Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How facts backfire - The Boston Globe

How facts backfire - The Boston Globe Fascinating article citing some studies that show that facts don't always change our minds. Researchers found that misinformed people rarely changed their minds when exposed to corrected facts. In fact (scary thought) they often became more strongly set in their beliefs. This doesn't bode well for the upcoming elections when people are getting ready to vote based on whatever information they may have about a candidate!

This article confirms the importance of getting information from a wide variety of sources. The internet is great but we need to read books, newspapers, magazines as well. We need to actually talk to candidates if possible. No one media source or book or magazine or TV program has all the facts or the answers. Only by looking for and putting together patterns in a wide variety of places can we make truly informed decisions. I find that having an insatiable sense of curiosity about what other people think helps. For example, I definitely have a set of assumptions and beliefs that I have developed from my life experiences over the years. So my motto is "everyone is entitled to my opinion but if I am wrong I can be taught." Funny, it seems lately that when I share my opinion with others they end up agreeing with me! Hmmm...wonder what I am doing right?

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