Why You’re Wasting Time Arguing Politics on Social Media!

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Whether in the US or Thailand, tribalism & heated debate over politics has reached an epidemic level. But as much as we’d like to believe that our logical arguments should persuade anyone with a little common sense, it doesn’t appear that our brains are built to change belief on presentation of facts that don’t fit our preconceived notions of the world…even if the facts come from our own historical selves!

People’s memories of events, even dramatic ones like witnessing the Challenger shuttle disaster, can be very different from the actual experience.

Immediately after the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, a psychology professor asked 120+ students to journal their exact experience of the event & collected the results. 2.5 years later he interviewed the students to test their memories. The vast majority got their own memories wrong. Most amazing is the certainty with which they believed their current version. Even confronted with the journal in his own handwriting, one student refused to change his incompatible memory. We seem to have a psychological need to feel certain about our beliefs, even in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.

Listen to a fascinating interview with a neurologist on this subject at http://www.econtalk.org/robert-burton-on-being-certain/#audio-highlights

Read about why our memories are so unreliable, even when we’re confident that they are, in this New Yorker article: https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/idea-happened-memory-recollection

And you can see a popular talk about memory reliability in this TED talk.

#Nspyr #SoftPowerSkills

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