The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science Illustration: Jonathon Rosen "A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point." So wrote the celebrated Stanford University psychologist Leon Festinger (PDF), in a passage that might have been referring to climate change denial—the persistent rejection, on the part of so many Americans today, of what we know about global warming and its human causes. Festinger and several of his colleagues had infiltrated the Seekers, a small Chicago-area cult whose members thought they were communicating with aliens—including one, "Sananda," who they believed was the astral incarnation of Jesus Christ. Through her, the aliens had given the precise date of an Earth-rending cataclysm: December 21, 1954. Festinger and his team were with the cult when the prophecy failed. Read also: the truth about Climategate.At first, the group struggled for an explanation.
The Ideology of No Long before Barack Obama chose “Yes We Can” as his 2008 campaign slogan, Republicans had been dubbed the Party of No. The label is popular among liberals as an insult for the GOP, but it’s also been embraced by conservatives as a proud self-description: for some on the right, the Party of No conjures the adults in the room saving future generations from an orgiastic spending spree, in the spirit of William F. Buckley’s proclamation that conservatism “stands athwart history, yelling Stop.” Whether intended as a slur or a badge of honor, the Party of No label stems from specific policy preferences, mainly the conservative tendency to vote “no” on non-security domestic spending and tax proposals. That Democrats and Republicans differ on matters from foreign policy to gay marriage is well established, but how do individuals arrive at such diametrically opposed worldviews? After a few viewing cycles, the students simply rated how much they liked or disliked each of the Chinese characters.
Top 10 Thinking Traps Exposed Our minds set up many traps for us. Unless we’re aware of them, these traps can seriously hinder our ability to think rationally, leading us to bad reasoning and making stupid decisions. Features of our minds that are meant to help us may, eventually, get us into trouble. Here are the first 5 of the most harmful of these traps and how to avoid each one of them. 1. The Anchoring Trap: Over-Relying on First Thoughts “Is the population of Turkey greater than 35 million? Lesson: Your starting point can heavily bias your thinking: initial impressions, ideas, estimates or data “anchor” subsequent thoughts. This trap is particularly dangerous as it’s deliberately used in many occasions, such as by experienced salesmen, who will show you a higher-priced item first, “anchoring” that price in your mind, for example. What can you do about it? Always view a problem from different perspectives. 2. Consider the status quo as just another alternative. 3. Be OK with making mistakes. 4. 5.
Top 10 Strange Phenomena of the Mind Humans The mind is a wonderful thing – there is so much about it which remains a mystery to this day. Science is able to describe strange phenomena, but can not account for their origins. While most of us are familiar with one or two on this list, many others are mostly unknown outside of the psychological realm. This is a list of the top ten strange mental phenomena. We have all some experience of a feeling, that comes over us occasionally, of what we are saying and doing having been said and done before, in a remote time – of our having been surrounded, dim ages ago, by the same faces, objects, and circumstances – of our knowing perfectly what will be said next, as if we suddenly remember it! Déjà vu is the experience of being certain that you have experienced or seen a new situation previously – you feel as though the event has already happened or is repeating itself. Déjà vécu (pronounced vay-koo) is what most people are experiencing when they think they are experiencing deja vu.
« On nous incite à regarder notre présent comme un futur passé » Théoricien des médias sociaux, Nathan Jurgenson est étudiant-chercheur en sociologie à l’université du Maryland. Il s’est fait remarquer en 2011 en publiant sur le Net un essai brillant sur la «photo faux vintage» ( traduction en français ici ) et la «nostalgie du présent» qu’elle permet. Le rachat d'Instagram et la nouvelles présentation des pages facebook sous la forme de Journal relèvent-elles de la même logique ? _ Ce rachat ne répond pas uniquement à une logique économique de la part de Facebook, mais aussi à une logique existentielle. Que vient faire Instagram dans ce schéma ? _ Le Journal ou les filtres vintage semblent simples, mais l’objectif est de doter ces technologies d’une certaine profondeur. Que devient notre relation au temps et à la mémoire ? _ On nous incite à regarder notre présent comme un futur passé. Lire les réactions à cet article. Erwan CARIO
Beautycheck - social perception Do attractive people have any advantages? Are they treated better than less attractive? Is it important to look good on an application photo? According to our investigations the answer to these questions is yes. We could show that people are perceived more positively the more attractive they are. A selection of the faces that have been presented: Attractive female faces: Unattractive female faces: Attractive male faces: Unattractive male faces: All faces do not exist in reality. The results are alarmingly clear. home
Why the Bombings Mean That We Must Support My Politics We've been hearing for years from various propaganda outlets about the loss of our so-called rights. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it. The truth is that government surveillance systems have done great work towards increasing the freedom of everyday God-fearing Americans. As an obvious example, the video cameras installed in your local convenience stores and banks have led to the capture of countless criminals. I could go on, but I think the intelligent readers of Adequacy can think of their own examples. Carnivore, and other government monitoring equipment like it, are basically the internet equivalent of security cameras. That being said, we must ask who is afraid of internet monitoring. E. Raymond's answer is that every citizen should go around carrying a loaded weapon so they can shoot bad guys. In conclusion, I hope that all Americans support the continued deployment of freedom-enhancing internet monitoring devices. Praise Allah!
