Great summary of many ways of being irrational, referencing articles in wikipedia.
We refuse to admit, to ourselves and others, that we have a problem with spontaneous, compulsive, and unconscious irrationality. This includes, but is not limited to, the matters discussed by Dan Ariely in Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, in which he challenges assumptions about making decisions based on rational thought. Many of the problems listed below have clinical diagnoses as pathological states, but they are also prevalent (if not ubiquitous) in “normal”, “healthy” people at sub-clinical levels.
Our struggle with irrationality includes (but is not limited to):
- wishful thinking
- self-righteous indignation
- problem gambling
- thrill seeking
- love addiction
- cognitive bias
- implicit association
- logical fallacy
- emotional plague
- mass psychology
- viral memes
- false psychological narratives
- magical thinking
In evolutionary terms, reason is only an emerging property of the brain. Irrationality is still more the rule than the exception. It is innate in every one of us–even in the best and brightest of our scientists, philosophers, educators, and leaders. Although scientists and scholars take great pains to eliminate irrationality from their work products, it is insidious, and it often still intrudes in subtle ways. Even in our most rational-seeming people, irrationality often runs rampant in areas outside their core competence and in their private lives.
The problem with irrationality is that it is easy, it is pleasant, and it is reassuring; but it is also an unconscious compulsion or addiction, and we continue to pursue it and defend it way past the point of diminishing returns.
Why? Because irrational behaviors, emotions, and mental states are reinforced by the same neurochemicals that cause other forms of addiction.
From the The Toronto Hearings which were held at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, during the 10th anniversary weekend of 9/11.
Yes, but how many of the CT crowd have formed their opinions based on something other than a youtube video or something they saw on a private internet page somewhere. Many have seen a bit of the CT material and basically said “well, that’s good enough for me, I’m sold”.
Yeah, that fits, if by the “CT crowd”, you are referring to the official conspiracy theory (OCT) crowd. And you probably know that the official conspiracy theory (the one about 19 Arab hijackers who conspired to outsmart NORAD, FAA, CIA, FBI, etc etc) wasn’t even on YouTube until years later, but it got plastered all over the mainstream media. Many people sitting at home watching TV or reading Time magazine might have seen a bit of this OCT material and basically said “well, that’s good enough for me, I’m sold”. Just like you said. You are so right! Read more…
Great article summarizing many of the psychological aspects of 9/11 truth vs denial: See No Truth, Hear No Truth, Speak No Truth by Herbert Agar.
A very enthusiastic lady said, “Hello. My name is Joanne. What is your name and why are you here?” I smiled in return, “My name is David,” I replied,” and I am a closet conspiracy theorist.”
“Well done David for admitting your problem. I think he deserves a round of applause.” Joanne started clapping. The others followed and congratulated me on coming to terms with my willingness to seek help with my “apparent” problem in questioning authority. Do you find this funny, strange or weird? In my opinion, this is where society is going.