Illusions Of Truth/Cognitive Ease

"...predictable illusions inevitably occur if a judgement is based on an impression......Anything that makes it easier for associative machinery to run smoothly also biases beliefs. A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent do not have to repeat the entire statement for a fact or idea to make it appear true......the familiarity of one phrase in a statement sufficed to make the whole statement feel familiar, and therefore true..."

Daniel Kahneman, 2012

. State of cognitive ease means that you

- are in a good mood

- believe what you hear and see

- trust your routine focus of the brain

- feel comfortable

On the other hand, you are relatively casual and superficial in your thinking, less vigilant and suspicious, and likely to make more errors, etc

. To reduce cognitive strain and to persuade people, you need to

i) maximise legibility by printing message, using good quality paper that maximises the contrast between characters and their background, use colour (especially bright blue or red, rather than middling shades of green, yellow or pale blue

ii) use simple language as it helps with thought credibility and intelligence, ie couching familiar ideas in pretentious language is counter-productive

iii) make it memorable, ie put ideas in verse, use rhyme, alliteration...

iv) if quoting a source, choose one with a name that is easy to pronounce

. We are all guided by our first impression.

. How do you know if a statement is true? It helps if it

i) Is strongly linked by logic to our beliefs or preferences

ii) comes from a source that you trust and like

iii) promotes a sense of cognitive ease (see above)

. To overcome the illusions of truth and a default preference for a "lazy approach", you need to be strongly motivated.

. Self-reinforced reciprocity is linked with cognitive ease as it shifts people's approach to problems from a casual routine focus of the brain mode to a more engaged and analytical mode.

. Recognition ease is linked with good feelings; repetition induces cognitive ease and a comfortable feeling of familiarity; it does not have to be a conscious experience.

. To survive in a dangerous world, organisms need to react cautiously to novel stimulus, ie with withdrawal and fear. This is linked with survival, ie suspicious of novelty. Initial caution will fade if the stimulus is actually safe; safety is good. There is a link between positive emotion and cognitive ease.

. Creativity is associated memory that works exceptionally well

. Mood can influence performance. When we are in a good mood, performance improves significantly, ie

"...When we are uncomfortable and unhappy, we lose touch with our intuition..."

Daniel Kahneman, 2012

When in a good mood, people become more intuitive and creative but also less vigilant and more prone to logical errors

. The role of cognitive ease (priming, etc) in judgement is very strong


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