Top 10 Common Faults In Human Thought Humans The human mind is a wonderful thing. Cognition, the act or process of thinking, enables us to process vast amounts of information quickly. The Gambler’s fallacy is the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality, they are not. Reactivity is the tendency of people to act or appear differently when they know that they are being observed. Pareidolia is when random images or sounds are perceived as significant. Interesting Fact: the Rorschach Inkblot test was developed to use pareidolia to tap into people’s mental states. Self-fulfilling Prophecy Self-fulfilling prophecy is engaging in behaviors that obtain results that confirm existing attitudes. Interesting Fact: Economic Recessions are self-fulfilling prophecies. The Halo effect is the tendency for an individual’s positive or negative trait to “spill over” to other areas of their personality in others’ perceptions of them. Escalation of Commitment
Implicit memory Evidence and current research Advanced studies of implicit memory began only a few decades ago. Many of these studies focus on the effect of implicit memory known as priming. Several studies have been performed that confirm the existence of a separate entity which is implicit memory. In one such experiment, participants were asked to listen to several songs and decide if they were familiar with the song or not. Current research According to Daniel L. There are usually two approaches to studying implicit memory. Development Empirical evidence suggests infants are only capable of implicit memory because they are unable to intentionally draw knowledge from pre-existing memories. Activation processing Activation processing is one of two parts in Mandler’s dual processing theory. Multiple memory system The multiple memory system theory ascribes the differences in implicit and explicit memory to the differences in the underlying structures. Procedural memory
«Les électeurs FN ne sont pas que des ménages modestes victimes de la mondialisation» Violaine Girard a passé le premier tour dans un bureau de vote d’une commune située à la périphérie rurale d’une grande agglomération du sud-est de la France, ancrée à droite, qu’elle étudie depuis presque dix ans. Maîtresse de conférences en sociologie à l’université de Rouen, elle précise les dynamiques du vote FN des classes populaires dans ce territoire rural en recomposition. Sa monographie montre que les électeurs de Marine Le Pen ne peuvent être résumés à de simples «oubliés» du système. Pourquoi étudier ce territoire périurbain ? C’est intéressant parce que ce territoire rural, transformé par de grands projets d’aménagements, cumule des caractéristiques des zones périurbaines dont on parle beaucoup en ce moment. Ce territoire a connu une urbanisation diffuse, avec la construction de maisons individuelles par des ménages des classes populaires. Quel a été le vote au premier tour de la présidentielle ? Quelles sont les composantes de ce vote FN ? Charlotte ROTMAN
Tapping our powers of persuasion Most psychologists will read this “Questionnaire” with Robert Cialdini, PhD. That may or may not be true, but according to Cialdini, that statement is powerfully persuasive because we tend to go along with our peers. Cialdini, who retired last year from a teaching and research position at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., is a renowned expert in the science of swaying. In his seminal book on the topic, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” (Quill, 1984), he went undercover to learn the tricks mastered by used-car dealers and Fortune 500 executives alike, bringing persuasion research to psychology’s forefront. Cialdini distilled his findings into six “weapons of influence,” each grounded in how we perceive ourselves or others: Reciprocity: We inherently want to return favors. In recent years, Cialdini has been leveraging those weapons to address major world problems such as climate change by persuading people to reduce energy use. I think it’s a little too early.
Michael Shermer » The Believing Brain The Believing Brain Why science is the only way out of the trap of belief-dependent realism WAS PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA BORN IN HAWAII? I find the question so absurd, not to mention possibly racist in its motivation, that when I am confronted with “birthers” who believe otherwise, I find it diffcult to even focus on their arguments about the difference between a birth certificate and a certificate of live birth. The reason is because once I formed an opinion on the subject, it became a belief, subject to a host of cognitive biases to ensure its verisimilitude. Am I being irrational? We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, emotional and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture and society at large. I patterned belief-dependent realism after model-dependent realism, presented by physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow in their book The Grand Design (Bantam Books, 2011). Recommended Reading…
10 More Common Faults in Human Thought Humans This list is a follow up to Top 10 Common Faults in Human Thought. Thanks for everyone’s comments and feedback; you have inspired this second list! It is amazing that with all these biases, people are able to actually have a rational thought every now and then. There is no end to the mistakes we make when we process information, so here are 10 more common errors to be aware of. The confirmation bias is the tendency to look for or interpret information in a way that confirms beliefs. The Availability heuristic is gauging what is more likely based on vivid memories. Illusion of Control is the tendency for individuals to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes that they clearly have no influence on. Interesting Fact: when playing craps in a casino, people will throw the dice hard when they need a high number and soft when they need a low number. The Planning fallacy is the tendency to underestimate the time needed to complete tasks. Bonus Attribute Substitution
Dunning–Kruger effect Cognitive bias in which people of low ability mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence. As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the cognitive bias of illusory superiority results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others Definition Original study Later studies Popular recognition