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Mattar_Tharkari

Why You Can’t Help Believing Everything You Read

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Why do people believe everything they hear or read then repeat it as a fact? Because it's easier than thinking about it and understanding it first...or because you are predisposed to be gullible? Apparently credulous mentality is hardwired, if you believe the following lol:

You shouldn’t believe everything you read, yet according to a classic psychology study at first we can’t help it.

What is the mind’s default position: are we naturally critical or naturally gullible?

http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/09/why-you-cant-help-believing-everything-you-read.php

Edited by Mattar_Tharkari

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IMHO:

Primary, natural choice to believe would be good sign about human nature, I mean, what human is in the very core of his being. Apparently it is "designed" to learn and interact with the truth, so his natural reaction on information is to believe. Lie or error would be something secondary, added, as "broken truth", in such picture. There was experiments showing mind activity during answering some questions. Much more activity was noticed during lying - lie needs extra "processing" while truth seems to be something natural, default, primary choice for a mind.

Second matter is - blind trust is unavoidable side effect of limitations of the human cognitive apparatus. I mean - we do that all the time and we are "convicted" on such approach - only minority of information is personally veryfied, rest is taken as truth as is, because otherwise all cognition become paralized. Obvious reason is efficiency of learning process. Example: who need to swim around Ireland before he consider as truth, so Irealnd is actually an island? And repeat this each time such information is needed? Who need to see Earth from the orbit before he believe, the globus is not a fake? Yes, one way or another, we also in time learn tu use "trust filters", and basing on them we decide, what we should check, and what we should consider as truth or false without checking. Circumstancies are improtant too. Do I have a time to check, or should I choose my faith in hurry? It is worthy of efforts to check that, or I shouldn't bother, is too obvious/not important, so I should take the easy way? The more times something proved to be true or false, the lesser chance, we consider checking as necessary. The more something is true for us, the more we tend to consider this as true for everyone. The more times I hear something, the lesser doubts, if this is a truth. The more times someone lied us... etc. It is always potentially risky simplification, but, as said, it is unavoidable risk. It begins from assumptions we make around our own cognitive apparatus, so we will trust our mind and senses without undeniable proof, that we should (in this perspective - there is no such thing like undeniable proof in fact, fundamental is always a free, independent choice - to believe, or not). At the beginning is always pure assumption, dogma, axiom... Such mechanisms lie (sic!) behind mass media power of manipulating views of people. What may differ people is "settings" of this mechanism, level of trust or suspiction, but even perfect paranoiac will always trust something just like that.

Power of written word seems to origine from above - trust filters concept to be exact. Something written is something from someone traditionally considered as more intelligent, better knowing - an authority of some sort, as such people are able to write and release the book - kind of elitist thing. Just another risky simplification making us sensible on manipulation and lies. I think now, with internet full of written shi... khem, ...words this effect will be to some extent weakened in time.

I doubt, if this is all to say about, yet it is perspective worthy of consideration.

Edited by Rydygier

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Why do people believe everything they hear or read then repeat it as a fact?

From school its bread into people, the notion of remember .. spit it out and repeat no questions asked, socially engineered into "its official so its true" and generally people want convenience in everything including finer details esp in this day and age. Your only as gullible as your fully informed. Then the question is, where are you looking to be informed, are you bothering to check elswehere (convenience) and do you use critical thinking with it all combined, and do you give a shit? The list goes on.

For example my thinking at this point is ... "what was Mattars reasoning to start this thread?" way before I answered directly to the articles point of view of "natural".

Edited by mrcash2009

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"what was Mattars reasoning to start this thread?"

Oh just concerned that certain people are re-posting hoaxes and the nonsense from infowars, beforeitsnews, globalresearch.ca, dailysheeple and rt.com and dubious blogs etc. without thinking about it or checking it first. For example, the New Year Fukushima hoax that caused some to start chugging iodine pills and cling filming their houses lol.

Edited by Mattar_Tharkari

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Obvious Walker bait is obvious.

