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Hearing is believing: A cautionary tale for political misinformation

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posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 08:05 AM
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August 12, 2009, Memory

Hearing is believing: A cautionary tale for political misinformation

We are wired to believe.
The political news in the United States is filled right now with stories from the crucial to the bizarre. On the crucial side is the ongoing debate about health care. On the bizarre end is the side-show of the "birthers" who question whether Barack Obama was born in the US.

A big problem with this type of mis-information is that the human cognitive system is not designed to make it easy to reject false information.

In general, much of the information that we take in most of the time really is true. You open your eyes and see things around you. Most of what you see really is there and really looks like your visual system says it does. Likewise, much of what you hear, feel, taste, and smell is truly in your environment.


SOURCE:www.psychologytoday.com...

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[edit on 19/9/2009 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 08:06 AM
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A very interesting article I found. I think his advice is a little wrong though. You never truly know when you are being lied to so you can't simply avoid lies.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


There is a saying going around right now.

"Are you going to believe your lying eyes or are you going to believe what we tell you?"

Interesting article

S&F



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 09:06 AM
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I think his advice is a little wrong though. You never truly know when you are being lied to so you can't simply avoid lies.

I think it's a lot wrong
Much of what other people tell you is false. Not all the falsehoods are intentional or reckless, but "somebody told me" is a weak basis for believing anything. I think people come to terms with that, and survive anyway.

I was surprised that a popular psychology mag would pass over what gives the birth crowd an audience, even if hardly anybody believes there is more than the remotest chance that Obama wasn't born in Hawaii.

I think it has to do with the contrast between "us and them." If one of us wants to get a job at Wal-Mart, then we need to show a birth certificate, social security card, and a current government-issued photo ID. But when one of the ruling class moves on up to the job of governing the United States, it would be rude (racist, Republican, Christian Fundamentalist, ...) to ask that he do likewise.

Since Obama's job includes taking care to enforce those laws that make each of us show our employers documentation, ought he not welcome this opportunity to lead us by example? His employers would be us.

So, IMO, if it turned out he wasn't born here, then that would just be gravy. Too thick and too rich to be true. Nevertheless, the controversy persists because Obama didn't simply hand over the routine document back when he was first asked to do so.

Take your pick: Obama acted like somebody with something to hide, or he didn't care to hide that he thought he was better than some peon looking for work at Wal-Mart. Either way, it's something to talk about. Disinformation has little to do with it.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


I appreciate the input but that isn't really what the article is about. It used that situation as a leap off point but it was more about human cognition and how we aren't really geared to be discerning when it comes to information.


[edit on 19-9-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Unfortunately, that means that we all need to be careful where we take information from. We live in a world in which people can pay to have information fed to us. That means we must be vigilant about what information we allow ourselves to be exposed to, because that information will affect us whether we want it to or not.


This is the definition of ignorance. This article, IMO, is a hit piece in disguise.

[edit on 19/9/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 11:48 AM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


No, more the definition of misplaced trust. Anyone can lie to you and the author forgets that. It is a educational piece with well naivete thrown in by the author.

[edit on 19-9-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 12:29 PM
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Thank you, Watcher. My point was that the author was incorrect about the likely persuasiveness of disinformation, in my opinion. I used his own example as a vehicle for illustrating why I thought he was incorrect.

It was not my intention to divert your thread to the birth certificate controversy. But the beauty of this concrete example is that it illustrates that people plausibly do say things for reasons other than to express their beliefs about the truth of the matter, or to persuade anyone else to adopt what they say as factually true.

I stayed away from healthcare, the author's other and main example, because the issues there are too complicated to make any point about the diverse motivations of the many players and spectators in that arena.

Ironically, the article itself seems to be offered for persuasion rather than truth. Hearing is clearly not believing, as most any thread at ATS will amply illustrate. "We are wired to believe" is also visibly untrue.

I infer that the author says otherwise to impute nasty motives and a whiff of menace to those who disagree with him politically, probably especially about healthcare policy. Whatever the reason, there is little reliable science here. As always, in my opinion.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


I would have to disagree there. People can be selective as to whom they listen to, but hearing is believing. And I meaning hearing in the sense that you let the information penetrate. Case in point on this site as far as selective hearing, we have alotpeople that believe every word that comes out of a alternative news outlet as holy writ *IE Alex Jones*.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 01:31 PM
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A tiny percentage of a huge population is a lot of people. And it's a long way from somebody here and somebody there believing what Alex Jones has to say, to humanity in general being "wired to believe," or that "hearing is believing" has any generality.

Is it just me, or is it only relatively recently that Alex Jones would be a "safe" example of someone who pitches manure? Could it be that something changed lately in his reputation?

And if so, is that change not evidence against belief "wiring" and in favor of belief lability? Not everybody will ditch him, probably because of the magic of cognitive dissonance, but he is nicely softened up as a target these days. Credibility does change; that's discernment.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


Actually no. Look at how many people defend his actions still. Accepting implausable excuses despite any number of experts telling them otherwise. And most of those experts on here first believed him.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


No, more the definition of misplaced trust. Anyone can lie to you and the author forgets that. It is a educational piece with well naivete thrown in by the author.



It may very well be an "educational" piece but it reeks of advancing self-censorship and censorship results in ignorance. From wiki: Ignorance is the state in which one lacks knowledge, is unaware of something or chooses to subjectively ignore information.


That means we must be vigilant about what information we allow ourselves to be exposed to, because that information will affect us whether we want it to or not.


How can we form an informed belief if we do not try to get information from all available sources?



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 01:57 PM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


By looking at the source for said information. This is true for alternative AND MSM sources. And I am sorry but we all self censor. I have had a BIG taste of that over the past couple of days.

[edit on 19-9-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 02:03 PM
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Perhaps humans were designed to be guided correctly so that they would reach their full creative potential.

Instead of our watcher guardians treating us like younger brothers and sisters, they became jealous because we were "newer models".

They are the origins of lies and deceptions which has thrown a kink into our design of being able to accept information as given.

They have contracted (covenanted) with greedy wicked humans to sell us what was our freely intended birthright.

In exchange for new technology (through all civilizations) evil humans have provided these ET's with blood sacrifices.

Could it be that our brains were designed for creative productivity and these tricks of psych-ops and lies have thrown our minds and nervous system into confusion and chaos?

Perhaps humans were inherently designed to advance through goodness and truth. But our guardians became tormentors to teach us things to impede our advancement.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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reply to post by Alethea
 


Possible. Not sure I think it's probable though. Doesn't your wrong though, just my thoughts.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 02:16 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 02:38 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 03:23 PM
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And most of those experts on here first believed him.

And are these experts not human beings? If human beings are wired to believe, then how have these human beings escaped the curse? How have they heard and not believed? How have they changed their wired minds?

At the height of his ride, Alex Jones was fringe. Now he's lint on the fringe. Then and now, he's had a big megaphone. Lots of people heard and never believed, lots of the people who once believed now do not. The theory of belief in the article can explain neither phenomenon.

Credulous people do exist. But the author of the article quoted in the OP is fantasizing that when people disagree with him about politics, then it is typically because their "wiring" gets in the way. That it is possible for rational people to disagree with him for good reasons is not in his set of possible hypotheses.

The article is a learned ad hominem rant. The author is calling his opponents automatons, in the nicest earned-doctorate sort of way. There isn't a lot of science in that, IMO.

The thread is yours, Watcher. And I'm glad I read the thing, so thank you for that.



posted on Sep, 19 2009 @ 03:24 PM
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reply to post by eight bits
 


I was talking about those who are experienced in web authoring.



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