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Irrational beliefs – unfounded, unscientific and illogical assumptions about the world – are widespread among “the population of normal, mentally sane adults” note the authors of a new study in European Journal of Social Psychology. It’s been proposed that they arise from a mistaken perception of patterns in the world. But though this idea is popular among psychologists, there’s been surprisingly little direct evidence in favour of it. The new work, led by Jan-Willem van Prooijen at the Free University of Amsterdam, helps to fill the void.
https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/10/17/be ... more-31164
Irrational beliefs are not necessarily harmless, as the researchers note. Belief in conspiracy theories is linked to increased hostility and radicalisation, while supernatural beliefs may lead people to hand over money to spiritual healers or tarot card readers. Uncertain times breed these kinds of beliefs, which can be seen as ways to make an unpredictable and potentially threatening environment feel more predictable.
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Cue someone who will quote a contradictory learned paper...
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