boxman / collective / tags / belief

Tagged with “belief” (7)

  1. Crony Beliefs

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled to make sense of the terrifying gulf that separates the inside and outside views of beliefs.

    From the inside, via introspection, each of us feels that our beliefs are pretty damn sensible. Sure we might harbor a bit of doubt here and there. But for the most part, we imagine we have a firm grip on reality; we don’t lie awake at night fearing that we’re massively deluded.

    But when we consider the beliefs of other people? It’s an epistemic shit show out there. Astrology, conspiracies, the healing power of crystals. Aliens who abduct Earthlings and build pyramids. That vaccines cause autism or that Obama is a crypto-Muslim — or that the world was formed some 6,000 years ago, replete with fossils made to look millions of years old. How could anyone believe this stuff?!

    No, seriously: how?

    http://secondenumerations.blogspot.com/2017/04/episode-10-crony-beliefs.html

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. YANSS 093 – The neuroscience of changing your mind – You Are Not So Smart

    We don’t treat all of our beliefs the same.

    If you learn that the Great Wall of China isn’t the only man-made object visible from space, and that, in fact, it’s actually very difficult to see the Wall compared to other landmarks, you update your model of reality without much fuss. Some misconceptions we give up readily, replacing them with better information when alerted to our ignorance.

    For others constructs though, for your most cherished beliefs about things like climate change or vaccines or Republicans, instead of changing your mind in the face of challenging evidence or compelling counterarguments, you resist. Not only do you fight belief change for some things and not others, but if you successfully deflect such attacks, your challenged beliefs then grow stronger.

    The research shows that when a strong-yet-erroneous belief is challenged, yes, you might experience some temporary weakening of your convictions, some softening of your certainty, but most people rebound and not only reassert their original belief at its original strength, but go beyond that and dig in their heels, deepening their resolve over the long run.

    Psychologists call this the backfire effect, and this episode is the first of three shows exploring this well-documented and much-studied psychological phenomenon, one that you’ve likely encountered quite a bit lately.

    In this episode, we explore its neurological underpinning as two neuroscientists at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute explain how their latest research sheds new light on how the brain reacts when its deepest beliefs are challenged.

    By placing subjects in an MRI machine and then asking them to consider counterarguments to their strongly held political beliefs, Jonas Kaplan’s and Sarah Gimbel’s research, conducted along with neuroscientist Sam Harris, revealed that when people were presented with evidence that alerted them to the possibility that their political beliefs might be incorrect, they reacted with the same brain regions that would come online if they were responding to a physical threat.

    “The response in the brain that we see is very similar to what would happen if, say, you were walking through the forest and came across a bear,” explains Gimbel in the episode. “Your brain would have this automatic fight-or-flight [response]…and your body prepares to protect itself.”

    According to the researchers, some values are apparently so crucial to your identity, that the brain treats a threat to those ideas as if they were a threat to your very existence.

    “Remember that the brain’s first and primary job is to protect ourselves,” explains Kaplan in the show. “The brain is basically a big, complicated, sophisticated machine for self-protection, and that extends beyond our physical self, to our psychological self. Once these things become part of our psychological self, I think they are then afforded all the same protections that the brain gives to the body.”

    How does the brain take something that is previously neutral and transmutate it into a value that it then protects as if it were flesh and bone? How do neutral, empirical facts about temperature and carbon emissions become politicized? How does an ideological stance on immigration reform become blended with personal identity? We explore those questions and more on this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast.

    https://youarenotsosmart.com/2017/01/13/yanss-093-the-neuroscience-of-changing-your-mind/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. Why people believe things you don’t believe

    Our guest for this episode, Will Storr, wrote a book called The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science. In that book, Storr spends time with Holocaust deniers, young Earth creationists, people who believe they’ve lived past lives as famous figures, people who believe they’ve been abducted by aliens, people who stake their lives on the power of homeopathy, and many more - people who believe things that most of us do not. Storr explains in the book that after spending so much time with these people it started to become clear to him that it all goes back to that model of reality we all are forced to generate and then interact with. We are all forced to believe what that model tells us, and it is no different for people who are convinced that dinosaurs and human beings used to live together, or that you can be cured of an illness by an incantation delivered over the telephone. For some people, that lines up with their models of reality in a way that’s good enough. It’s a best guess.

    Storr proposes you try this thought experiment. First, answer this question: Are you right about everything you believe? Now, if you are like most people, the answer is no. Of course not. As he says, that would mean you are a godlike and perfect human being. You’ve been wrong enough times to know it can’t be true. You are wrong about some things, maybe many things. That leads to a second question - what are you are wrong about? Storr says when he asked himself this second question, he started listing all the things he believed and checked them off one at a time as being true, he couldn’t think of anything he was wrong about.

    Storr says once you realize how difficult it is to identify your own incorrect beliefs you can better empathize with people on the fringe, because they are stuck in the same predicament. They are just as trapped in their own war rooms, most of the time unaware that the map they use is, as psychologist Daniel Gilbert once said, a representation and not a replica. They are judging the evidence presented to them based on a model of reality, a map that they’ve used their entire lives, and you can’t just tell someone that his or her map is a fantasy realm that doesn’t exist and expect them to respond positively. You can’t just ask a person like that to throw away that map and start over, especially if they’ve yet to realize it is just a map, and their beliefs are only models.

    In this episode we ask experts where do our beliefs come from, how do we know where we should place our doubt, and why don’t facts seem to work on people? We explore the psychology of belief through interviews with Margaret Maitland, an Egyptologist, who settles once and for all whether or not aliens built the pyramids. We also speak with Jim Alcock, a psychologist who studies belief itself who explains how emotions and rationality combine to form our concepts of reality.

    http://boingboing.net/2014/09/30/why-people-believe-things-you.html

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. The Digital Human: Conviction

    Aleks Krotoski looks belief in a digital world; from traditional religion to behaviour that looks remarkably like it from even the most rational looking of groups.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/dh

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

    Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things — from alien abductions to dowsing rods — boils down to two of the brain’s most basic, hard-wired survival skills. He explains what they are, and how they get us into trouble.

    Michael Shermer debunks myths, superstitions and urban legends, and explains why we believe them. Along with publishing Skeptic Magazine, he’s author of Why People Believe Weird Things.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_shermer_the_pattern_behind_self_deception.html

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. Meet The Author: Richard Dawkins

    He’s the King of All the Atheists, and now Richard Dawkins is hammering home what he sees as his key argument against the existence of God. In his book, The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins aims to put the theory of evolution in a factually unassailable position.

    Here, at Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2010, he goes through his book chapter by chapter, and in doing so attempts to convince his audience of the absolute veracity of Darwin’s theories. Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2010 00:00:00 -0800 Location: Adelaide, Australia, Adelaide Writers’ Week, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

    Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/03/01/Meet_The_Author_Richard_Dawkins

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. Brian Eno- This I Believe

    From http://speechification.com/page/5/

    download

    Tagged with eno belief

    —Huffduffed by briansuda