Trapped prior

logic, psychology

Time for some logic! Or is this psychology? Both!

The Trapped Prior is a mechanism where Bayesian reasoning gets, perhaps counterintuitively, stuck in reinforcing a prior, hence the name, under influence of new and contrary evidence. The article is really quite clear, and is well illustrated, so you owe it to yourself to go through it.

Perhaps most relevant is the solution:

If you want to get out of a trapped prior, the most promising source of hope is the psychotherapeutic tradition of treating phobias and PTSD. These people tend to recommend very gradual exposure to the phobic stimulus, sometimes with special gimmicks to prevent you from getting scared or help you “process” the information (there’s no consensus as to whether the eye movements in EMDR operate through some complicated neurological pathway, work as placebo, or just distract you from the fear). A lot of times the “processing” involves trying to remember the stimulus multimodally, in as much detail as possible - for example drawing your trauma, or acting it out.