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Why Do People Persist in Believing Things That Just Aren't True?

Why Do People Persist in Believing Things That Just Aren't True?
Last month, Brendan Nyhan, a professor of political science at Dartmouth, published the results of a study that he and a team of pediatricians and political scientists had been working on for three years. They had followed a group of almost two thousand parents, all of whom had at least one child under the age of seventeen, to test a simple relationship: Could various pro-vaccination campaigns change parental attitudes toward vaccines? Each household received one of four messages: a leaflet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that there had been no evidence linking the measles, mumps, and rubella (M.M.R.) vaccine and autism; a leaflet from the Vaccine Information Statement on the dangers of the diseases that the M.M.R. vaccine prevents; photographs of children who had suffered from the diseases; and a dramatic story from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about an infant who almost died of measles. The result was dramatic: a whole lot of nothing.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/mariakonnikova/2014/05/why-do-people-persist-in-believing-things-that-just-arent-true.html

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What is Motivated Reasoning? How Does It Work? Dan Kahan Answers - The Intersection : The Intersection I recently came across this post at Science & Religion Today, authored by Dan Kahan, who is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor at Yale Law School. It clarifies so many important issues about motivated reasoning–what it is, what it isn’t–that I asked Kahan if I could repost it here, as I think it deserves very wide circulation. Quantum mind The quantum mind or quantum consciousness hypothesis proposes that classical mechanics cannot explain consciousness, while quantum mechanical phenomena, such as quantum entanglement and superposition, may play an important part in the brain's function, and could form the basis of an explanation of consciousness. It is not one theory, but a collection of distinct ideas described below. A few theoretical physicists have argued that classical physics is intrinsically incapable of explaining the holistic aspects of consciousness, whereas quantum mechanics can. The idea that quantum theory has something to do with the workings of the mind go back to Eugene Wigner, who assumed that the wave function collapses due to its interaction with consciousness. The philosopher David Chalmers has argued against quantum consciousness.

Mintzberg's 5Ps of Strategy - Strategy Skills Training From MindTools.com Developing a Better Strategy Learn about these five strategy definitions. © iStockphoto/kWaiGon What's your approach to developing strategy? Many of us brainstorm opportunities, and then plan how we'll take advantage of them. Unfortunately, while this type of approach is important, we need to think about much more than this if we want to be successful. Did screaming babies accompany our early ancestors into battle? Why is the sound of a crying baby so utterly annoying? The winning entry in the annual Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses suggests that the screams motivated our early ancestors as they surged into battle. The Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAH) is an annual event held in the US to celebrate "well-researched, logically explained, and clearly wrong evolutionary theories”.

Developing as Rational Persons: Viewing Our Develo Humans are capable of developing into rational beings. This is our ultimate assumption. At some level all of us want to effectively analyze and solve our problems. We want to live significant, meaningful lives. We want to be persons of integrity.

Mirror neuron A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.[1][2][3] Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate species.[4] Birds have been shown to have imitative resonance behaviors and neurological evidence suggests the presence of some form of mirroring system.[4][5] In humans, brain activity consistent with that of mirror neurons has been found in the premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, the primary somatosensory cortex and the inferior parietal cortex.[6] The function of the mirror system is a subject of much speculation. Discovery[edit] Further experiments confirmed that about 10% of neurons in the monkey inferior frontal and inferior parietal cortex have "mirror" properties and give similar responses to performed hand actions and observed actions. Origin[edit]

How Our Delusions Keep Us Sane: The Psychology of Our Essential Self-Enhancement Bias by Maria Popova How evolution made the average person believe she is better in every imaginable way than the average person. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope,” Helen Keller wrote in her 1903 treatise on optimism. But a positive outlook, it turns out, isn’t merely an intellectual disposition we don — it’s a deep-seated component of our evolutionary wiring and the product of powerful, necessary delusions our mind is working around-the-clock to maintain. At the root of that mental machinery lies what psychologists have termed the self-enhancement bias — our systematic tendency to forgo rational evaluation of our own merits and abilities in favor of unrealistic attitudes that keep our ego properly inflated as to avoid sinking into the depths of despair. The mind’s delusory tendencies, McRaney explains, are just as vital as the automatic self-preservation processes of the body.

How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries The simplest questions can carry you to edge of human knowledge, says Adam Savage, as he discusses the incredible scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods that anyone could have followed. [optional caption text here] Image: [name here]/Shutterstock However brilliant any of us are with our brains, the one thing we can't do is control what kinds of information it picks up and holds on to. I, for example, don't remember a single thing I learnt in my first-year university philosophy classes, except that once my lecturer compared these honey tubes to a sphincter. Unless I somehow end up with a career in packaging design, that information isn't going to help me much.

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