News Psychology

No longer thinking straight

We are suckers for fake news not necessarily because we want to believe it’s true, but because the world has become so chaotic and polluted with noisy opinions that the possibilities are endless.

The coexistence of anxiety and confirmation bias prevents us from thinking clearly. We are stuck in perpetual worry of the next terrorist attack, natural disaster, and baseless tweet.

Even worse, the facts don’t change our minds. We are ignorantly settled on we think is right and only collect information that solidifies our beliefs.

We reject any proof, having lost our ability to rise above sidedness altogether. Our entire system of beliefs, beliefs about beliefs, are in a state of flux because we’re obsessed with being right.

We’ve lost our ability to pause and reflect, allowing the suck of dopamine to woo our biases instead.

The loop of deception feeds off our inattention. We are trapped in the illusion of knowledge.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of four books.

14 replies on “No longer thinking straight”

So much true. We are loaded with information and not always figure out if it is true. There was an instagram of one guy getting around war on middle east. He was featured by several reputed magazines.
It came out that it is a fake, photos were protoshoped from others and guy lives in Brazil.

That’s nuts. Every time a friend of mine sends me a Banksy arrest article I just call it fake news. Banksy (he/she) will never be found.

Honestly, I don’t even watch the news/read the papers anymore and try to avoid all fb “news.” it either makes me mad, confuses me, or stresses me out. I know it’s not ok to live like an ostrich, but sometimes I don’t know how not to!

That’s the healthier route. All the news makes us fat. Subscribing to a weekly like the Economist might keep you informed in a lighter, steadier fact-checked fashion

Agreed. That’s a really well-thought out post. I just hope that we can’t assess the situations based on facts that we’ve gathered from a wide range of sources and not be skewed towards one side (which might be wrong ) :/

Totally, but it’s as if people have become numb to the facts, stuck in their own echo chambers.

I try to read a variety of sources. The truth is somewhere in the middle. But the facts are facts, no matter how people try to disregard them.

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