see the major sights with a lot less hassle than an independent trip.

However, this company had changed quite a bit in those 10 years.  At least every other day involved long stops at specific shops for the express purpose of buying overpriced, poorly made junk.  There were plenty of opportunities to buy things on the Italian trip, like when visiting the glassblowers in Venice, but the German trip was completely different.  There was nothing to see or do on these stops except browse and buy stuff. There was a particularly memorable shop in the Black forest that sold poorly-molded plastic 'cuckoo clocks'.  We were stuck there for 4 hours.

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LeRainDrop

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2016, 09:41:37 PM »
Nine years ago, my (ex-)boyfriend and I planned an amazing getaway to South America for a couple weeks after we were taking the bar exam.  This was my "dream" trip, involving lots of time in the mountains, in the rain forest, at the beach, in some cities, etc.  We got vaccines, bought special clothing for the excursion, and made all kinds of reservations through an agency.

It's the night before the trip, and we are scheduled to fly out early morning, so I finish packing and getting ready, go over to boyfriend's place to check in with him and go to sleep for the night.  Alas, he had not packed and had just taken another harassing phone call from his mother, who threatened to cut him off (from all family wealth) if he were to go with me.  He basically had a panic attack from his mom's emotional abuse and started freaking out about how we could die or get crazy diseases and such on this trip.  He said we couldn't go on the trip.  I was like, "Uh, no, I am going on this trip with or without you."  He cried some more and was freaking out that I would get kidnapped or whatnot if I were to go alone, so he was begging me to stay home.  Well, after maybe an hour of this back and forth, I caved in.  I was able to return some of the clothing, but besides that, everything was completely non-refundable.  Between the two of us, it was almost $5,000 just disappeared.  I seriously regret not going.

Just realized, I don't know if this story really fits the theme, but I wrote it, so now I'm posting it, LOL!

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2016, 06:36:25 AM »
Well, after maybe an hour of this back and forth, I caved in.  I was able to return some of the clothing, but besides that, everything was completely non-refundable.  Between the two of us, it was almost $5,000 just disappeared.  I seriously regret not going.

Just realized, I don't know if this story really fits the theme, but I wrote it, so now I'm posting it, LOL!

Wow, that's a super sad story!  That mother in unbelievable, along with her man-child. 

MarciaB

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2016, 01:52:43 PM »
Well, after maybe an hour of this back and forth, I caved in.  I was able to return some of the clothing, but besides that, everything was completely non-refundable.  Between the two of us, it was almost $5,000 just disappeared.  I seriously regret not going.

Just realized, I don't know if this story really fits the theme, but I wrote it, so now I'm posting it, LOL!

Wow, that's a super sad story!  That mother in unbelievable, along with her man-child.

Yeah, sure is a sad story. Please tell us you dumped that man-baby.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2016, 03:44:12 PM »
Well, after maybe an hour of this back and forth, I caved in.  I was able to return some of the clothing, but besides that, everything was completely non-refundable.  Between the two of us, it was almost $5,000 just disappeared.  I seriously regret not going.

Just realized, I don't know if this story really fits the theme, but I wrote it, so now I'm posting it, LOL!

Wow, that's a super sad story!  That mother in unbelievable, along with her man-child.

Yeah, sure is a sad story. Please tell us you dumped that man-baby.

Yes.  It took awhile longer to draw the final straw, but he and his mother are long out of my life now.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2016, 03:58:23 PM »
This was less than a month ago. Exactly one of the examples posted: I went out for a fancy dinner for our anniversary, and ended up with food poisoning.

Every other anniversary, we have made a couple nice steaks at home and opened a special wine. This time, we spent easily $40 more than we would have, got a mediocre rueben, and probably got poisoned by sauerkraut or someone not washing their hands. Lovely. (My husband was totally fine, just me who got sick).

Nothing like food poisoning to really set a romantic mood for your ONE YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY.

Making Cookies

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2016, 11:57:30 AM »
Confirmation Bias - yep, every time I hear someone got taken by someone b/c they went into the situation blindly with "rob me" stamped on their forehead.

The guy that gets more or less robbed by his financial advisor b/c he took the advisor at his word and never got a second opinion or studied the topic for himself. "Buy this annuity" when there were better solutions.

The co-worker who bought a new car b/c the dealer mechanic told her that the engine was ruined (it needed a thermostat). Trade in value was very low b/c the car needed an engine they said...

