Constructive Perception and Expert Opinion
Suppose that a friend tells you the following story: One night, I went to a graveyard with a group of people that wanted to have a paranormal experience. At first I was skeptical, but they all had a lot of stories about how this graveyard was haunted, and I started to get spooked out. It was really dark that night, cloudy with no moonlight. As we walked through the graveyard, I started to get nervous. Then suddenly I heard a sound like a footstep, and turned and looked and saw a white wispy figure in the distance! I ran out of the graveyard as fast as I could. I never used to believe in ghosts, but now I do!
What is reasonable to think: is this story likely to be true? Did your friend see a ghost? How could the various cognitive biases or the constructive nature of perception play into what your friend experienced? Explain and support your answers with reasons.