We Hear What We Want To Hear

If you only listen to people you agree with, you’ll only hear what you want.

Some researchers suggest that motivated beliefs can explain the spread of misinformation online. So, University of California researchers tested to see if motivated beliefs and information exchange can produce or exaggerate biases. They found that people with one set of beliefs were unlikely to adjust their outlook, even when paired with someone with opposite beliefs.

The data also shows participants with the lowest IQ scores were most likely to accept only information that reinforced their biases. Researchers found that they could “pop misinformation bubbles and reverse bias simply by providing unbiased information about which IQ groups the subjects were in.” The take-home message: if you want to combat bias, people need access to unbiased, reliable sources of information.  (UPI)