But yes I would agree with mrcash2009 and say that people aren't just too lazy to get info from other sources, but with the way the schooling system has been setup in the UK (I am only 21 btw so its not been that long for me), that you will be taught to the test and not really to learn around it/question it or even to ask why does this do this for example.

I suppose its the reason why so many people went into the so called "Easy/soft" Degrees even though it wont do most of them any good, because they hadn't even been bothered to check the job opportunities and what not afterwards. I mean, I looked at what I wanted to do at university (it was pushed a lot on people at school and sixth form) and chose engineering (I liked History and still keep it as part of my hobby with building models) because not only did I like it, but it also provided good job opportunities. You look at the graduate level employment stats for engineering and it is second only to Doctors/Vets and is over 95%, you look at things like Media etc, they are around 30%, that and the pay gap is quite large, I am out on placement at the moment and am on roughly £15.5k a year (Still studying on my degree bear in mind), and will be on £24.5k a year if they keep me on. A lot of people I know before uni who then went to uni are now either jobless, working in min wage jobs while looking for employment or if they have a degree level job, are on about £18k a year.

Its kind of sad when you think of it the effect that it has had in the UK.

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This has actually been eating away at my mind for years now. Whenever I read some 'interesting' story, I'm trying to find sources and fall into despair and frustration whenever I can't. And all those "news" sources... whether it's right wing esoteric new age websites which quote "experts" who are banned for life from most universities, or news agencies which go for sensation, like Fox News or RT, - it's all just people selling stories their customers want to hear, nothing about information or journalism. The primary stance on anything you read online should be skepticism, with that unreal number of bullcrap that's out there.

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I believe anything i read in the OP :pet1:

I might start a thread saying that people owe me money. I hope that works out...

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Oh just concerned that certain people are re-posting hoaxes and the nonsense from infowars, beforeitsnews, globalresearch.ca, dailysheeple and rt.com and dubious blogs etc. without thinking about it or checking it first. For example, the New Year Fukushima hoax that caused some to start chugging iodine pills and cling filming their houses lol.

Ah right, I thought it was a good debate topic, but I see its just another reactionary spin off thread based your issues with other posters in the off topic section, oh well. Maybe just keep the fuk(ed)ashima "thing" in that thread maybe. You are clearly the authority among these things it seems to be able to ask, ive seen the same from you also over time ... no one gets out of this scott free.

Chew the meat & spit the bones ... cliche' but true.

Effectively this is a "walker & others and certain sites bug me" thread it was leading from something, slow week at the office? :p If you think some-things bullshit ignore it as you know better right? .. damn why didn't I listen to my own advice in this thread .... arrgggh ... :cool:

But yes I would agree with mrcash2009 and say that people aren't just too lazy to get info from other sources,

Well dont get me wrong its not as much a condescending view of people being lazy, has allot to do with processes these days, "stats and targets" the stain of all things now, more focus on getting the targets done than the original focus, esp in teaching and training.

The primary stance on anything you read online should be skepticism, with that unreal number of bullcrap that's out there.

T(s)elevision should be treated much the same, funny though people would then shout "paranoid" with this (not me) ... oh the comedy.

I might start a thread saying that people owe me money. I hope that works out...

Hehe, I might continue the trend with "Why You Can’t Help Believing Everything You Read, Watch and take as gospel as its official" :)

Edited by mrcash2009

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Dan;2605718']Obvious Walker bait is obvious.

But yes I would agree with mrcash2009 and say that people aren't just too lazy to get info from other sources' date=' but with the way the schooling system has been setup in the UK (I am only 21 btw so its not been that long for me), that you will be taught to the test and not really to learn around it/question it or even to ask why does this do this for example. [/quote']

Not particularly walker bait, he is just unfortunate enough to have provided the last classic example of many.

Certainly don't believe all you hear in school, simply because much is out of date or dumbed down to be appropriate for the age group (covalent bonding or enzyme action are good examples which confuse when studied at a higher level).

I was once in a biology class where we were told that all men have 1 less rib than women because of the creation of Eve! I took an old chest x-ray in the next week (even number of ribs clearly displayed) and was promptly given a detention, possibly for challenging someones faith?

