Carol Tavris describes dissonance theory and how self-justification and self-deception often keep people from changing their minds even in the light of compelling contrary evidence, because the evidence is often dissonant with one’s self-image. She details the implications of dissonance theory for the persistence of psychic charlatans and other peddlers of the paranormal, and how it may explain how someone like Sylvia Brown can live with herself, and also how it may explain how believers remain so gullible about such unsupportable claims. She describes confirmation bias as a component of dissonance theory. She talks about how dissonance theory applies to the skeptic movement, both in terms of suggesting the best strategies for engaging the credulous, and in terms of fostering skepticism about one’s own skeptical views. And she argues that skepticism should be affirmative rather than destructive in its approach, and focused on both critical thinking and creative thinking alike. Also in this episode, The Honest Liar, Jamy Ian Swiss, talks about who psychics really see when they look in the mirror.
Tagged with “psychology” (3)
Are humans unique or do we just do some things a little better than other species? In the first of our two-part series on the nature of humanity: how the influence of others has shaped our evolution.
Find out how baby talk gave root to human language and why social isolation can make us sick. Plus, the joke’s on us – new research says we’re not the only laughing species: meet your giggling gorilla cousins.
And, what a writer’s visit to a chimp retirement center revealed about human discomfort with our animal ancestry.
Dean Falk – Anthropologist at Florida State University and author of Finding Our Tongues: Mothers, Infants, and the Origins of Language John Cacioppo – Director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago and co-author of Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection Lori Marino – Biologist at Emory University Kathryn Denning – Anthropologist at York University Charles Siebert – Author of The Wauchula Woods Accord: Toward a New Understanding of Animals Marina Davila-Ross – Psychologist at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K.