“Persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false…”

Must read here. I won’t summarize the article as you need to read the entire piece for yourself, but the implications for things I care about very deeply (such as marketing, politics, technology, religion, and education) are serious.

Take some time and read:

Sloman and Fernbach see this effect, which they call the “illusion of explanatory depth,” just about everywhere. People believe that they know way more than they actually do. What allows us to persist in this belief is other people. In the case of my toilet, someone else designed it so that I can operate it easily. This is something humans are very good at. We’ve been relying on one another’s expertise ever since we figured out how to hunt together, which was probably a key development in our evolutionary history. So well do we collaborate, Sloman and Fernbach argue, that we can hardly tell where our own understanding ends and others’ begins.

Source: Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds | The New Yorker

2 Replies to ““Persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false…””

  1. “In a study conducted at Yale, graduate students were asked to rate their understanding of everyday devices, including toilets, zippers, and cylinder locks.“

    OK I am googling toilets, zippers, and locks ( which I am already somewhat familiar with because I used to rekey them at the lumberyard) to check myself.

    We use to talk about these “fake” studies in Behavioral Psychology classes.

    Thanks, interesting article.


    1. Thought you might like! Zippers still amaze me.


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