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5800Re: Why ECKists Hold Onto False Facts:

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  • prometheus_973
    Jul 18, 2011
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      Here's more from the book
      "The Believing Brain" on why
      Eckists believe in the Mahanta
      and pretend as they do.

      "The Believing Brain:

      From Ghosts, Gods, and Aliens
      to Conspiracies, Economics,
      and Politics—How the Brain
      Constructs Beliefs and Reinforces
      Them as Truths

      In this, his magnum opus, one
      of the world's best known skeptics
      and critical thinkers Dr. Michael
      Shermer—founding publisher
      of Skeptic magazine and perennial
      monthly columnist ("Skeptic")
      for Scientific American—presents
      his comprehensive theory on
      how beliefs are born, formed,
      nourished, reinforced, challenged,
      changed, and extinguished. This
      book synthesizes Dr. Shermer's
      30 years of research to answer
      the questions of how and why
      we believe what we do in all aspects
      of our lives, from our suspicions
      and superstitions to our politics,
      economics, and social beliefs.
      In this book Dr. Shermer is
      interested in more than just why
      people believe weird things, or
      why people believe this or that
      claim, but in why people believe
      anything at all. His thesis is straightforward:

      We form our beliefs for a variety
      of subjective, personal, emotional,
      and psychological reasons in the
      context of environments created
      by family, friends, colleagues, culture,
      and society at large; after forming
      our beliefs we then defend, justify,
      and rationalize them with a host
      of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments,
      and rational explanations. Beliefs
      come first, explanations for beliefs

      Dr. Shermer also provides the
      neuroscience behind our beliefs.
      The brain is a belief engine. From
      sensory data flowing in through
      the senses the brain naturally begins
      to look for and find patterns, and
      then infuses those patterns with
      meaning. The first process Dr.
      Shermer calls patternicity: the
      tendency to find meaningful patterns
      in both meaningful and meaningless
      data. The second process he calls
      agenticity: the tendency to infuse
      patterns with meaning, intention,
      and agency.

      We can't help believing. Our
      brains evolved to connect the
      dots of our world into meaningful
      patterns that explain why things
      happen. These meaningful patterns
      become beliefs. Once beliefs are
      formed the brain begins to look
      for and find confirmatory evidence
      in support of those beliefs, which
      adds an emotional boost of further
      confidence in the beliefs and thereby
      accelerates the process of reinforcing
      them, and round and round the process
      goes in a positive feedback loop
      of belief confirmation. Dr. Shermer
      outlines the numerous cognitive tools
      our brains engage to reinforce our
      beliefs as truths and to insure that
      we are always right.

      Interlaced with his theory of belief,
      Dr. Shermer provides countless real-
      world examples of belief from all
      realms of life, and in the end he
      demonstrates why science is the
      best tool ever devised to determine
      whether or not a belief matches reality."

      <prometheus_973@...> wrote:
      > Look at the false facts about
      > the Birth of the Mahanta. Was
      > Twitchell lying or is Klemp?
      > *****
      "Lingering Lies: The Persistent Influence of Misinformation
      > The brain holds on to false facts,
      > even after they have been retracted
      > By Valerie Ross | July 18, 2011 |
      > After people realize the facts have
      > been fudged, they do their best to
      > set the record straight: judges tell
      > juries to forget misleading testimony;
      > newspapers publish errata. But even
      > explicit warnings to ignore misinformation
      > cannot erase the damage done,
      > according to a new study from the
      > University of Western Australia.
      > Psychologists asked college students
      > to read an account of an accident
      > involving a busload of elderly passengers.
      > The students were then told that,
      > actually, those on the bus were
      > not elderly. For some students, the
      > information ended there. Others
      > were told the bus had in fact been
      > transporting a college hockey team.
      > And still others were warned about
      > what psychologists call the continued
      > influence of misinformation—that
      > people tend to have a hard time
      > ignoring what they first heard, even
      > if they know it is wrong—and that
      > they should be extra vigilant about
      > getting the story straight.
      > Students who had been warned
      > about misinformation or given
      > the alternative story were less
      > likely than control subjects to
      > make inferences using the old
      > information later—but they still
      > erred sometimes, agreeing with
      > statements such as "the passengers
      > found it difficult to exit the bus
      > because they were frail."
      > This result shows that "even if
      > you understand, remember and
      > believe the retractions, this
      > misinformation will still affect
      > your inferences," says Western
      > Australia psychologist Ullrich Ecker,
      > an author of the study. Our memory
      > is constantly connecting new facts
      > to old and tying different aspects
      > of a situation together, so that
      > we may still unconsciously draw
      > on facts we know to be wrong
      > to make decisions later. "Memory
      > has evolved to be both stable
      > and flexible," Ecker says, "but
      > that also has a downside."
      > Prometheus: Therefore, this
      > shows how difficult it is to
      > reason with Eckists because
      > they have become so ingrained
      > and confused with misinformation
      > over the decades. Belief is, now,
      > all they have and their imaginations
      > reenforce this in a never ending
      > cycle of illusion.
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