A confluence of topics dealing with mental health, substance abuse, health, public health, Social Work, education, politics, the humanities, and spirituality at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. In short, this blog is devoted to the improvement of the quality of life of human beings in the universe.
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Facts don't matter; preconceived notions do.
From Humans Are Hardwired To Dismiss Facts That Don't Fit With Their Worldview published on The Conversation on 01/31/20
Something is rotten in the state of American political life. The U.S. (among other nations) is increasingly characterized by highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own factual universes.
None of that is correct, though. The reality of human-caused global warming is settled science. The alleged link between vaccines and autism has been debunked as conclusively as anything in the history of epidemiology. It’s easy to find authoritative refutations of Donald Trump’s self-exculpatory claims regarding Ukraine and many other issues.
Most human beings can't be persuaded by facts. They have too much emotionally at stake to see the truth even when it is apparent. This tendency is called by many names: denial, minimalization, confirmation bias, prejudice, delusion, etc. Whatever you call it, it is unhealthy and destructive for the individual and for the groups in which they participate.
What is to be done about denial and delusion? Usually a direct approach of pointing out and bolstering the facts doesn't help, but only forces the person to become more entrenched in their false beliefs and upset to the point of loss of control and violence.
The best approach is to sidestep the topic and continue to focus on the consequences of the correct belief and make these achievements the satisfying elements of one's life. In other words leading by example rather than by argument is usually the better path.