The relative that was waiting for a tow truck to haul off his old pickup to the junkyard b/c the mechanic said the engine was ruined - when in fact it was full of sludge b/c the owner did not do enough maintenance or the very same mechanic was not actually doing the oil changes he was paid to do. A different friend still drives it today years later after many engine oil changes.

The HVAC service man who was talking my grandparents into multiple huge repairs that came close to justifying a whole home system replacement when in fact it needed a new evaporator (which slowly leaked), the system vacuumed down, and recharged with Freon. I arrived just in time to catch the scheme already in progress.

I purchased the part and had it installed. Either service man was dishonest or stupid. I don't know which. Quite the unfriendly look he gave me as I killed his cash cow but the frequent problems ended when he stopped coming around. 

All these scenarios and more that I won't detail out here are reasons not to go through life blindly believing what you are told. Before the internet, and without a convenient library close by, we'd all have no choice but believe what we are told. Do good things with the money saved by a little self-education.

mm1970

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2016, 12:12:45 PM »
I have a friend who went to a spa for a facial laser treatment and ended up with shingles.

The Money Monk

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2016, 02:13:09 AM »
It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Which is sadly why I always think to myself when people say they want to retire early to "volunteer", 'if you want to beat your head against a wall working with incompetent busy bodies, don't you at least want to get paid for it?!?!'
That's a shitty attitude Chris.

Retiring early so I can volunteer is EXACTLY one of my motivations.  The thing is, as a volunteer crew leader, I kind of get to set the agenda, the project, hand pick my volunteers, etc.  I was just out the other day enjoying the fruits of my volunteer labor...multiple years / ~3,000 hours of volunteer time put into a restoration project and it was so flipping pleasant a place to be.  Yeah, guess it was beating the head against the wall.

Heading out this coming weekend....I have 24 people signed up for a project.  We'll get a lot of good done - not a single incompetent on the crew (at least in the leadership / key technical positions). 

So yeah....How about you just find yourself a decent volunteer program there Chris, and lose that shitty 'tude.

You seem a little sensitive pal. Maybe unclench your cheeks long enough to accept that he's allowed to have his own opinion, whether you think its shitty or not.

I have to say, with how defensive you got over his one little offhand comment, I get the impression that deep down you're worried he's right.

[MOD EDIT: Forum Rule #1.] 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 02:43:02 AM by arebelspy »

Tjat

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2016, 10:37:16 AM »
This was less than a month ago. Exactly one of the examples posted: I went out for a fancy dinner for our anniversary, and ended up with food poisoning.

Every other anniversary, we have made a couple nice steaks at home and opened a special wine. This time, we spent easily $40 more than we would have, got a mediocre rueben, and probably got poisoned by sauerkraut or someone not washing their hands. Lovely. (My husband was totally fine, just me who got sick).

Nothing like food poisoning to really set a romantic mood for your ONE YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY.

This happened to my wife as well. Normally, I grill up a couple of $12 3/4" ribeyes for special occasions. They're excellent. We went to a fancy steakhouse one anniversary and received  2" thick poorly cooked steaks (one side underdone, one side burnt) both covered in approximately 1 stick of butter  and a tablespoon of salt. She was apparently sensitive to the butter and we did not have an enjoyable evening.

MrsPete

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2016, 08:10:28 PM »
Retiring early so I can volunteer is EXACTLY one of my motivations.  The thing is, as a volunteer crew leader, I kind of get to set the agenda, the project, hand pick my volunteers, etc.  I was just out the other day enjoying the fruits of my volunteer labor...multiple years / ~3,000 hours of volunteer time put into a restoration project and it was so flipping pleasant a place to be.  Yeah, guess it was beating the head against the wall.
Yeah, I volunteer now, and it's almost always a positive experience. 

After I retire, I intend to volunteer in something very similar to my current job ... but it'll be quite different:  Instead of coming in before dawn and working 40+ hours per week, I'll set my own schedule, and it'll be 8-10 hours per month.  Bad weather?  I'll cancel.  And I'll be able to choose the things I want to do /don't want to do.  If I find myself "beating my head against the wall", that organization won't get any more of my time. 


Jack

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2016, 11:37:39 AM »
I once owned a new car (a $12K 2003 Hyundai Accent), primarily because of my parents' advice about the value of warranties. It was a great car, but I still regret not buying the used car alternative I had picked out -- a good-condition, yet sub-$2k Isuzu Impulse -- instead.

