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Re: The Irrationality Of Irrationality

From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 16:42:46 -0400
Archived: Sun, 29 Apr 2012 08:12:59 -0400
Subject: Re: The Irrationality Of Irrationality

>Source: Scientific American


>April 27, 2012

>The Irrationality Of Irrationality: The Paradox Of Popular Psychology
>By Samuel McNerney

>In 1996, Lyle Brenner, Derek Koehler and Amos Tversky conducted
>a study involving students from San Jose State University and
>Stanford University.

>The researchers were interested in how people jump to
>conclusions based on limited information.

>Previous work by Tversky, Daniel Kahneman and other
>psychologists found that people are "radically insensitive to
>both the quantity and quality of information that gives rise to
>impressions and intuitions", so the researchers knew, of course,
>that we humans don't do a particularly good job of weighing the
>pros and cons.

>But to what degree?

>Just how bad are we at assessing all the facts?

From past exposures to Scientific American articles, I expected
this article to steer me into a particular political mindset,
but I was pleased to find that it did not. Or maybe it was too
subtle to notice immediately.

The article concludes, "Ultimately, we need to remember what
philosophers get right. Listen and read carefully; logically
analyze arguments; try to avoid jumping to conclusions; donít
rely on stories too much. The Greek playwright Euripides was
right: Question everything, learn something, answer nothing".

Questioning and learning is important, but in real life, what's
the point of questioning and learning if what you learn is not
used as an answer to anything? Here might be the subtle mind-
control strategy of the author. We're incapable of using all the
facts, so just observe, don't act. The implication is that there
are others who will act for you.


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