Home 4X4 Beware the confirmation-bias meme, 4X4 edition
Beware the confirmation-bias meme, 4X4 edition

Beware the confirmation-bias meme, 4X4 edition


It’s really easy to see something on the Internet, and because it supports a view you hold strongly, you accept it uncritically. We’re all prone to it, and confirmation bias seems to be more of a problem when there’s tribalism involved.

So when this came up on my Facebook feed, I was intrigued.

Now I’m no fan of the Greens, but that looked like a pretty interesting statement. I should stress these meme is not made by, or endorsed by the National Party – it was shared on a non-official Facebook supporters group.

So I thought I’d check the source, and it didn’t take long to find the actual quote:

So as you can see, the actual comment has been deliberately reworded and taken out of context to be much more divisive. The technique is simple; find some facts, twist them a bit to create a strawman suitable for burning, set fire to said strawman, get angry about it, and enjoy the shared outrage which strengthens your tribe.

Even in the tweet thread, Julie Anne had to clarify:

Anyway, the actual point of interest isn’t Julie Anne’s comment about the advert, it’s Neale Jones saying it’s “surprising we allow this at all”. I don’t know exactly what he means, but I’m speculating he doesn’t like the fact that utes and SUVs are popular and roadcars are not. Personally I don’t see a problem with that, and it’s very much consumer-driven as carmarkers simply respond to market demand, and modern SUV is simply a roadcar that’s slightly taller than before.

There is however an interesting discussion to be had on 4X4 advertising, and it’d be cool to see the Ford Rangerettes involved in an ad. I also note with much mirth that the Ford advert has the bloke presenting a huge fish to an adoring woman…which, I am reliably informed, is the cliché of clichés on dating apps.

And if you’re wondering whether or not your 4X4 and camping lifestyle is bad for the environment, well, I’ve done a little analysis:

Robert Pepper Automotive journalist specialising in 4X4s, sportscars, camping and future tech.


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