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Over Easy: You are not so smart.

The Thinker – Valerie flickr creative commons

I generally do not focus on a particular website or blog but this on of my favorites, though I do not frequent it often.  You are not so smart is a blog by David McRaney a journalist that focuses on Self Delusion. It began initially as writings and essays and then in April 2012 as a podcast with interviews with knowledgeable people to explain various social/psychological phenomena that we use everyday to delude ourselves. And we all  delude our selves every day. The current one delves into beliefs, how we form them, keep them and change them and why.

A few of my favorites are Confirmation Bias. Which goes into the misconception that your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis. Where in the reality is that what we are looking for and most people are looking for is to have our views, beliefs and preconceived notions validated. This one is to me a biggie since even scientists are guilty of it.

The The Benjamin Franklin Effect.   You think you do nice things for the people you like and bad things to the people you hate. But the opposite is more often true. The tend to grow to like those who you do nice things for.

And The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight. The psychology of tribal behavior and thought.  Or The Just-World Fallacy where we like to believe that people generally get what they deserve. The truth is…shit happens.

I do not necessarily agree whit everything on his site.  Usually because I do not agree with his definitions. Like common sense where he uses the American Heritage Dictionary definition. “Sound judgement not based on specialized knowledge; native good judgement.”  To me common sense comes from experience. Usually bad experience you some how manage to survive.

But his post on The Backfire Effect, that when presented with facts and evidence that runs contrary to you already established beliefs, biases and preconceived notions, you will not change your mind, is especially interesting to me.  That quite the opposite happens and it will strengthen ones already held beliefs.

David McRaney does not update the blog very often, about once a month. It is however very enlightening.

What do you believe Firedogs ? And feel free to take anything I type here with a grain of salt.

Off topic is just fine here at Over Easy.

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