Tag Archives: belief

Where do superstitions come from?

Do people still practice magic?

By Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know via YouTube

As humanity’s understanding of science and technology evolved, magic seemed set to become another historical footnote. Except, that is, for the people that still practice it today.

Perceiving is Believing – Crash Course Psychology #7

If it has to do with the brain and its inner workings, then count me IN! I love anything brain related.

I suggest watching full screen.

Enjoy!

MIB


By CrashCourse via YouTube

Why do people lie about their belief in a Conspiracy Theory?

Part 2: Ulterior Motives

by via The Soap Box

conspiracies05Why do some people claim to believe in a conspiracy theory, when in fact they do not? In Part One of this two part series, I explained that some people do this out of a motivation of fear (mainly the fear of some sort of lose by no longer believing in a conspiracy theory, or the fear of some type of retaliation).

Of course it is not always fear that motivate a person to claim that they believe in a conspiracy theory when they really don’t. It could be that they have an ulterior motive that tends to be selfish in it’s reasons.

Attention Seeking

seek-attention_250pxConspiracy theorists get a lot of attention, either from fellow conspiracy theorists who may or may not share their beliefs, or from skeptics who debunk their beliefs (while at the same time mocking them for those beliefs), or from the media (and law enforcement agencies) when a conspiracy theorist breaks the law after being motivated to do so by a conspiracy theory.

This attention can be attractive to those whom seek out attention themselves, and will take any type of attention (positive or negative) they can get.

Basically you can think of them as a bratty child who is acting bad simply because no one will play attention to them, and they know that acting the way that they are people will pay attention to them, and they do so without fear of consequences because there might actually be very little in the way of consequences, and even when they do suffer the consequences of their actions, they know it will be either minor and/or temporary, and that there are probably ways around it too.

Financial Motivations

crook_250pxSome people claim to believe in conspiracy theories not because they actually do, but because they’re greedy, and they know that selling products that some conspiracy theorists buy can make them a lot of money.

For example, some one might open up a store that sells alternative medicine. The owner of the store might tell their customers how they “believe” that big pharma is evil, and that the medicine big pharma makes is actually bad for you, and that what they are selling will cure just about anything. The owner might not believe a word they just said, but if it gets them a sale, then they might not care.

Another example would be someone who has their own radio show and/or internet site which is dedicated to conspiracy theories, and lets say that this radio show and/or internet site has several sponsors that sell products that are aimed at conspiracy theorists. This could cause the host of this radio show and/or internet site to constantly spout out conspiracy theories that don’t believe in order to keep money rolling in from those sponsors, and maybe even sell products that they have created (such as videos) to their audience.

MORE . . .

Delusional People See the World Through Their Mind’s Eye

A mechanism for how the brain creates and maintains delusions is revealed in a new study.

By Tanya Lewis via LiveScience

Human beliefs are shaped by perception, but the new research suggests delusions — unfounded but tightly held beliefs — can turn the tables and actually shape perception. People who are prone to forming delusions may not correctly distinguish among different sensory inputs, and may rely on these delusions to help make sense of the world, the study finds. Typical delusions include paranoid ideas or inflated ideas about oneself.

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Having delusions, such as a belief in telekinesis, can influence how people see the world – literally.
Credit: Arman Zhenikeyev | Shutterstock

“Beliefs form in order to minimize our surprise about the world,” said neuroscientist Phil Corlett of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., who was not involved in the study. “Our expectations override what we actually see,” Corlett added.

The prevailing thinking holds that people develop delusions to predict how events in their lives will occur — just as Pavlov‘s dog learned to predict that the sound of a bell ringing meant dinnertime was imminent. Humans update their beliefs when what they predict doesn’t match what they actually experience, Corlett said.

But delusions often appear to override the evidence of the senses. To test this idea, German and Swedish researchers conducted behavioral and neuroimaging experiments on healthy people who harbor delusions.

In one experiment, volunteers were given a questionnaire designed to measure delusional beliefs. Questions included: Do you ever feel as if people are reading your mind?; Do you ever feel as if there is a conspiracy against you?; Do you ever feel as if you are, or destined to be someone very important?; and Are you often worried that your partner may be unfaithful?

The participants then performed a task that tested their visual perception: They were shown a sphere-shaped set of dots rotating in an ambiguous direction, and asked to report which direction it was rotating at various intervals.

People who harbored a greater number of delusional beliefs (those who scored higher on the questionnaire) saw the dots appear to change direction more often than the average person. The result confirms findings from previous studies that delusional individuals have less stable perceptions of the world.

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