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16
Dez 19

As Teorias da Conspiração − The Conversatiom (a ler)]

 

How belief is rooted in evolution

– not ignorance

(theconversation.com/13.12.2019)

 

file-20191212-85417-16xhdjd.jpg

The flat Earth conspiracy is becoming increasingly popular

(Elena Schweitzer)

 

Despite creative efforts to tackle it, belief in conspiracy theories, alternative facts and fake news show no sign of abating. This is clearly a huge problem, as seen when it comes to climate change, vaccines and expertise in general – with anti-scientific attitudes increasingly influencing politics.

 

So why can’t we stop such views from spreading? My opinion is that we have failed to understand their root causes, often assuming it is down to ignorance. But new research, published in my book, Knowledge Resistance: How We Avoid Insight from Others, shows that the capacity to ignore valid facts has most likely had adaptive value throughout human evolution. Therefore, this capacity is in our genes today. Ultimately, realising this is our best bet to tackle the problem.

 

So far, public intellectuals have roughly made two core arguments about our post-truth world. The physician Hans Rosling and the psychologist Steven Pinker argue it has come about due to deficits in facts and reasoned thinking – and can therefore be sufficiently tackled with education.

 

file-20191212-85397-1el085w.jpg

(Tyler Merbler/Flickr, CC BY-SA)

 

Meanwhile, Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler and other behavioural economists have shown how the mere provision of more and better facts often lead already polarised groups to become even more polarised in their beliefs.

 

The conclusion of Thaler is that humans are deeply irrational, operating with harmful biases. The best way to tackle it is therefore nudging – tricking our irrational brains – for instance by changing measles vaccination from an opt-in to a less burdensome opt-out choice.

 

Such arguments have often resonated well with frustrated climate scientists, public health experts and agri-scientists (complaining about GMO-opposers). Still, their solutions clearly remain insufficient for dealing with a fact-resisting, polarised society.

 

(o artigo continua c/ Evolutionary pressures)

 

(texto/legendas/imagens: theconversation.com/conspiracy-theories-how-belief-is-rooted-in-evolution-not-ignorance-128803)

publicado por Produções Anormais - Albufeira às 17:06

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