Why Can’t We Trust Our Brains?

Thesis Statement: We can’t trust our brains because we want to be right, we are simplistic, and we are influenced by the environment.

  1. We want to be right so we want reality to conform with our beliefs.
    1. Our perceptions bias the way we think because we believe the things which support our beliefs.
    2. Given a characteristic, we expect and flesh out an entire set of characteristics.
      1. We have a tendency to form prejudgments on others consistent with what we already believe
      2. We form a liking towards something if that object is accessible or familiar to us.
    3. Sometimes we confirm our beliefs even through coincidence and role of chance.
      1. Superstition form as a result of strengthened reinforcement.
      2. We see patterns that aren’t actually there.
  2. We are simplistic.
    1. Our act of simplifying strategies begins with instinct properties which are heuristics and schema.
    2. Sometimes we store too much information in our brains which is very detrimental.
    3. We stereotype and categorize to simplify and understand the environment clearly.
  3. We are influenced by the environment.
    1. Many people rely a great deal on authorities who unknowingly also have made mistakes.
    2. Rumors and anecdotes may become influential especially when it is from a credible source.
    3. People fault in argumentation because they make hasty generalizations to support and defend poor claims.
    4. Our thinking and judgment are easily influenced by conformity. (Solomon Asche Demonstration of social conformity)
      1. The need to feel accepted and valued can also affect accurate decision making, particularly in groups.                                                                                                a. The symptoms of groupthink (Lunenberg, 2010) are stereotyping, pressure, self-censorship, unanimity, and mindguards.
    5. When we who witness an event are later exposed to new and misleading information about it, our recollections often become distorted. (Loftus, 1997)

Conclusion:  We can’t trust our brains because we all want to be right to create a simpler and more understandable perception of the world but we lack the ability to think about the outer environment.