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Susceptible to Misinformation: Why Do We Believe What We Believe?

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by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist)

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

What are some reasons we believe things that may or may not be true? Why is it that misinformation about vaccines is flourishing? You are reading page 2 of Susceptible to Misinformation: Why Do We Believe What We Believe?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Curious1997, BSN

Specializes in Psych, Medical. Has 13 years experience.

You will almost universally find that the people who believe these conspiracies and double down, are not very well educated, which generates an insecurity complex, which creates the accompanying emotions, that can only be relieved by hearing similar views, to substantiate and bolster the insecurity complex. 

They are people who are unable to accept criticism of any kind because of emotional issues created by lacking the interlectual ability to process or never having the role models or opportunities to learn how to appropriately deal with the inadequacy. So they either lash out irrationally or suppress the feelings, further increasing their anger and seeking out their kind for solace and commraderie. 

Just like an addict seeks out his fixes, so to does inadequate people! And here's the kicker, the conspiracy theories doesn't just extend to one area of their lives, it's a perspective that encompasses ALL AREAS of their lives! And they are so easy to spot! Their conversation subjects, their viewing material, entertainment choices, habits, friends, food choices etc etc. 

It's the reason that laws are necessary! To control people who want the benefits of a society but not accept the rules that make that society functional! 

Rights do not extend to everyone in the same way! And the law which has become a mass produced institution, doesn't have the ability to address the individual situations. Unless you have money! 

The solution is educational as so easily evidenced by most Northern Europeans. Even their criminals seem to have a more insightful perspective. 

 

This was good advice from Psychology Today

In the "old days," people sought information from books, print newspapers, major network TV news, and experts. That has shifted dramatically since the internet, where most of us now seek out information online where there are many, many more sources of information than ever before. One result has been that expertise is now devalued and knowledge has been democratized.

Ridicule and argument don’t appear to be effective strategies if you’re trying to change hearts and minds. At their core, conspiracy beliefs are often rooted in lack of trust in institutions. So, when conspiracy theories are related to science like with flat-earthers or anti-vaxxers, it means that science educators have to revamp our efforts, being mindful of what works and what doesn’t.

Empathic listening is usually the best place to start. The greatest potential lies in reaching out to the “dilettantes looking for answers," such as flat earthers or anti-vaxxers who are trying to resolve the disparities between mainstream scientific knowledge and what they’re seeing on Youtube.

Edited by RKM2021

toomuchbaloney

Has 43 years experience.

7 hours ago, RKM2021 said:

The greatest potential lies in reaching out to the “dilettantes looking for answers," such as flat earthers or anti-vaxxers who are trying to resolve the disparities between mainstream scientific knowledge and what they’re seeing on Youtube.

Most of them aren't reaching out looking for answers.  Most of them come to AN spreading unfounded fears and social media rationale to remain unvaccinated with arrogant claims and statements about not vaccinating or freedom of speech or silenced voices or some other crap that only serves to reduce vaccine acceptance. 

In response, some reply by providing information and data.  That is information and data is almost always dismissed and the opinion of a random person is offered in rebuttal by the new member.  These new members aren't here looking for information to inform themselves and that is apparent from their posting style.  They are here to make it seem like it's normal and reasonable to be fearful about the vaccines or that it is reasonable to think there might be an untoward effect from these vaccines years from now.

Some simply counter every antivaccination claim and comment that is published in this public forum representing nursing professional discussion.  Most nurses understand the science and are vaccinated.  It's important that this discussion board not become associated with nurses who set aside sound science for some other feelings or beliefs. 

 

Charlcie, BSN, RN

Specializes in Travel Nurse, All ICU specialties and ED. Has 10 years experience.

On 9/20/2021 at 11:04 AM, toomuchbaloney said:

Most of them aren't reaching out looking for answers.  Most of them come to AN spreading unfounded fears and social media rationale to remain unvaccinated with arrogant claims and statements about not vaccinating or freedom of speech or silenced voices or some other crap that only serves to reduce vaccine acceptance. 

I have had trouble understanding the victim card the posters you're talking about consistently play. They claim to want "open professional dialogue" but when someone doesn't agree with them and provides a matter of fact explanation why, they then call them a "bully" or "elitist". Most of the behavior I have witnessed is these posters only replying to questions they can answer with the same rhetoric over and over and ignoring any newly posed questions... even when asked directly to them. LOL  

Curious1997, BSN

Specializes in Psych, Medical. Has 13 years experience.

On 9/20/2021 at 3:11 AM, RKM2021 said:

This was good advice from Psychology Today

In the "old days," people sought information from books, print newspapers, major network TV news, and experts. That has shifted dramatically since the internet, where most of us now seek out information online where there are many, many more sources of information than ever before. One result has been that expertise is now devalued and knowledge has been democratized.

Ridicule and argument don’t appear to be effective strategies if you’re trying to change hearts and minds. At their core, conspiracy beliefs are often rooted in lack of trust in institutions. So, when conspiracy theories are related to science like with flat-earthers or anti-vaxxers, it means that science educators have to revamp our efforts, being mindful of what works and what doesn’t.

Empathic listening is usually the best place to start. The greatest potential lies in reaching out to the “dilettantes looking for answers," such as flat earthers or anti-vaxxers who are trying to resolve the disparities between mainstream scientific knowledge and what they’re seeing on Youtube.

Disagree! 

Most of the anti vaxxers, maskers etc are generally idiots by nature. That doesn't mean that they are not nice people just that they are not very bright to begin with. 

Begin with, their ability to objectively judge people. You will frequently find that they like trump, Ted Cruz, Insurrectionists types etc. Why, does such pathological people resonate with them, when to any normal person, such people should engage an immediate alert response because of how they behave and what they say? Now contrast that with someone as measured as Dr Fauci with his firstly, qualifications, then demeanor and delivery and so obvious educated content! Yet to them, HE, engages their alert response. Paradoxical? No pathology! 

When you can't differentiate from conmen and charlatans to measured, educated, composed people, it says a lot about you and how dangerous you will be in the future, re decisions and adjustability. 

What type of people are drawn to heroin and cocaine and meth etc? Do they make good potential partners? Now how about trumpistas and extremist religious etc? DO YOU really think that the judgementalness will not eventually be turned in your direction?