Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds

Read this.
As everyone who’s followed the research—or even occasionally picked up a copy of Psychology Today—knows, any graduate student with a clipboard can demonstrate that reasonable-seeming people are often totally irrational. Rarely has this insight seemed more relevant than it does right now. Still, an essential puzzle remains: How did we come to be this way?


Bruce Wilder said...

It was an interesting read, that New Yorker article, but inspired disparate thoughts in me.

Some of the reported experiments seem less designed to discover something of human nature than to flatter the egos of the soi disant intellectuals running the experiment. Confuse people and see how they react, see if they can find the way out of the maze the experimenter thinks he sees.

That politics is fraught with glib arguments because people have so little occasion to try to figure out how an economic or foreign policy is supposed to work to solve a problem seems like it could be a useful insight. Makes one wonder why we saddle ourselves with a neoclassical economics,apparently designed to obscure any observable mechanisms of the actual economy.

People do manage to cooperate successfully to figure out some truly difficult intellectual problems. Somebody designed my iPhone and the systems in which it is embedded, even if no one can quite manage an American system of health care that actually delivers for a reasonable cost.

That the author flatters herself that the intellectual disability afflicts primarily the Other, the Trump supporter, does seem an indication of a certain immodest lack of self-awareness.

Sandwichman said...

Most of the people I know are not Trump voters. I can attest to their affliction. I can only assume that I am similarly obtuse.