If you think that people are somehow rational, all you really need to do is look at how we’ve handled both spirituality and drugs in our culture. Nope, no logic or rationality there at all. Just a bunch of folks believing in completely illogical shit that’s been ingrained into their psyche by a historically irrational culture.
And then there’s politics. Nothing about our political system makes much sense in the first place admittedly, but do you know how many supposedly rational people I saw in my feed actually debating whether or not a sane career politician would make a better president than a compulsive lying half wit with narcissistic personality disorder and zero experience in politics? Tons. Which would be worse, gee, I wonder. Let’s ignore proposed policies all together and vote based on sensationalist propaganda instead. Anyway, here’s yet another study showing how bias shapes our perception far more than facts. The research is pretty solid on that front at this point I might point out, this is just another study indicating the same thing (from Science Alert):
“We all like to think that we’re rational creatures able to make objective decisions, but our biases may be a lot stronger than we think.
Stefano Palminteri of École Normale Supérieure led a team of researchers from ENS and University College London, which previously reported that humans are biased towards the path of least resistance, even though that can make us depressed later on.
In those situations, people don’t seem to be able to perceive intangible future repercussions.
Palminteri’s team sought to discover in an experimental environment whether our biases are so strong that we continue to hold onto them even when something tangible is on the line in that moment.
The study involved 20 volunteers performing two variants of a task: choosing between pairs of symbols, each of which had been assigned a points value.
For the first variant of the task, the participants were only told the value of the symbols they chose. Over time, they learned that some symbols were more valuable and developed a bias towards choosing those symbols.
For the second variant, the participants were told the values of both symbols, even though they could only pick one. However, they continued to choose the symbols they had learned to be biased towards in the first part of the experiment, even when they had proof that the other symbol was worth more.
New research has found that humans have an excellent ability to ignore facts that don’t fit with our own biases, not just on Facebook where the stakes are pretty low, but even when it can cost us money.
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