Trudie

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2016, 11:42:32 AM »
My wife volunteered for months on end to help organize a "race" for a well known organization that helps cancer survivors... feel part of a community, maybe? Very little money actually goes to anything worthwhile. They had dozens of hours of meetings to plan for stuff that should have been decided by one competent person, but instead it was the work of endless committees.

I helped with logistics on race day. What I saw completely reinforced my opinion of how useless this spectacle really is. The amount of time and money wasted on events like this makes my head explode.

It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Team Ortho is a nonprofit here in MN that is shady as fuck. They are terrible about running races, for instance their Minneapolis Marathon has been cancelled less than 2 weeks prior to the race because they didn't submit their plans to the city early enough, and the plans they had included parts of the city that had been off limits due to construction FOR OVER A YEAR! There have been other races that have had curtailed hours because they didn't submit their plans early enough to get enough police support. In addition, they provide pathetically little to charities.

In general I am very cautious with anything that claims to be a charity or non-profit. All too many are just a piggybank, or poorly managed as Grim can surely attest to (through no fault of hers).

http://www.runnersworld.com/watchdog/nonprofit-race-organizer-draws-complaints-for-small-donations-to-charity-disorganization

http://www.runnersworld.com/watchdog/minneapolis-marathon-canceled-10-days-before-scheduled-start

These guys are fuckers.  I reported them to the Better Business Bureau once.

Making Cookies

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2016, 07:44:06 AM »
What kind of person can run a charity and then pocket most of the money? How do they sleep at night?

We're the XYZ Charity and we give 5% of the money we receive to various charities. We spend the rest on ourselves and overhead (we rent from ourselves, and hire my BiL to manage our office technology and website).

MgoSam

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2016, 08:58:15 AM »
What kind of person can run a charity and then pocket most of the money? How do they sleep at night?

I imagine they sleep on their handmade mattress that's stuffed with a combination of their ill-gotten money.

BlueHouse

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2016, 07:03:33 AM »

My wife volunteered for months on end to help organize a "race" for a well known organization that helps cancer survivors... feel part of a community, maybe? Very little money actually goes to anything worthwhile. They had dozens of hours of meetings to plan for stuff that should have been decided by one competent person, but instead it was the work of endless committees.

I helped with logistics on race day. What I saw completely reinforced my opinion of how useless this spectacle really is. The amount of time and money wasted on events like this makes my head explode.

It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Paul de krake, to be fair, from what you've described, you didn't really see any part of the organization or how it spends money, unless the volunteers you describe were using donor funds and getting compensated. So how long it takes a committee to plan is on the volunteers and their lack of leadership ability, not on the org.
I've organized races like you describe and the organization provided a ton of support in the form of a notebook describing each step of what needed to be done with a time line to complete. Still, on race day, you have more volunteers than have ever shown up for training and sometimes it's important to make people feel useful even if they're slowing down the rest of the team. 
My point is you can't judge an organization by volunteering at one event. Many organizations don't even have staff at the local level, so you would be seeing all untrained volunteers.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2016, 11:47:54 AM »

My wife volunteered for months on end to help organize a "race" for a well known organization that helps cancer survivors... feel part of a community, maybe? Very little money actually goes to anything worthwhile. They had dozens of hours of meetings to plan for stuff that should have been decided by one competent person, but instead it was the work of endless committees.

I helped with logistics on race day. What I saw completely reinforced my opinion of how useless this spectacle really is. The amount of time and money wasted on events like this makes my head explode.

It is a sad reality that many charitable organizations are volcanoes of waste that spend with no regard for either money (from their donors) or time (from their volunteers).

Paul de krake, to be fair, from what you've described, you didn't really see any part of the organization or how it spends money, unless the volunteers you describe were using donor funds and getting compensated. So how long it takes a committee to plan is on the volunteers and their lack of leadership ability, not on the org.
I've organized races like you describe and the organization provided a ton of support in the form of a notebook describing each step of what needed to be done with a time line to complete. Still, on race day, you have more volunteers than have ever shown up for training and sometimes it's important to make people feel useful even if they're slowing down the rest of the team. 
My point is you can't judge an organization by volunteering at one event. Many organizations don't even have staff at the local level, so you would be seeing all untrained volunteers.
That's fair. In this particular case, it's well documented however that only small fraction of funds go to actual researchers. The rest goes to plaster all of October with pink ribbons. Sorry, it's 2016, "raising awareness" is not something that's needed.

