hiege002: October 2011 Archives

Dispelling Urban Legends

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It is common to believe in all sorts of "urban legends" because of a human tendency to use availability and representative heuristics: what seems the easiest and quickest to remember is usually the logic we settle on.

However, there are literally thousands of pieces of misinformation; such as the piece found on www.snapes.com entitled "Spiders Inside Her" .
The article describes how people are so gullible and easily fooled into believing something, and the entire myth had openly-satirical goals.
The reason for this piece of information sticks in many people's heads is because the the common phobia (or at least discomfort) of spiders is quite common.
According to THIS articled about "Half of women and 10 per cent of men have, to some degree, a fear of spiders."
This fear causes people to remember this "fact" more, because their emotions aid in the storage of LTM's. According to the Three-Stage Model, this is a very legitimate way to turn STM into LTM in Stage 2 via the "7 +/- 2 items" to remember.

Of course, there are other factors at play, but the main ones may be that it evokes such a strong emotion in people; thus, it evokes such a strong memory. And the urban legend continues...

The Secret You

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http://youtu.be/8Biv_8xjj8E

The above video discusses consciousness and the sense of "I" in the world - some of its nature, causes, and explanations. The video addresses some very real issues, but is not free of the classic pitfalls of logic fallacies.

Most importantly, we may inspect that the man collecting evidence is on the look-out for an answer. That, in itself, may cue to us that he has already fallen into belief preservation. Therefore, we must be especially careful to inspect his confirmation biases. For example, we can observe his predisposed ideas when he says things about his atheistic belief, and that some certain experiment may be able to disprove the existence of the soul. Whether or not the existence of the soul is real or not is irrelevant in this case: the relevance rests on the fact that he does - in fact - have an agenda that should be carefully counter-acted with.

Similarly, we can observe his tendency to equate correlation with causation; and to draw casual conclusions from insufficient evidence. For instance, when he went through the experiment that allowed the researcher to predict his actions "6 seconds before he consciously decided them," he decided that the idea of determinism is irrefutable. He failed to examine other instances, and to see other hypotheses before ruling this theory the best one.

Along that line of thinking, he does not consider other hypotheses in general; therefore, he does not rule out rival hypotheses. He pursuits endeavors which he hopes will support his belief (belief preservation), but does not consider alternative answers to his findings.

In short, although the information presented is insightful, it is not in-depth. We need to demand more evidence (from a more objective perspective), before considering the findings of the experiments to be true.

One things that's really caught my eye in recent years is the feminist movement: probably one of the most misinterpreted ideas in modern society. Perhaps it is best observed from this man's opinion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_jKNxM65Nw
Of course, what he thinks also reflects the majority of American's thoughts.
But what he doesn't know is that MOST of the things he talks about are things feminists are ALSO fighting to counter-act.
For example: "Why can only a guy ask out a girl?"
This IS a feminist point, but he seems to think that it's something feminists ignore.
Similarly, he seems to think that all feminists are women. That's a chauvinist statement in and of itself!

Feminism is deeply rooted in psychology, because it plays on the subconscious norms that most people blindly swallow. Take, for example, the power-house Disney. It's chauvinistic agenda with its Princess movies and its affects on children are earth-shattering.
http://www.freeonlineresearchpapers.com/sexism-at-disney
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CWMCt35oFY
Of course, to be fair, not ALL Disney movies are this way. In terms of the feminist movement, basically all the Disney Princess movies fall prey to this principle.
But other movies, such as Pirates of the Caribbean or My Neighbor Totoro ,don't apply as much to this principle.

As a patriarchal society, we must be careful to observe who we are discriminating against, and to what degree.
The evidence for the negative psychological effects in a suppressive patriarchy are self-evident:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0341/is_1_57/ai_75140960/pg_2/?tag=content;col1

Feminist literary criticism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_literary_criticism

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