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Lilly

The Most Depressing Discovery About the Brain, Ever

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Say goodnight to the dream that education, journalism, scientific evidence or reason can provide the tools that people need in order to make good decisions.

http://www.alternet.org/media/most-depressing-discovery-about-brain-ever

[snip]  It turns out that in the public realm, a lack of information isn’t the real problem.  The hurdle is how our minds work, no matter how smart we think we are.  We want to believe we’re rational, but reason turns out to be the ex post facto way we rationalize what our emotions already want to believe.  [snip]

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It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” - Mark Twain.

Your Brain Is Hooked on Being Right

In situations of high stress, fear or distrust, the hormone and neurotransmitter cortisol floods the brain. Executive functions that help us with advanced thought processes like strategy, trust building, and compassion shut down. And the amygdala, our instinctive brain, takes over. The body makes a chemical choice about how best to protect itself — in this case from the shame and loss of power associated with being wrong — and as a result is unable to regulate its emotions or handle the gaps between expectations and reality. So we default to one of four responses: fight (keep arguing the point), flight (revert to, and hide behind, group consensus), freeze (disengage from the argument by shutting up) or appease (make nice with your adversary by simply agreeing with him).

https://hbr.org/2013/02/break-your-addiction-to-being/

Why smart people defend bad ideas

We all know someone who’s intelligent, but who occasionally defends obviously bad ideas. Why does this happen? How can smart people take up positions that defy any reasonable logic? Having spent many years working with smart people I’ve cataloged many of the ways this happens, and I have advice on what to do about it. I feel qualified to write this essay as I’m a recovering smart person myself and I’ve defended several very bad ideas. So if nothing else this essay serves as a kind of personal therapy session. However, I fully suspect you’ll get more than just entertainment value (“Look, Scott is more stupid than we thought!”) out of what I have to say on this topic.

http://scottberkun.com/essays/40-why-smart-people-defend-bad-ideas/

I've always found it strange when people get angry when they find out they're wrong about something.
I'm grateful when someone corrects me. I like to learn new things and I know I have a lot to learn.

 

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