Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

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A psychological perspective to the post-truth society.

Key points:

  1. It has been scientifically proven that once formed, impressions are remarkably perseverant
    • Stanford studies in the 1970s
  2. Confirmation bias not only leads people to dismiss evidence that is right in front of their eyes, it makes people hold on even more strongly to their beliefs.
  3. Humans are more critical of other people’s arguments, and are often blind to the flaws in their own arguments.
  4. People believe way more than they think they do — and this, coupled with confirmation bias when people see others with the same, baseless opinions, leads to them thinking that their baseless opinions are actually valid. (Scary)

Questions to ponder:

  • What effects does a post-truth society have?
  • Why has this problem only surfaced, or is more prominent today?
  • What could have exacerbated the problem? Eg. News, Social media
  • What then, can the media do to prevent this problem from worsening?

Posted by Tho Jia Yi

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