Thursday, January 28, 2010
More on "how we know what isn't so"
Yesterday, I posted about the book How We Know What Isn't So by Thomas Gilovich. As it turns out, the day before yesterday, Jonah Lehrer (author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist and How We Decide) was blogging about similar material, namely, how we selectively seek out information that conforms to what we already believe, or, if exposed to contradictory information, we selectively ignore anything we don't like. (I guess the old adage is true, we hear what we want to hear, or see what we want to see.) Anyway, Lehrer's post is pretty good. (Perhaps fittingly with last night's state of the union address,) It focuses primarily on political ideology and cable news networks (so you are probably immediately thinking republicans and Fox news or democrats and MSNBC, likely depending on your own political leanings, and you'd be right, but the most interesting finding in the paper that inspired the post was that longer viewing of the Al-Jazeera news network actually correlated with LESS dogmatic beliefs, suggesting that Al-Jazeera may not be the extremist's favorite news source).