Teen Skepchick's Reality Checks

Teen Skepchick’s Reality Checks 4.19


The Strongly Held Biases edition

Ever wonder why you can’t get your friend to abandon the woo? We might not be as rational as we think. “The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience: Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call “affect”). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we’re aware of it. That shouldn’t be surprising: Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It’s a ‘basic human survival skill,’ explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.” (via Mother Jones)

A ten-year-old girl makes me and my French lessons feel inadequate. (via Neatorama)

Because of climate change, bears are having a hard time finding enough to eat. (via NPR)

Uterus and uterus, and uterus and uterus… (via RH Reality Check)

Image credit: dierk shaefer

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Mindy is an attorney and Managing Editor of Teen Skepchick. She hates the law and loves stars. You can follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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