For my latest MediaPost column, I unpacked an earlier post on our inability to think rationally and tendency to believe what’s false. There’s some good, angry feedback coming in at the MediaPost discussion forum. Here’s a snippet:
Did you know that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in planning the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and that most of the hijackers were Iraqi? Of course, Iâ€™m joking. Saddam Hussein was not directly involved in planning the Sept 11, terrorist attacks, and most of the hijackers were not Iraqi. The problem with this counter of accurate information, however, is that denials and clarifications can actually contribute to the resilience of popular myths. This paradox is according to Shankar Vedantam at the Washington Post, who recently published a fascinating analysis of several recent psychological studies on falsehoods.
Thanks to Bob Garfield on NPR’s On the Media for pointing me to Shankar Vedantam’s great analysis in the Washington Post.