Why Do People Believe Things That Are False

It makes ones eyes roll sometimes as to what people can believe when it can’t be true.  In religion there is a conviction people came back to life from being dead and in a heaven and a hell.

In politics a large percentage of the public believe Obamacare has death panels, Hillary Clinton owns a child sex ring, Obama is a Muslim and not a U.S. citizen. Some saw the small crowds at Trump’s inauguration but believed Trump when he claimed it was millions more.

Freud explained how humans rationalize incorrectly. Errors can be made based on incomplete or incorrect information. Illusions or delusions, however, are based on conscious or unconscious wishes.  For example, Columbus believed he had discovered the Indies because he wished he had done so.

All of us make mistakes because we use shortcuts. We do not have the time and energy to check out every detail that comes along so we quickly decide who or what is correct based on our emotions and instincts.

It was always alarming to me that President W. Bush bragged that he could read a person’s character or truthfulness by looking in their eyes. Thus, he had good impressions of people who later turned out to be bad for the country. Bush was not introspective enough to realize that everyone uses short cuts like this and it is best to use several sources before deciding.

No matter how well educated or advanced our society is, forces of our emotions and wishes will influence us.

2 Responses

  1. Juan Ruiz

    “No matter how well educated”

    The education system in the US has been an abject failure for decades. Students have 13 years of K-12 to learn the basics, and come away ignorant. It helps explain the popularity of “reality” television, where there’s treasure on Oak Island, ghosts in every house, and ancient aliens constructed everything from the pyramids to Macchu Picchu.

Comments are closed.