Wednesday, December 11, 2019

My Truth May - or May Not - Be Truth

Miss Barbara and her mirror, Romper Room, WEWS Cleveland*
It’s my fault.

All those fake news articles, lies, etc. I did it!

So says a recent research report. Well, at least I did the misremembering.

After all, it’s always been true (not fake?) that we believe what we want to believe — truth or not. Still, it’s interesting. Misremembering, that is.

Here’s what the Ohio State researchers discovered.

"We need to realize that internal sources of misinformation can possibly be as significant as or more significant than external sources," she said.

"We live with our biases all day, but we only come into contact with false information occasionally."

You create your own false information, study finds, Jeff Grabmeier, The Ohio State University,, 9 Dec 2019.

A new study found that people given accurate statistics on a controversial issue tended to misremember those numbers to fit commonly held beliefs.

For example, when people are shown that the number of Mexican immigrants in the United States declined recently—which is true but goes against many people's beliefs—they tend to remember the opposite.

And when people pass along this misinformation they created, the numbers can get further and further from the truth.

"People can self-generate their own misinformation. It doesn't all come from external sources," said Jason Coronel, lead author of the study and assistant professor of communication at The Ohio State University.

"They may not be doing it purposely, but their own biases can lead them astray. And the problem becomes larger when they share their self-generated misinformation with others."


*I always wondered why Miss Barbara never saw me through her famous mirror. Now I know. She misremembered me!

Why Misremembering Can Be Good for You

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