Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds
New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.
The New Yorker, 2017
In an ideal world, people’s opinions would evolve as more facts become available.
When most people think about the human capacity for reason, they imagine that facts enter the brain and valid conclusions come out. Science reveals this isn’t the case. People’s ability to reason is subject to a staggering number of biases. But what if the human capacity for reason didn’t evolve to help us solve problems; what if its purpose is to help people survive being near each other? getAbstract recommends Pulitzer Prize–winning author Elizabeth Kolbert’s thought-provoking article to readers who want to know why people stand their ground, even when they’re standing in quicksand.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kolbert is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. She has written for The New Yorker since 1999.
By the same author
In our Journal
2 years ago
The News Is Fake, the Anger Is Real
Anger, misdirected, can wreak all kinds of havoc on others and ourselves. It also primes a person for misinformation. Here is how to lower the temperature. You read the news; it boils your blood. You take to social media and it stokes the rage. Next thing you know you’re firing off inflammatory posts to soon-to-be-former friends. […]
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