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Old 24 September 2008, 05:17 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
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Ponder Your brain lies to you

False beliefs are everywhere. Eighteen percent of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth, one poll has found. Thus it seems slightly less egregious that, according to another poll, 10 percent of us think that Senator Barack Obama, a Christian, is instead a Muslim. The Obama campaign has created a Web site to dispel misinformation. But this effort may be more difficult than it seems, thanks to the quirky way in which our brains store memories - and mislead us along the way.
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Old 21 November 2008, 05:25 PM
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Melissa Melissa is offline
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I think that I heard about this in a social psych class. It's also why eyewitness accounts are not totally credible.
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Old 23 November 2008, 01:13 AM
Saint James Saint James is offline
Join Date: 16 July 2007
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I think it would be more accurate to say that our memories aren't always as accurate as we would like to think they are. The term 'lie' indicates an intentional deception (shades of Freud perhaps), and that is not the case here. It's just that the way we store information doesn't tend to be linked with the veracity of the source in most cases.
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Old 23 November 2008, 02:00 AM
diddy diddy is offline
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Location: Plymouth, MN
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Originally Posted by Saint James View Post
I think it would be more accurate to say that our memories aren't always as accurate as we would like to think they are.
Not to mention that it takes a monumental amount of effort to change ones mind after being convinced you are right about something even if it is blatantly wrong - we can find several examples in this website about people swearing up and down that they remember famous things that actually never actually happened. You tell that that, but they still stubbornly believe their own memories. I fervently believe that people do not want to reject their own memories even when they are false since they do not want to admit that they are prone to forgetfulness. People want to believe they have a firm grip on reality and are really embarrassed to admit fallibility. Heck, con artists take advantage of this to stay in business as long as possible.
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Old 23 November 2008, 04:18 AM
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Somewhere in the years between elementary school when I first examined a globe, and my early twenties, the location of the continent of Antarctica drifted in my brain from the southern pole to the northern. It came up at some point in a discussion with my SO, and I swore up and down he was wrong, that it was up north of Canada. When he showed me a map of the world, it seemed like an elaborate trick for a moment because it was so against my erroneous belief, before my brain finally snapped back to remembering learning where Antarctica is, and having seen maps before.

There was such a mental schism there for a moment, I can understand why people are resistant to changing their beliefs even when they are proven wrong in front of their eyes.

(My SO has never let it go about Antarctica. Usually when we argue over facts, I am correct- for some reason I have a brain for trivia, but it makes him feel better to remember that once I was as wrong as you can possibly be)
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Old 01 December 2008, 03:16 AM
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Esprise Me Esprise Me is offline
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Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
I think that I heard about this in a social psych class. It's also why eyewitness accounts are not totally credible.
You're probably thinking of the work of Elizabeth Loftus. Fascinating stuff.
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Old 02 December 2008, 10:13 AM
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If you can stand it, you might want to try those noise reduction devices that shooters use. They fit over your head like particularly tight earmuffs, and block out at least as much noise as earplugs. Then, stick some regular earphones inside. There's enough room you could even fit in earbuds without actually having to put them in your ears.

Anyways, I've done this with my father's set, and it works fairly well.
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