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Author Topic:   The Science Of Why We Don’t Believe Science
fearandloathing
Member (Idle past 1495 days)
Posts: 990
From: Burlington, NC, USA
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 1 of 15 (616090)
05-19-2011 12:35 PM



The Science Of Why We Don’t Believe Science

Posted by JacobSloan on May 9, 2011

scopeWondering how evolution developed us into creatures who don’t believe in evolution? Mother Jones explains why large numbers of people tend to believe things that make no sense, and why the human brain is averse to evidence and reasoning:

An array of new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience has further demonstrated how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions. This tendency toward so-called “motivated reasoning” helps explain why we find groups so polarized over matters where the evidence is so unequivocal: climate change, vaccines, “death panels,” the birthplace and religion of the president (PDF), and much else. It would seem that expecting people to be convinced by the facts flies in the face of, you know, the facts.

The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience (PDF): Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call “affect”). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we’re aware of it. That shouldn’t be surprising: Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It’s a “basic human survival skill,” explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.

When we think we’re reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing. Or to use an analogy offered by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt: We may think we’re being scientists, but we’re actually being lawyers (PDF). Our “reasoning” is a means to a predetermined end—winning our “case”—and is shot through with biases. They include “confirmation bias,” in which we give greater heed to evidence and arguments that bolster our beliefs, and “dis-confirmation bias,” in which we expend disproportionate energy trying to debunk or refute views and arguments that we find uncongenial.

Ran across this and thought it might be relevant, as we all have seen this behavior play out on here many times. taken from here


"I hate to advocate the use of drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson

Ad astra per aspera


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by ProtoTypical, posted 05-19-2011 12:58 PM fearandloathing has responded
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 05-23-2016 3:58 PM fearandloathing has not yet responded

    
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1701
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 2 of 15 (616095)
05-19-2011 12:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by fearandloathing
05-19-2011 12:35 PM


The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience (PDF): Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call “affect”). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we’re aware of it.

There is an on going study at Harvard that investigates this. You can participate if you like. I am just in the middle of a book called Blink by Malcolm Gladwell that discusses our tendancy and ability to make snap judgements.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by fearandloathing, posted 05-19-2011 12:35 PM fearandloathing has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by fearandloathing, posted 05-19-2011 1:22 PM ProtoTypical has responded
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fearandloathing
Member (Idle past 1495 days)
Posts: 990
From: Burlington, NC, USA
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 3 of 15 (616098)
05-19-2011 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by ProtoTypical
05-19-2011 12:58 PM


Thanks

I did participate in one test so far...I slightly associate white people with weapons, although I was using word association when the choice of white and weapon were grouped together, so I dont think I revealed any deep dark secret about myself. More test to follow, might learn something about myself yet.


"I hate to advocate the use of drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson

Ad astra per aspera


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by ProtoTypical, posted 05-19-2011 12:58 PM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by ProtoTypical, posted 05-19-2011 1:39 PM fearandloathing has acknowledged this reply

    
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1701
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 4 of 15 (616100)
05-19-2011 1:39 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by fearandloathing
05-19-2011 1:22 PM


Yeah something seems a little off with the tests. I have completed 3 so far and they tell me that I have some preference for one type of body lotion over another type. I am consciously certain that I have absolutely no preference for any type of body lotion but apparently my subconscious believes otherwise.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 15491
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 5 of 15 (616115)
05-19-2011 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by ProtoTypical
05-19-2011 1:39 PM


I took it once, seems dead on to me. It says I think men are strong compared to women, and that I don't think I'm much different in strength from anyone else.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by ProtoTypical, posted 05-19-2011 1:39 PM ProtoTypical has responded

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subbie
Member (Idle past 57 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 6 of 15 (616136)
05-19-2011 8:49 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by ProtoTypical
05-19-2011 12:58 PM


I took the Black/White Weapon/Harmless object test and it said that I slightly associate white people with weapons more than black people. In fact, I think the results merely mean that I got better hitting the right buttons as the test went on. And, as fearandloathing mentioned, the word association was easier with the White/Weapon combo.

Seems like a lot of pop psychology to me.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by ProtoTypical, posted 05-19-2011 12:58 PM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1701
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 7 of 15 (616152)
05-19-2011 10:50 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Percy
05-19-2011 4:49 PM


I took it once, seems dead on to me.

You mean the results matched your conscious opinion.

It just seemed inaccurate to say that I had a preference for one imaginary body lotion over another given that I am not a body lotion kind of person. Probably has huge marketing applications.


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 Message 5 by Percy, posted 05-19-2011 4:49 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Percy, posted 05-20-2011 6:55 AM ProtoTypical has responded

  
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1701
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 8 of 15 (616153)
05-19-2011 10:51 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by subbie
05-19-2011 8:49 PM


Seems like a lot of pop psychology to me.

Are you not believing in the science of why we don't believe in science?


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Percy
Member
Posts: 15491
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 9 of 15 (616182)
05-20-2011 6:55 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by ProtoTypical
05-19-2011 10:50 PM


Dogmafood writes:

You mean the results matched your conscious opinion.

Yeah.

It just seemed inaccurate to say that I had a preference for one imaginary body lotion over another given that I am not a body lotion kind of person. Probably has huge marketing applications.

My test was man/woman, weak/strong, me/them, with words like him, hers, tough, dainty, I, others, etc. Were you given the same or a different test?

