Sound familiar? 'People sometimes seek the truth, but most prefer like-minded views'

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posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 03:33 PM
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First the article:


The analysis, reported this month in Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association, was led by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida, and included data from 91 studies involving nearly 8,000 participants. It puts to rest a longstanding debate over whether people actively avoid information that contradicts what they believe, or whether they are simply exposed more often to ideas that conform to their own because they tend to be surrounded by like-minded people.

"We wanted to see exactly across the board to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know," said University of Illinois psychology professor Dolores Albarracín, who led the study with University of Florida researcher William Hart. The team also included researchers from Northwestern University and Ohio University.
The studies they reviewed generally asked participants about their views on a given topic and then allowed them to choose whether they wanted to view or read information supporting their own or an opposing point of view.

The researchers found that people are about twice as likely to select information that supports their own point of view (67 percent) as to consider an opposing idea (33 percent).
Certain individuals, those with close-minded personalities, are even more reluctant to expose themselves to differing perspectives, Albarracín said. They will opt for the information that corresponds to their views nearly 75 percent of the time.

The researchers also found, not surprisingly, that people are more resistant to new points of view when their own ideas are associated with political, religious or ethical values.
"If you are really committed to your own attitude - for example, if you are a very committed Democrat - you are more likely to seek congenial information, that is, information that corresponds with your views," Albarracín said. "If the issues concern moral values or politics, about 70 percent of the time you will choose congenial information, versus about 60 percent of the time if the issues are not related to values."

cont...

"For the most part it seems that people tend to stay with their own beliefs and attitudes because changing those might prevent them from living the lives they're living," Albarracín said. "But it's good news that one out of three times, or close to that, they are willing to seek out the other side."
People sometimes seek the truth, but most prefer like-minded views

Full paper (fascinating read): Feeling Validated Versus Being Correct:
A Meta-Analysis of Selective Exposure to Information


I hear you say "thanks for notin' SDog, tell us something we didn't know," and granted this study only confirms what most of us already suspected and observed ...

But ... ATSers are different right?
After all we're all about denying ignorance ...


Nah, we're regular folk just like the ones tested for this study. A quick look into the political, 9/11, or god forbid creationism forums, will attest to that.


Many oft get frustrated in what they perceive as a disproportionate degree of intellectual intransigence from their fellow ATS members. I am here to tell you 'don't panic,' apparently we're all 'normal.'

I know I know, I hate it too.


Seriously, have a look at the material, it is a valuable dissection of the human ego and psyche and the mechanisms through which it seeks reinforcement, validation, and on the rare occasion, honest inquiry.




posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 04:08 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
I hear you say "thanks for notin' SDog, tell us something we didn't know," and granted this study only confirms what most of us already suspected and observed ...


Thank you for the dry sense of humor. S+F on account of that. Yes, we already knew it and it confirmed our suspicions, just like it says would typically happen. We're so abnormal and thinking outside the box that we're normal and thinking inside the box. There is no escape.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by EnlightenUp
We're so abnormal and thinking outside the box that we're normal and thinking inside the box. There is no escape.


EU, I wish I could star you ten times for that one.


Tis very true what you say but obviously not very comforting.

For as long as folk identify with their thoughts the above will continue to happen. When one becomes their thoughts every disagreement is going to be interpreted by the ego as a personal affront. And we know how well things end up when thoughts become personal.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Why do I only hear crickets in here? Is this one too hot a potato? Is there too much cognitive dissonance involved? I would have hoped there would be more willing to challenge some of their fundamental assumptions.

Are we just trading one box for another?

There are beliefs which I hold onto that to someone outside my personal point of view may seem to be stubbornly held in the face of what they believe to be rational evidence to the contrary. It isn't because they are but because they are difficult to expound. Spiritual and consciousness topics definitely head the list. Some knowledge just lacks a universal lexicon, for now at least.

And if I'm insane for thinking that way, so be it, for the moment. I could reverse it all and I have before.



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by EnlightenUp
reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Why do I only hear crickets in here?

Some knowledge just lacks a universal lexicon, for now at least.


Allow me to answer both questions with a new word ... threadomatopoeia (tm pending)



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 11:59 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
... threadomatopoeia (tm pending)


It's so peaceful here I think I've found threadvana (patent pending). Aummmmmmmmmm (sound of struck nerves vibrating).


*EU projects though forms of an active discussion into the ether*



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 12:46 AM
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reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


You know what it must be?

The OP doesn't apply to any ATS members so they have nothing to add.

Obviously everyone here is all about da truth and none incorporate selected information into their preconceived dogmas.

That is it.



