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Cognitive and Cultural Barriers to Openness

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Robert Farrow
25 October 2011

Steve Hargadon

"What are the cognitive and cultural barriers to openness, and how does understanding them help to promote broader openness?  In which ways are people naturally or culturally conditioned to be suspicious of or opposed to openness?"

Hargadon discussed a student who was disciplined for being the administrator for a Facebook study group, and a professor who sued a publisher who published notes made by his students for copyright violation.

He interprets these as isses which are largely about cognitive biases:


  • Competition
  • Compensation/Recognition
  • Cowboy (!) Culture
  • Accumulated institutional expertise
  • Cultural Influence
  • Rationality 
  • Narrative Driven


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Robert Farrow
6:25pm 25 October 2011

A number of those present in this interactive sessions expressed discomfort with the language of 'cognitive bias'...

I suggested that 'rationality' is actually far more imporrtant than suggested by the the list with which we were presented... the importance of making a normative case which gives people a reason to share (when they obviously have reasons not to share).

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