Believe first, ask questions later
Not only that, but their conclusions, and those of Spinoza, also explain other behaviours that people regularly display:
- Correspondence bias: this is people’s assumption that others’ behaviour reflects their personality, when really it reflects the situation.
- Truthfulness bias: people tend to assume that others are telling the truth, even when they are lying.
- The persuasion effect: when people are distracted it increases the persuasiveness of a message.
- Denial-innuendo effect: people tend to positively believe in things that are being categorically denied.
- Hypothesis testing bias: when testing a theory, instead of trying to prove it wrong people tend to look for information that confirms it. This, of course, isn’t very effective hypothesis testing!
Although this post is almost six years old, it is still interesting reading. It’s certainly consistent with my recent post about Fox News.