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


You know what it must be?

The OP doesn't apply to any ATS members so they have nothing to add.

Obviously everyone here is all about da truth and none incorporate selected information into their preconceived dogmas.

That is it.




Could be. A big problem is that regardless of which viewpoint, the majority of information is selected. There really is no way around that in absolutely every interest one might have in a subject. There is no way one is going to have the time and the means to investigate everything thoroughly from "raw" sources.

In my opinion, skepticism of one's own views are a better gateway to knowledge than purely having skepticism of another's. Autoskepticality by default covers the inner and outer realms.



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:00 AM
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reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


Well, it was bound to happen, but this is where you and I must diverge.


Skepticism, much like belief, is imho just another relativistic and ego defined position.

As such it has as much potential to be subject to the trappings of selective reenforcement as any other.

[edit on 3 Jul 2009 by schrodingers dog]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:31 AM
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Originally posted by EnlightenUp
Why do I only hear crickets in here?

Because to the marginally open-minded, this is not news. We see other people piling on the confirmation bias all the time, and now and then we even manage to catch ourselves at it.

The dunderheads, on the other hand, just think it's true anyway (of everybody except themselves, of course) and don't bother to engage.



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 03:05 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


Well, it was bound to happen, but this is where you and I must diverge.


Skepticism, much like belief, is imho just another relativistic and ego defined position.

As such it has as much potential to be subject to the trappings of selective reenforcement as any other.

[edit on 3 Jul 2009 by schrodingers dog]


I picked a loaded word on purpose. I suppose we're diverging on what the word means personally. I'm talking about continued questioning of what you think you know no matter the source rather than seeking only reinforcement.

Are you trying to stuff me back in the box?



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 07:23 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Well yes, typically, I seek out information that corresponds to what I'm interested in, what I want to learn about, which is usually what I believe in, but if I happen to run across opposing view points or people that want to talk about something I have no clue about, sure I'll listen. My mind has been blown many times like that. But I think its perfectly normal.

[edit on 3-7-2009 by Odessy]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 07:53 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Wow what took them so long to come to this conclusion?


Thanks for the info SD. You know this doesnt just apply to certain people... while I may argue that some out there are completely for their own agenda we all at some time or another, allow our personal biasness, our beliefs, our values to get in the way of truth. In a way its human nature, however that doesnt excuse folk from posting utter garbage with nothing to back it up with, or using obvious silly comparisons, like this one:

"I cant believe people think the modern world can survive without money"

"YES WE CAN! THERE ARE TRIBES IN AFRICA, OUR ANCIENT ANCESTORS SURVIVED WITHOUT CURRENCY, AND WE NEED TO DOUBLE OUR DEFENSE SPENDING"



Star and flag SD.


[edit on 3-7-2009 by Southern Guardian]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 07:58 AM
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This was originally proposed decades ago in Leon Festinger's Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Most psychologists and social researchers have always assumed it was true, but this research proves it is.

I wish everybody understood this theory. We just might have fewer boneheads in the world.



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 



The researchers also found, not surprisingly, that people are more resistant to new points of view when their own ideas are associated with political, religious or ethical values.


If this aint the truth, nothing is.



A quick look into the political, 9/11, or god forbid creationism forums, will attest to that.


Amen. Luckily, there are some enlightened folks who can explain themselves in an intelligent way without bias. These members are the reason I come here, specifically to ATS. When an opposing view is expressed intelligently and articulately, it is much easier to consider it than when someone pops in and gives there opinion in a crass and one sided matter-of-fact kind of way.

A lesson I have learned. People will have more of a tendancy to respond to what you say, when it is well thought out and less obtrusive and demeaning.

When I first got here, if I saw something ridiculous I would immediately jump in with a big mouth and claim it obsurd. Choosing words more wisely these days has gotten me much farther and helped to further open me eyeballs.
..good thread, and so true.



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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first off, seeking the truth (implied: no matter how uncomfortable) and seeking those with like-minded views are not mutually exclusive things. of course it's natural that one "prefers" their own viewpoint. i need to ponder on this article a bit more.

second, i think this also might vary a lot depending on how and when one arrived at their "truth" to begin with...was it ingrained before birth, ingrained from birth, found later in life through some heavy searching, a surrender to the popular, and so on?



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


I'll have to read the paper here after while, since I'm currently precluded from extended periods at my PC. I'll definitely comment appropriately after a full read, since I've taken a light interest in psychology and behavior lately. I'm reading "Society and It's Discontents" by Freud.. (wonder if it'll explain ATSers?) while I wait for Steve Pinker's Blank Slate: Modern Denial of Human Nature which, I gather, discusses how evolutionary behaviors and instincts our ancestors carried continue to play active roles in human society - and how the idea of being born with no inherent programing is wrong.

