mercredi 16 septembre 2009

conspiration [en]

The Persistence of Conspiracy (Heretical Ideas Magazine) {en}:
it’s hard to shake the perception of patterns. Of course, the human knack of pattern-building is a common culprit for researchers who try to explain why conspiracy theories exist in the first place, but I think it’s also a reason for why they stick around. Once you see a pattern, it is a really tall order to now “un-see” that image. Take the famous “face on Mars” picture, for example. Once you’ve got it in your head that there’s a “face” in the picture, it takes a few minutes and a real amount of effort to not see it again. Ditto with conspiracy theories. Once you’ve got it in your head that the discrepancies in a story form a pattern, it’s really hard to not see that pattern anymore.
Now that we have a hypothesis about how conspiracy theories persist, the question is then: how do we make them stop? Well, the answer is you really can’t. Dislodging somebody’s conspiracy from their own head isn’t something that’s a possibility for most of us. However, there is a way that we can prevent conspiracies and similar nonsense from taking root in our own heads. And it’s simple. We have to think like scientists.
Lire aussi: Why People Believe in Conspiracies (Scientific American) {en}