In many psychology tests the part where they tell you what the test is about is actually part of the test. After they gave the results, didn't they ask if you agreed with them? I can't remember, but if they did then that was probably part of the test. And the Chinese culture part at the end could have been misdirection, but whatever it was I don't believe it was what they said it was.

AbE: Someone should contact the provided names, see if they're real.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Add comment.


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 Message 7 by ProtoTypical, posted 05-19-2011 10:50 PM ProtoTypical has responded

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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1701
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 10 of 15 (616187)
05-20-2011 8:12 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Percy
05-20-2011 6:55 AM


Were you given the same or a different test?

My test involved vode/veani (imaginary body lotion) and words like good/bad, joy/agony, wonderful/awful. Same form I guess with different subjects. They asked before the results if I thought that I had a preference.

Looking back on my results I see that I showed a strong preference for one on the first test and then a mild preference on the next two tests.

I found them from a reference in a book published in 2005. They have been testing since 1998 and have completed 4.5 million tests. I am fairly certain that they are legitimate. I have been contacted 3 times to repeat the test.


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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1214
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 11 of 15 (616191)
05-20-2011 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by ProtoTypical
05-19-2011 1:39 PM


Dogmafood writes:

Yeah something seems a little off with the tests. I have completed 3 so far and they tell me that I have some preference for one type of body lotion over another type. I am consciously certain that I have absolutely no preference for any type of body lotion but apparently my subconscious believes otherwise.

The body lotion tests could be there as a control, to see if results on this are all over the place, while the things like race show consistent bias.

Edit: Incidentally, apparently I'm a massive subconscious racist. It was easier to hit the right keys when white people and positive words were on the same side, but I don't know how much this was because I'd gotten used to the game by then.

Edited by caffeine, : No reason given.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 9260
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 12 of 15 (784804)
05-23-2016 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by fearandloathing
05-19-2011 12:35 PM


Motivated Reasoning
The Science Of Why We Don’t Believe Science
Posted by JacobSloan on May 9, 2011

Wondering how evolution developed us into creatures who don’t believe in evolution? Mother Jones explains why large numbers of people tend to believe things that make no sense, and why the human brain is averse to evidence and reasoning:

An array of new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience has further demonstrated how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions. This tendency toward so-called “motivated reasoning” helps explain why we find groups so polarized over matters where the evidence is so unequivocal: climate change, vaccines, “death panels,” the birthplace and religion of the president (PDF), and much else. It would seem that expecting people to be convinced by the facts flies in the face of, you know, the facts.

The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience (PDF): Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call “affect”). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we’re aware of it. That shouldn’t be surprising: Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It’s a “basic human survival skill,” explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.

When we think we’re reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing. Or to use an analogy offered by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt: We may think we’re being scientists, but we’re actually being lawyers (PDF). Our “reasoning” is a means to a predetermined end—winning our “case”—and is shot through with biases. They include “confirmation bias,” in which we give greater heed to evidence and arguments that bolster our beliefs, and “dis-confirmation bias,” in which we expend disproportionate energy trying to debunk or refute views and arguments that we find uncongenial.

Ran across this and thought it might be relevant, as we all have seen this behavior play out on here many times. taken from here

I can see how facts are applicable to Biblical events, stories, and myths that can be tested, but I dont see how this applies as strongly to faith in a Creator of all seen and unseen---a concept that would involve different tests than are available.

Edited by Phat, : clarification+Topic Bump


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by fearandloathing, posted 05-19-2011 12:35 PM fearandloathing has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3422
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 13 of 15 (784809)
05-23-2016 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
05-23-2016 3:58 PM


Re: Motivated Reasoning
I dont see how this applies as strongly to faith in a Creator of all seen and unseen---a concept that would involve different tests than are available.

I think you mean "a concept that can involve no empirical tests, other then total absence, whatsoever."

It is pure emotional rationalization.

quote:
When we think we’re reasoning, we may instead be rationalizing.

That describes religion all too well.


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 Message 12 by Phat, posted 05-23-2016 3:58 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 9260
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 14 of 15 (784883)
05-25-2016 4:24 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by AZPaul3
05-23-2016 5:41 PM


Re: Motivated Reasoning
It is pure emotional rationalization.
I would suggest, however, that there needs to be a catalyst for the emotions to influence the self explanation or belief and not so much a need to rationalize the experience. I would argue that for me at least I need no rationalization apart from the experience that led to my belief/conversion/long strange trip. Perhaps my error is that I wont go to any great lengths to at best question and at worst doubt my experience.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by AZPaul3, posted 05-23-2016 5:41 PM AZPaul3 has responded

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 Message 15 by AZPaul3, posted 05-25-2016 5:13 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3422
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.8


(4)
Message 15 of 15 (784885)
05-25-2016 5:13 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Phat
05-25-2016 4:24 AM


Re: Motivated Reasoning
I would suggest, however, that there needs to be a catalyst for the emotions to influence the self explanation or belief and not so much a need to rationalize the experience.

Yes. A good observation. In religion, I would go further and say that this catalyst, this emotional experience, would need to be quite compelling in the extreme for it to cause the kind of critical examination that would cause someone to abandon their long-time deeply-held belief. Anything less than strongly compelling is too easily rationalized away.

The study says that once the strong belief sets in a few facts, a few dozen facts, are not enough to bring the belief under question and may only serve to strengthen the belief. I think you are right. It may be that only some devastating emotional trauma would shake the foundations enough to cause the question to be given serious soul-searching examination.

For me, as much as I may rage against religion, I can't wish that kind of pain on anyone.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Phat, posted 05-25-2016 4:24 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
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