If you ever have the opportunity to read the staff absence records in a school, take it! You may find funnies such as this:

Absence:

1 week (Self Certified)

1 week (Statement of Fitness for Work)

Reason: Infected second degree burns to the upper thigh and groin area.

Details: Attempted to iron trousers whilst wearing them.

There were some others equally worrying (multiple summons for DUI!) but that one was stored away for perpetuity. Some of them should not be allowed anywhere near children.

@mrcash - sound advice - ignored your bullshit. ;) But no, I wanted to discuss this as I am amazed at the hoaxes people fall for, year after year, after year. After all said hoaxes are exposed - they continue digging for the next hoax. Often on the very same conspiracy website. Why do they fall for / beleive everything they read? Search 'conspiracy theory' on this very website and you will see many familiar names going all the way back to the dawn of BI Forums on subjects such as "NASA accidentally nukes Jupiter" etc.

Edited by Mattar_Tharkari

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There were some others equally worrying (multiple summons for DUI!) but that one was stored away for perpetuity. Some of them should not be allowed anywhere near children.

Tell me about it, at my high school 1 teacher got done for being a paedophile and another got done for drugs/road rage. At my sixth form one staff member got arrested for pushing a student down the stairs in one of the boarding houses.

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The real question is :

Do we have the right to believe what we want and reject what we want ? once answered the other one becomes irrelevant ;)

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The real question is :

Do we have the right to believe what we want and reject what we want ? once answered the other one becomes irrelevant ;)

The realer question, though, is ... do we have a right to have rights?

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

@ Lenyoga, Interesting info, although it is now considered unethical and partially flawed, it does add something to the understanding of the phenomenon. Of note are the differing results when applied to different societies.

Looking at more modern studies - there is actually an OU course:

The psychology of conspiracy theories

Put differently, it is not that ‘faulty reasoning’ causes people to endorse conspiracy-based explanations, but rather that something within those explanations, within their thematic configuration, narrative structure and explanatory logic, leads people to exhibit these seemingly ‘faulty’ patterns of thought.

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/body-mind/psychology/psychological-studies/the-psychology-conspiracy-theories

Something to do with conformity and coercive persuasion perhaps? Does the belief in hoaxes and conspiracy theories spread like the proverbial social smoking habit?

Edited by Mattar_Tharkari

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http://www.open.edu/openlearn/body-mind/psychology/psychological-studies/the-psychology-conspiracy-theories

Something to do with conformity and coercive persuasion perhaps? Does the belief in hoaxes and conspiracy theories spread like the proverbial social smoking habit?

Interesting topic - I've asked myself the same question and often came to the conclusion that it's idiots seeking attention. But after that latest esoteric convention in our city, with people (scam artists, in my personal dictionary) making thousands of Euros selling products with imaginary (or at best placebo-) effects, I fear I have to abandon the idea of every conspiracy theorist being simply an idiot who prefers fancy words like quantum healing to any sort of conclusive evidence which debunks whatever they made up. All the Neuschwabenland Neo-Nazi esoterics, the angel-channeling gurus, crystal businessmen and other cults and specific sub-cultures made me question the abnormality of my own paranoid set of beliefs and wonder if there are indeed studies which approach the topic of conspiracy theories as a social process, a shared belief system or something of the like.

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I fear I have to abandon the idea of every conspiracy theorist being simply an idiot who prefers fancy words like quantum healing to any sort of conclusive evidence which debunks whatever they made up. All the Neuschwabenland Neo-Nazi esoterics, the angel-channeling gurus, crystal businessmen and other cults and specific sub-cultures made me question the abnormality of my own paranoid set of beliefs and wonder if there are indeed studies which approach the topic of conspiracy theories as a social process, a shared belief system or something of the like.

Thats the New Age Agenda, but hey, thats even a conspiracy theory :) ... boxes within boxes, but which one is the truth? Which one can you trust ..... :868: .... are we in a real life truman show? So many things to consider .... dont believe them, dont believe ANY OF THEM! *insert some dramatic cliff hanger music*

I read something I believed about something I previously believed, because someone in school said I should believe it, that I now don't believe anymore

hehe, I love this as a quote.

