Why People Believe Weird Things and 8 Ways to Change Their Minds
Some people believe all kinds of weird stuff including… …no, actually, for a very good psychological reason I’m not going to repeat any of it here. Let’s just say that some people believe weird stuff and leave it at that. It turns out that just one of the fascinating reasons that people accept odd ideas is that they keep getting repeated, even if only to debunk them. So, where does all this misinformation come from, why do people believe it and how can right-thinking people counter it? (The following is based on an excellent article by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky and colleagues). Where misinformation comes from 1. People love sensational stories. Neutral stories, which are probably more likely to be true, but much more boring, therefore get short shrift. More bizarrely, people have been shown to believe things that they’ve read in novels that have clearly been totally made up. This may be partly because people’s defences tend to be lower when they’re consuming popular entertainments. 2. 3.
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