Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Why People Can’t Agree on Basic Facts

If there is an emotion involved in acquiring a belief, there is a much lower chance of changing it, even if it is a false belief.  And the excitement of getting a new social media  message seems to be a perfect way to cement information, true or not.  Think about it — do you have false beliefs that cannot be corrected by data?

Neuroscientist Tali Sharot has been investigating what determines whether someone can be persuaded by an argument. You can read about it in her book, The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others, or check out this article for a taste of what you can do to avoid getting stuck with false beliefs:

Why People Can’t Agree on Basic Facts

By TALI SHAROT | September 19, 2017 | Time magazine

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January 20, 2018 Posted by | decision making, brain, behaviour, emotions, neuroscience | , , | Leave a comment

How Your Brain Decides Without You

” It must be true, I saw it with my own eyes! ” — well, maybe not. It may depend on what you perceive, which may depend on what you believe. Fascinating read; follow it up with  Fooled By Your Own Brain from the same issue.

How Your Brain Decides Without You

In a world full of ambiguity, we see what we want to see.

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May 17, 2015 Posted by | brain, decision making, neuroscience | , , , | Leave a comment

We Only Trust Experts If They Agree with Us

I am pretty sure I’ve been guilty of this.  Bottom line, if you claim to  have an open mind, you’d better be aware of this bias. From Scientific American:

We Only Trust Experts If They Agree with Us

We only consider scientists to be experts when their argument is in line with our own previously held beliefs. Christie Nicholson reports

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September 24, 2010 Posted by | behaviour, decision making | , | Leave a comment