It’s not your fault you’re gullible, blame it on science.
With the rise on the internet age and an abundance of ‘fake news’ it can be hard to tell reality from fiction.
But somewhere along the line the human race have lost the ability to judge situations for ourselves.
We have become so gullible that we are susceptible to any kind of suggestion, this is due to our inability to ‘unbelieve’.
We take our cues of information from a variety of different sources. From what we read to someones facial expression, we are always looking for the truth. But more frequently we are getting it wrong.
In the past, our ancestors relied on a “direct sensory experience”, they weighed what they saw in front of them. But these days, with only a computer screen to judge, it can be a difficult task.
Descartes wrote on ‘truth’:
“If one wishes to know the truth, then one should not believe an assertion until one finds evidence to justify doing so.”
But the further problem occurs that the information presented to you might be untrue. This becoming more common in today’s society.
Whereas Spinoza believed:
“People believe every assertion they understand but quickly ‘unbelieve’ those assertions that are found to be at odds with other established facts.”
Researchers at the University of Texas conducted an experiment on the difference between truth and fiction in crime. They gave two different groups statements to read about crimes. One group were interrupted as they tried to read the list of criminal acts.
After they finished, the two groups were asked to say how much jail time each perpetrator deserved. The group who were interrupted gave harsher sentences. The researchers concluded that it is harder to form a proper opinion on something if you are constantly being interrupted.
Too busy to notice
This follows the theory that it is harder to ‘unbelieve’ something if you are preoccupied. In modern life we are constantly preoccupied, and this may have led to a generation who are willing to believe almost anything.
Are we really to busy to notice that we are being lied to? Science believes we are. We need strong cognitive abilities to be able to ascertain truth from fiction. But our modern lifestyles dictate that our attention always be focused on the screen in front of us.
You will be able to change your beliefs if you focus on your ‘conscious awareness, healthy skepticism and emotional intelligence‘.