Now, I thought this tendency to seek out complimentary rather than contradictory views was already rather well established and accounted for? Complimentary views validate our opinions, and boost our self assurance. They provide comfort in communities of like minds where members are generally friendly to each other so a to work towards vague set of common goals with familiar moral dispositions and outlooks. Contrary views tend to be avoided as they involve wandering into alien territory where different moral metrics you're not familiar with are favored, and flared egos can quickly lead dissenting opinion into defensive actions if your views come under attack - leading to verbal or physical conflict. Not to mention humans are opportunistic creatures, and if we can avoid attrition or the diligent effort to ensure the reasons we hold the views we do are correct regardless of preference - then many simply will. Rather than confront their own opinions with as neutral a mindset as can be and work to refine them - it's simply easier for many to not question their established opinions and morals, insulate themselves in a tribe or group with similar views, and rely on strength in numbers than put their own ass on the line.




"If you want truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease." — Sent-ts'an


This is nothing new, though since this study was published in 2009, it's probably an effort to provide serious investigation, gather raw data, and learn just how well the results matched up to our predictions and previous assumptions. According to a Pew Research study in 2007, people who got their news from the internet were generally no more well informed on world events and politics than those who watched mainstream outlets - meaning that those people that advocate getting their news online over the MSM are roughly equivalently misinformed as the MSM viewers. I don't have time to dig through all the data now, but it's here if you want to check it out yourself.

One of the reasons proposed for this increased misinformation is the increased demand for local amateur news reporters (bloggers) and the speed at which the news must be reported. Inexperience, bias, and strict deadlines increase the rate at which misconceptions and errors are reported - and once online, it's propagation is far too fast to offer retractions or corrections. You can't "stop the presses" online. Once it's passed at least a cursory editing and it's published to the web, it's worldwide for everyone to read, and it can't be rescinded.

Once again, the above is an oversimplification due to time. The article can be found at the following link.
Internet News: The changing nature of Journalism and Misinformation

My initial take (which may be covered in those papers) is that while the above papers make some valid arguments - I wonder to how much does the propagation of lazy pundit style reporting (more speculation and sensationalism than information) and partisan politics to independently run news blogs and social networking sites. Since news is "interpreted" or commented on by each blog owner, you have far greater opportunities for misinformation to grow and spread due to the myriad of blogs and social networking groups which have popped up and gained followings in ever divergent ranges of views which cater to specific ratios of shared morality and views among their attracted readers... instead of more even handed slanted reporting by major news outlets trying to cater to a much more divergent crowd.

Too many cooks in the kitchen spoiled the soup, as it were.

And of course, this is possible because - as your OP stated - many people find it easier and more comforting to simply gravitate to like minds and like morals, than to force dialog between contrary viewpoints.

Personally, I try to make a conscious effort to seek out contrary opinions and hear what they have to say as well as speak my mind. For instance, I'm not a conspiracy theorist and I do not - in any fashion - consider ATS to be a reliable source of accurate information. Frankly, some of the members here make me almost physically ill reading their abandonment of reason for superstition and their utter abandonment of humanism and philanthropy in favor of narcissistic social policies that (if actually instituted by a government) could only be seen as totalitarian.

Yet here I am.



posted on Jul, 5 2009 @ 12:11 AM
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What can I say besides I fully agree?

I truly believe that only the real thinkers in the world seek the truth, while those who even complain about the wrongs in the world may not always be seeking the real answer.

I find it easy to tell if someone is a truth seeker, or a conformist. After the first few minutes, the answer is obvious.



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 05:15 PM
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Really good info, SD! It certainly explains why I have such a huge knot on my forehead (from banging it repeatedly against the brick walls found in sooooo many threads)!!! I think the lack of postings here is due to two reasons: Those of us with open minds are way too familiar with this phenomenon. Those who it applies to have nothing to counter with. I have found this to be true for me in other threads. I'll post the 'definitive' answer to the contraversy, and that post is never refered to again by those spouting a totally BS point of view. It happened to me today. I spent an hour carefully crafting a post which addressed all of the naysayers positions, and then nothing but crickets concerning the points made in the post. Like it never even happened. My guess is because they just couldn't dispute it! (It was the same thread that inspired the [Ignorant] button thread.)

Anyway, thanks for the very informative thread, and for the excellent avatar that makes me laugh everytime I see it! YOU ROCK, SD!!!



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


... iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses.



www.reference.com...





 
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