Blogs


Notices

Skepticism.... a neurological need!

Old 09-01-2006, 03:45 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
equus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 3,054
Skepticism.... a neurological need!

Well perhaps not need in terms of life and limb! But in terms of being able to make best use of all evidence available it surely is a need and there's a neurological reason why. By skepticism I mean not just for another's viewpoint but for our own.

Have you ever pondered how the brain physically reacts to beliefs? What the brain does while we weigh up evidence? Have you ever noticed the preference each person has for their own beliefs and the seemingly stubborn way in which we all have a tendency to 'only' find information to support what we already believe? Have you ever felt discomfort when faced with a piece of evidence that doesn't fit with a strong personal belief, maybe anger, maybe fear? The answer of yes to many of those question would make you human - but ever wondered why it is that way?

If these questions interest you then you would enjoy reading this:
RATS!!! Their server is down so I can't get the link - I will return with it!

The above when it arrives is an investigation into brain activity and confirmation bias (our tendency to attend to information which supports our own view). The results show a complex system of both attention and startling lack of it! The way it involves our emotional systems means we get a heavy reward for finding info to support what we already believe. Bias is inbuilt in us as humans.

The final conclusion of the article is that skepticism is the antidote for bias.

In order to keep growing up - something I aim to do, I recognise a need for a belief pattern that is reflexive and utilises all information relevant rather than all information supporting my current view.

This article demonstrates to me the need to accept myself as human, to know I carry in that bias, and to practice skepticism as a means to increasing what I attend to.

I WILL come back with the full article - in the mean time it was from last months's Scientific American entitled The Political Brain.
equus is offline  
Old 09-01-2006, 04:09 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
To Life!
 
historyteach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 9,293
In my history program, we studied this phenomonom. As historians, it is encombant upon us to recognize, as much as humanly possible, our biases and our own particular socialization factors, so that we can do our best to overcome those issues when researching and writing about people or situations in the past. Not to do so imposes our ethos onto another situation, and distorts the past.

It's a tricky issue, complicated by the reality that we may NEVER know all of our unknown socialized biases. The best we can do is try.

I look forward to reading the article.

Shalom!
historyteach is offline  
Old 09-01-2006, 04:29 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
StrongR2Day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Somewhere there is peace of mind
Posts: 210
You never fail to enlighten me with these posts, Equus. Thank you for sharing that.
StrongR2Day is offline  
Old 09-01-2006, 04:42 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
equus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 3,054
Site Under Maintenance
We're Sorry.

Scientific American's web site is currently unavailable due to scheduled maintenance. This maintenance is to ensure that the web site continues to function properly and without any problems.

We apologize for this inconvenience. Please return later today to access this web site. Thank you for your cooperation.

Webmaster
ScientificAmerican.com
As soon as I can I'll get the article!!!
equus is offline  
Old 09-01-2006, 08:02 AM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
equus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 3,054
GOT IT!!! I've broken the link just after www. with 2 spaces.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?art...162&sc=I100322
equus is offline  
Old 09-01-2006, 12:12 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Reach Out and Touch Faith
 
shockozulu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: On a Sailboat
Posts: 3,871
Thanks, I'll be reading that link after I attack my two online classes.
shockozulu is offline  
Old 09-01-2006, 02:34 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Morning Glory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: CA
Posts: 10,657
Blog Entries: 2
I fixed the link. If you want to disable a link use this button. Highlight the link and push the button. Then uncheck Automatically parse links in text below the reply box. If you don't want the link to be active uncheck Automatically parse links in text before you submit the post. If you don't have the button go into your CP. Edit Options. Scroll down to the Message Editor Interface option and choose the WYSIWYG editor.
Morning Glory is offline  
Old 09-01-2006, 04:36 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
equus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: uk
Posts: 3,054
The whole links thing confuses the ...... our of me!! Mostly I use BOTH non commercial and reputable refs so I rarely worry - however Sci American is commercial so I broke it mmmmmmyyyyyyy waaaaaayyyy....

*Eq sings and bows off stage*
equus is offline  
Old 09-02-2006, 11:40 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Big Woods
Posts: 521
When I see news coverage professed to be "unbiased" I know to be even more skeptical, because I'm utterly convinced there is no such thing, and those who think they are delivering an unbiased account of anything are deceiving themselves and attempting to deceive others. There is no such thing as "unbiased."

Reading your threat Equus called to mind an interview I heard last week on Public Radio with an author discussing his book about the political brain and I thought to recount some of what I heard there on this thread. But the link is directly to that very author and book! So I'll contribute from another source I'm reading, Literature and the Irrational.

--As Kant recognzied, the mind is active in its contacts with the external world and does not register passively the impulses that impinge on the nerve endings. Instead, it transforms the impusles into impressions, which enter into combinations as Gestalten and are registered finally as knowledge...

(Futher, it is) recognized that all thought, no matter how strictly "scientific," on an ultimate level is mythical. --

Originally Posted by equus
Have you ever pondered how the brain physically reacts to beliefs? What the brain does while we weigh up evidence? Have you ever noticed the preference each person has for their own beliefs and the seemingly stubborn way in which we all have a tendency to 'only' find information to support what we already believe? Have you ever felt discomfort when faced with a piece of evidence that doesn't fit with a strong personal belief, maybe anger, maybe fear? The answer of yes to many of those question would make you human - but ever wondered why it is that way?
I've pored over those questions for a lifetime. It explains a lot about why addiction is so difficult to break. Because as far as the addict mind can see, drugs provide a satisfying answer to any question, problem, conflict. And if you believe that to be true, there you'll remain, restricted by your own convictions and beliefs.
aloneagainor is offline  
Old 09-02-2006, 12:31 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Big Idiot Man Child
 
windysan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: La
Posts: 5,664
Junk provided everything I wanted until it wore off and I ran out.

That warm void was nice....everything unecessary.

Glad that is over.
windysan is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:59 PM.