Wed, 18 November 2015
What effect does Google have on your brain? Here's an weirder question: what effect does knowing that you have access to Google have on your brain?
In this episode we explore what happens when a human mind becomes aware that it can instantly, on-command, at any time, search for the answer to any question, and then, most of time, find it.
According to researcher Matthew Fisher, one of the strange side effects is an inflated sense of internal knowledge. In other words, as we use search engines, over time we grow to mistakenly believe we know more than we actually do even when we no longer have access to the internet.
Thu, 5 November 2015
In psychology, they call it naive realism, the tendency to believe that the other side is wrong simply because they are misinformed.
According to Lee Ross, co-author of the new book, The Wisest One in the Room, naive realism has three tenets. One, you tend to believe that you arrived at your political opinions after careful, rational analysis through unmediated thoughts and perceptions. Two, since you are extremely careful and devoted to sticking to the facts and thus free from bias and impervious to persuasion, anyone else who has read the things you have read or seen the things you have seen will naturally see things your way, given that they’ve pondered the matter as thoughtfully as you have. And three, if anyone does disagree with your political opinions it must be because they simply don’t have all the facts yet.
Since this is the default position most humans take when processing a political opinion, when confronted with people who disagree, you tend to assume there must be a rational explanation. Usually, that explanation is that the other side is either lazy or stupid or corrupted by some nefarious information-scrambling entity like cable news, a blowhard pundit, a charming pastor or a lack thereof.
Listen in this episode as legendary psychologist Lee Ross explains how to identify, avoid, and combat this most pernicious of cognitive mistakes.