Edited by mrcash2009

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One thing you may or may not be aware of is the cold war between academics of Humanities and the Natural Sciences, it has some bearing on this subject.

If you like a good old fashioned fight have a look at this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

The Sokal affair, also called the Sokal hoax,[1] was a publishing hoax perpetrated by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies. The submission was an experiment to test the journal's intellectual rigor and, specifically, to investigate whether "a leading North American journal of cultural studies – whose editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Ross – [would] publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions".[2]

Topics to consider are:

social constructionism, postmodernist deconstructionism, anti-intellectualism, relativism and "the Academic Left".

Reading around this topic might lead you to ask yourself some important questions such as:

-Do individuals and groups participate in the social construction of their perceived social reality according to their belief system?

-Does a rejection of authority, an acceptance of anti-intellectual culture, lack of understanding/rejection of scientific method reinforce the perceived reality?

-If an individual reasons that their beliefs are absolute, then might circumstances where the individual may find those beliefs to be false or mistaken never arise, despite scientific evidence to the contrary?

-Do journalists, blogs and forums regularly fall victim to and defend misinformation and nonsense because: (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the common ideology.

There is also a good book: Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashionable_Nonsense

Sokal and Bricmont define abuse of mathematics and physics (and Science) as:

-Using scientific or pseudoscientific terminology without bothering much about what these words mean.

-Importing concepts from the natural sciences into the humanities without the slightest justification, and without providing any rationale for their use.

-Displaying superficial erudition by shamelessly throwing around technical terms where they are irrelevant, presumably to impress and intimidate the non-specialist reader.

-Manipulating words and phrases that are, in fact, meaningless.

-Self-assurance on topics far beyond the competence of the author and exploiting the prestige of science to give discourses a veneer of rigor.

I'm not sure about anyone else but I have noticed the same techniques being used in the various hoaxes and conspiracy theories posted around the web lately? Both amount to the same elaborate fakery IMHO.

Edited by Mattar_Tharkari

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One thing you may or may not be aware of is the cold war between academics of Humanitees and the Natural Sciences, it has some bearing on this subject.

If you like a good old fashioned fight have a look at this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

Ah, Sokal... one of the first things we did in sources/research course. But of course, gravity is just a socially constructed category, who would doubt that. At least not any peer reviewers.

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Ah, Sokal... one of the first things we did in sources/research course. But of course, gravity is just a socially constructed category, who would doubt that. At least not any peer reviewers.

Why yes it's that simple. To abolish gravity all you have to do is create a social construct. If you get around 100 people to agree that gravity is a problem (it's dangerous, causes people to fall a lot), express the opinion, publish it on some blogs and media sites, then apples will float in the air instead of dropping on heads. It works with everything else, there appears to be no difficulty in getting people to believe anything they read, so getting rid of gravity using this method shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by Mattar_Tharkari

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Why yes it's that simple. To abolish gravity all you have to do is create a social construct. If you get around 100 people to agree that gravity is a problem (it's dangerous, causes people to fall a lot), express the opinion, publish it on some blogs and media sites, then apples will float in the air instead of dropping on heads. It works with everything else so getting rid of gravity using this method shouldn't be a problem?

As long as you quote some big names it's not an issue, really - validation by association.

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All models & opinions posted here apply to all aspects & areas in news/media and geopolitics of this very day and will do hour by hour from here onwards. Just apply "think tanks" and social engineering :)

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'Tis true we aer wired to believe. It's an evolutionary outcome - we are creatures who have evolved the ability to transfer abstract knowledge between individuals, negating the need for direct experience.

However, we have also evolved the ability to learn. So, just as we're wired to believe outside information directed toward us, we are also capable of learning that sometimes this can be treated with skepticism. (However, we do have to learn that. Skepticism is not a natural part of our makeup. Thankfully, learning is :))

Edited by DMarkwick

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