We humans are extremely susceptible to believe untruths!
We live in a post-truth era. This means that we have emotions and personal beliefs that override objective facts. We do not want to accept and believe objective facts.
I will give you an example. Let's take a general conviction, such as: "Many immigrants are criminals!" Such fears are common all over the world. But do you know what the facts (the realiyt) are? The fact is that "most immigrants are not criminals". Immigrants are detained with a 44 percent less probability (Cato, 2017; Flagg, 2018, 2019). And that's just an example of many others.
There are some psychological explanations for this:
- Fake news (Misinformation that intentionally reach us)
- Repetition (Statements become more credible if they are repeated)
- Strong examples, especially in the media (people, for example, overestimate their risk of dying by a plane crash)
- Group identity and echo of like -minded people (A good opinion about our group helps us to feel good, so we tend to make friends with people on social media who think like us - that is that "Moral infection in social networks").
Many of us take care of our beliefs, political or not! And we are often very safe and loyal to them. But we usually don't understand the details of many political issues. We are exposed every day to simple explanations of problems from party media sources.
We should all try to build a critical way of thinking, to ask questions, research, especially if we are sure of a truth, to be humble and know that we always overestimate and believe that we know much more than we actually know !
A study by psychologists Tenelle Porter and Karina Schumann found that intellectual humility is associated with greater willingness to listen to contrasting points of view on controversial political issues. If we are not humble and curious about the true truth, we are extremely susceptible to manipulations.
Accepting everything means being guilty, to deny everything means being cynical.