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Review of The Promise and Peril of Real-Time Corrections to Political Misperceptions by Garret and WeeksResearch published in the Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) Journal shows that apps which highlight incorrect information and provide real time corrections may actually be less effective at changing the minds of people who have a pre-disposition to agree with the incorrect information, than time-delayed correction techniques are.
I’ve spent most of the afternoon trolling the seemingly endless blogs/websites regarding the Penn State scandal and the sanctions handed down from the NCAA. I noticed that a prevalent theme from the schools fans, students and alumni centers around the idea that punishments directed toward the football program would unfairly hurt people who had done nothing wrong (e.g., students, incoming players, new coaches, fans, etc.). Some went as so far to say that no punishment is the most acceptable course of action.
One of my favorite questions to ask people is, “Who do you admire?” That and “What kind of underwear are you wearing?” You can learn a lot about someone with these questions. Trust me.
Finger counting techniques vary widely between cultures and could affect cognitive processes. Photograph: Don McPhee/Guardian Put down your coffee for a moment. Now, without thinking about it too much, use your hands to count to 10.
What’s a cognitive distortion and why do so many people have them? Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves.
The good news is that the Internet has given us greater access to extended family, news from remote parts of the globe and pictures of exotic genitals we would have never been able to see in the real world. The bad news is that the Internet is also pitting neighbor against neighbor in new and innovative ways that only technology could have made possible. The worse news? It's not getting better any time soon, thanks to ... #5.
“Most of us have experienced frustration in our social or political debates. We feel that the “other side” just “doesn’t get” our point of view, and that agreement could be reached if only we could somehow make those views, and the basis for those views, clear to them… By contrast, we think we get their point of view; we simply reject it as invalid, so that little would be gained from hearing them expound those views in more detail.. .That is, the members of each group feel that they understand the other group better than vice versa – that they are the ones being misunderstood, misinterpreted, or stereotyped, and that it is the other group that stands in need of enlightenment” – Pronin et al (2001)
Why on Earth would a working-class person ever vote for a conservative candidate? This question has obsessed the American left since Ronald Reagan first captured the votes of so many union members, farmers, urban Catholics and other relatively powerless people – the so-called "Reagan Democrats". Isn't the Republican party the party of big business? Don't the Democrats stand up for the little guy, and try to redistribute the wealth downwards? Many commentators on the left have embraced some version of the duping hypothesis: the Republican party dupes people into voting against their economic interests by triggering outrage on cultural issues. "Vote for us and we'll protect the American flag!"
Part of learning about anything new involves learning about the objects and individuals in that arena. If you are watching football for the first time, before you can understand the rules, you have to know about the field, the various players, and objects like helmets and the football itself. This issue is particularly important in classroom settings. Part of the science curriculum, for example, teaches students about the way the world works.
On the heels of yesterday’s post about the link between religiosity and conservatism , I came across a New York Magazine article discussing recent research on personality, genetics, and political ideology. The article summarizes a lot of really interesting work by John Jost on ideology, Jonathan Haidt on moral foundations, David Pizarro on emotional responses and politics, etc. etc. But when it says things like… Over the past few years, researchers haven’t just tied basic character traits to liberalism and conservatism, they’ve begun to finger specific genes they say hard-wire those ideologies . … I just cringe.
The authors test the hypothesis that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism. In Study 1, alcohol intoxication was measured among bar patrons; as blood alcohol level increased, so did political conservatism (controlling for sex, education, and political identification). In Study 2, participants under cognitive load reported more conservative attitudes than their no-load counterparts. In Study 3, time pressure increased participants’ endorsement of conservative terms.
The main idea behind Clay Johnson’s new book The Information Diet is that we need to monitor the way we consume information in the same way we need to monitor what we eat and drink. In today’s “information age,” we are constantly being bombarded with facts and opinions from television, radio, cellphones, and computers. In fact, according to Eric Schmidt , a software engineer and executive chairman at Google, every 48 hours there is more content being created on the internet than all the content that was created from the beginning of time to 2003. That’s a lot of new information being created everyday! And this unprecedented growth of information has both its upsides and downsides.
Psychology & Neurocience
We are amazing, aren't we? Despite sending ships out of our solar system , and mapping the human brain and human genome , we believe in ghosts and Bigfoot (Bigfeet?), we think the head of our company is a moron, and we just know that we're the kitty's pajamas. But why do these pseudoscientific and other beliefs exist despite of decades of investigation resulting in no good evidence and tons of known and admitted hoaxes? Why don't we realize how much we suck?
The widespread use of Internet porn is one of the fastest-moving, most global experiments ever unconsciously conducted. But it's not the only groundbreaking porn experiment going on today. Devastated by sexual performance problems or other crippling symptoms (such as morphing sexual tastes , loss of attraction to real mates , and uncharacteristic desire to isolate ), users are taking the initiative. They are conducting their own counter-experiments by the thousands. By stopping porn use and sharing their "findings" publicly, these guys are, in effect, the missing control group of non-porn users that researchers say they can't produce. (In 2009, when researcher Simon Lajeunesse attempted to investigate the effects of Internet porn on college guys, he couldn't find any who weren't using it.)
"Beware, though, psychologists have found that fantasising about future success is actually bad for motivation. It seems that getting a taste of the future in the here and now reduces the drive to achieve it. Fantasies also fail to flag up the problems we're likely to face on the way to our goals.'