Why You Believe Lies You Hear More Often


Derek Thompson

Senior Editor, The Atlantic  https://www.theatlantic.com/world/

Even if you think of yourself as a human lie detector, there are some untruths that will sneak under the hood. For that, you can thank your brain, and it’s absolute adoration for all things familiar, says Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic. One of the oldest findings in psychology history is the ‘mere exposure effect’, in which merely being exposed to something makes you biased toward it—parents influence their children by playing certain music around the house that they will love their whole lives, or they instil a political preference in them from an early age. You are drawn to what you know, and that bias really matters when it comes to digital media and the fake news phenomenon. Once something becomes memorable, we tend to conflate familiarity with fact. “This is one of the big reasons why it’s difficult to myth-bust on television or myth-bust in journalism, because sometimes the mere repetition of that myth biases audiences toward thinking that it’s true…” says Thompson. “The mere exposure of news to us biases us toward thinking that that news item is true.” Facebook has an enormous ethical responsibility in this, he says, because it is the world’s largest and most influential news outlet—whether it intended to be or not. Thompson believes there is no algorithmic fix for fake news that spreads via Facebook, only a human one: “The answer to a problem of a lack of human ethics in information  markets is the introduction of more humans and more ethics,” he says.

Derek Thompson’s latest book is Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction.


Yes Mr. Thompson  that  is how  religion survives.

The BBC is to embark upon an attempt to help school students by ” giving them the tools to filter out false and fake news”.
I was wondering if Faith School students  would then be allowed to test the Christmas “good news” with these methods. The story is rather suspect  – human parthenogenesis with the product being male. From whence cometh the Y chromosome? Do angels have chromosomes? All the evidence is, as Thomas Paine wrote,  “hearsay”. The written sources are now very difficult to authenticate. There was also at that time, I believe, a motive to deceive since there was (even then) an ancient prophesy about such an event.

Children in almost every Primary School in Wales will be indoctrinated in this almost certain fake news in Nativity Plays every year. I suggest a sensible discussion with them when they are older.

Alan Rogers


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