MoneyCat

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2016, 12:37:11 PM »
I own a house worth a tad more than two million dollars. It has a really fancy upstairs master suite which I'm sure drove up the price by a significant margin. There are three other bedrooms downstairs. I bought it when it was just me and my wife.

We now have one kid, maybe working on another sometime soon. We currently only use three of the bedrooms and don't really have a conceivable plan of using the fourth. We have moved downstairs out of the fancy bedroom because it's too hot up there during the summer and we don't want to run the AC.

I've been lucky enough to see the price rise, but you can't count on that. I should have bought a one-story three bed place. Don't let the fancy furnishings fool you. We're perfectly happy in the downstairs bedroom that is significantly less updated.

Ever thought about making some money on AirBnB?

clarkfan1979

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2016, 09:27:00 PM »
We Mustachians take a lot of pride in eschewing expensive options in favor of DIY or a more frugal approach, but at a certain level we all need to be able to point at real-world examples and say: "aha! I knew it!" It's called confirmation bias, and it's an instinctive emphasis that we place on anecdotal evidence that supports a conclusion we've already reached.

I'm feeling a need for some confirmation bias. I'm in the mood for something really "good", and by that I mean one that makes me feel superior about my Mustachian life choices.

So: has anybody here gone against their better judgement and/or Mustachian instincts to try something expensive that other people rant and rave about, only to have such a negative experience that it's turned you off for life?

I'm not talking about situations where a particular kind of expensive food or restaurant meal wasn't to your taste. I'm talking about full-on food poisoning, physical injuries, major inconvenience, or significant property damage that was a direct result of buying or signing up for some overrated crap that failed to perform as advertised. Or, perhaps an experience in retail or some other industry that resulted in your total loss of respect for a product or service.

Stories, anyone?


Confirmation bias is your tendency to notice information that is consistent with a judgment already made and not notice information that is inconsistent with your judgment. For example, you believe that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player ever. When he hits a game winning shot, you notice it and talk about it with your friends. When he misses a game winning shot, you do not notice and forget it quickly.

Hindsight bias is when you falsely believe that you can predict the future. After something happens, someone claims, "I knew that was going to happen." After the housing market crash many people believed that they predicted the crash.

obstinate

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2016, 09:50:46 PM »
Ever thought about making some money on AirBnB?
Thought about it, but it really doesn't make sense at my income level and the rents that people are getting around here.

tonysemail

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2016, 12:39:32 PM »
I wanted my car to feel "like new" again, so I had my car detailed by the dealership and they did a crap job!  I gave them negative feedback and honestly, the guys at the $10 car wash do a way better job in 10 minutes than the dealer did in 2.5 hours and $160.  They offered to re-do it, but I didn't want to waste my time again. So when I went on Yelp to leave feedback, I saw that I had had the same negative experience there 2 years before and I had forgotten!  How did I spend that kind of money and completely forget?

Hahaha.. we are such creatures of habit!

Goldielocks

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Re: Confirmation Bias Anecdotes
« Reply #46 on: September 06, 2016, 05:13:03 PM »
We Mustachians take a lot of pride in eschewing expensive options in favor of DIY or a more frugal approach, but at a certain level we all need to be able to point at real-world examples and say: "aha! I knew it!" It's called confirmation bias, and it's an instinctive emphasis that we place on anecdotal evidence that supports a conclusion we've already reached.

I'm feeling a need for some confirmation bias. I'm in the mood for something really "good", and by that I mean one that makes me feel superior about my Mustachian life choices.

So: has anybody here gone against their better judgement and/or Mustachian instincts to try something expensive that other people rant and rave about, only to have such a negative experience that it's turned you off for life?

I'm not talking about situations where a particular kind of expensive food or restaurant meal wasn't to your taste. I'm talking about full-on food poisoning, physical injuries, major inconvenience, or significant property damage that was a direct result of buying or signing up for some overrated crap that failed to perform as advertised. Or, perhaps an experience in retail or some other industry that resulted in your total loss of respect for a product or service.

Stories, anyone?


Confirmation bias is your tendency to notice information that is consistent with a judgment already made and not notice information that is inconsistent with your judgment. For example, you believe that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player ever. When he hits a game winning shot, you notice it and talk about it with your friends. When he misses a game winning shot, you do not notice and forget it quickly.

Hindsight bias is when you falsely believe that you can predict the future. After something happens, someone claims, "I knew that was going to happen." After the housing market crash many people believed that they predicted the crash.

The entire premise of "the Secret" book... and many of the "giving" ministries are great examples of confirmation bias in action.