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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/

Fantastic article on internet wars, and why you never get anywhere.

Should be required reading! ;D

"Have you ever noticed the peculiar tendency you have to let praise pass through you, but feel crushed by criticism? A thousand positive remarks can slip by unnoticed, but one "you suck" can linger in your head for days. One hypothesis as to why this and the backfire effect happens is that you spend much more time considering information you disagree with than you do information you accept. Information which lines up with what you already believe passes through the mind like a vapor, but when you come across something which threatens your beliefs, something which conflicts with your preconceived notions of how the world works, you seize up and take notice. Some psychologists speculate there is an evolutionary explanation. Your ancestors paid more attention and spent more time thinking about negative stimuli than positive because bad things required a response. Those who failed to address negative stimuli failed to keep breathing....

...When you read a negative comment, when someone sh*** on what you love, when your beliefs are challenged, you pore over the data, picking it apart, searching for weakness. The cognitive dissonance locks up the gears of your mind until you deal with it. In the process you form more neural connections, build new memories and put out effort - once you finally move on, your original convictions are stronger than ever."

Fine for deciding the tiger roar may mean a tiger is going to eat you. Not so fine at 3.35.am, after a 36 hour work stint, when you are online! :D :D :D
 

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That's fascinating research...really rings true, too. I know I've had those exact reactions to news items and book reviews.

I got a very negative review of my nutrition counter book a couple months ago, saying it was too difficult to search with the built-in search function and needed an index. My initial reaction was "This lady's crazy! She's just an idiot and couldn't figure out how to use the thing. Creating an index would be IMPOSSIBLE!" But after stewing for a few days, I could almost see her point. And after a few more days, an index didn't seem implausible. And after another week or so, it began to seem like something that might really improve the book. And a few weeks after that, I'm writing the description of the new, improved nutrition guide, bragging and raving about my multi-layered indexes...LOL!

So at least I'm someone who can have their perspective changed by hearing information that challenges my beliefs...even if it takes a good while!

:) Maria
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
meromana said:
That's fascinating research...really rings true, too. I know I've had those exact reactions to news items and book reviews.

So at least I'm someone who can have their perspective changed by hearing information that challenges my beliefs...even if it takes a good while!

:) Maria
It should take a while, shouldn't it? Otherwise we're wearing hats out of tinfoil....
 
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