Biases for Verisimilitude

pinot noir wine biasesWe all have them. They drive our thoughts, our motivations, and our actions. Oftentimes, we don’t even know that they are there. They are the biases we all carry when we interact in our world. Sometimes, we make bad choices because of them. For the writer, they are a potent source of verisimilitude.

Biases in Everyday Life

I have a friend who likes wine—but only expensive ones from California. Forget Oregon or Washington wines. Only California will do. And it can’t be cheap. Cheap means bad. You could say she has a price bias.

That bias leads her to spend some good money on wine. And I’m sure the wine is good too. She’ll talk about the money she dropped as she engages in post-purchase rationalization. I’m not a wine expert, but I’ve had some nice albeit cheap wine from Spain, Chile, and yes, California. Price doesn’t make the wine.

These types of biases exist everywhere. Often, they keep us from confronting certain aspects of our lives. And, in the process, prevent us from enjoying some very pleasant things—like cheap wine.

Truth in Actions and Words

As a writer, these quirks of human nature provide an effective means of adding verisimilitude to your work. They don’t have to make sense. They often don’t in real life. That’s where their beauty lies.

We’re all quirky, dysfunctional human beings with our own biases and living with our own fallacies. We like things because we associate quality with price, something that isn’t always true. We like things because they fit into our perception of the world. We dismiss things and facts that do not.

The underlying motivations can follow political, religious, or familial ideologies.  Other times, we might not a clue why we believe something or act a certain way. These sometimes strange behaviors make your characters come to life. We don’t always make logical choices. Tapping into our raison d’etre is a fascinating journey. Chris DR

photo credit: Red wine and water in Schott Zwiesel Diva via photopin (license)