Perspectives on Truth

How do we know if something is true and how do we agree on that ?

Ways We Determine What Is True ?

• Truth we feel

• Truth we are told

• Truth we figure out through reasoning

• Truth we observe

Notes: its easier to support a existing truth than a change.;We're in an age of misinformation, right?, how do we kn whats truth. We're in an age of misinformation, right?

The Truth We Feel

• Not based on touch; instead is visceral, instinctive, intuitive

• Root causes may be difficult to identify/explain ( truthiness)

• Nonverbal behaviors in others may be processed this way:

• we interpret the message accurately, but …

• we are unable to verbally articulate what cues were used to decode the message † See: Smith, Archer & Constanzo (1991)

• Myers (2002): Thinking isn’t always done in fully conscious ways • Often described as “gut-level” feelings

Notes: The truth we experience through feelings can occur in a variety of ways. But at the end of the day, it's that special sauce that chemistry that you have. That's intangible, right? Like so truth that we feel Can be, and sounds silly, but we know that there is something to it

Felt Truth Important in 4 Circumstances

1. Affective judgments

2. Information available

3. Complex judgments

4. Time constraints

† See: Schwarz (2012)

Notes: * Recent research and more distance. So like, for example, people who are in a good mood if you show them a series of faces of other people, they're more likely to perceive positive emotions in those spaces, and if they're in a bad mood you show them the same pictures they're. More likely to see negative emotions in the faces of those people so it's it's very much about individual perception.

· However, having said that so felt truths generally are less accurate than reasons Truths. Okay, we also know. And this is my personal addition to this. As humans. Once we feel a truth, we're more likely to go find reasoning to back it up. And later on we will remember it as a reason for so, even though felt truth may generally be less accurate, they're also the place that we're going to put our attention, and we're gonna look for support in the future. That doesn't mean that we're always going to find evidence to support our felt truth.

Felt Truth: Other Considerations

· Those who regularly focus on their feelings may use felt truth more

· • Self vs. others:

• truth from feelings may be valid to the person experiencing them, but …

• can be difficult to explain to or gain acceptance from others

• others may not view an individual’s felt truth as highly credible

• felt truth (e.g., religious faith) is usually uncontested if restricted to personal belief • individuals should add corroborating sources of truth if seeking to persuade others

· Courts & like venues more resistant to claims based on felt truth.

The Truth We Are Told

· We frequently rely on others as a source of truth:

• conversations

• media sources

• any external source we choose to believe

· Reasons for believing external sources:

• their perception of reality matches ours

• they are designated as experts in their field or other type of authority figure • we trust them to weigh the accuracy of the information in an unbiased way

· Sources & source credibility change with age

• children normally rely on parents to determine truth

• adults use multiple sources, adding expectations about credibility & honesty

Notes: This is how our society has been shaped. We know that personal communication, like face to face or mediated communication texting, emailing, social media, print newspapers, magazines, websites, news, smartphone apps, all all of these sources, we allow ourselves to gather information from, and we tend to kind of identify the sources that we trust, and repeatedly go back to the same sources they. And so once we've identified an external source as a place, we can reliably get truth from, that becomes kind of an opinion leader for us. Designated authority figures recognized experts in their fields, like journalists and historians, I always think of fauci anything that man tells me to do my health.

Friends As Sources of Truth

• We trust family & friends as least likely to lie to us: † See: Heyman, Luu & Lee (2009)

See: Van Swol, Molhotra & Braun (2012)

– Some con artists rely on this trust to make their scams work

• social networks are especially vulnerable to hacks by scammers

• everyone is vulnerable – young/old, rich/poor, regardless of education † See: Chapter 8

Th-02/09 cont.

Told Truth: Other Considerations

• Modern society is complex & we are inundated with information

· we have neither time nor energy enough to investigate most truth claims

· hence the truth bias: Our faith that what other people say or tell us is usually the truth † See: Chapter 9

• Not everyone trusts the same sources

· most people (but not all) believe that astronauts really walked on the moon

· most people (but not all) believe the President Obama is a U.S. citizen † See: Chapter 13

• Truth sometimes conferred on basis of popularity

· such forms of “social proof” are common in the era of social media † See: MacCoun (2012) and Muscanell, Guadagno & Murphy (2014) {is when in a situation of uncertainty you look at what other people are doing and guide you}

The Truth We Figure Out Through Reasoning

Often a function of formal rules & standards (e.g., mathematics, calendar, )

When rules are less explicit, results may vary widely

consider issues such as gun control & voter ID laws

different lines of reasoning can produce dramatically different conclusions

some “reasoning” uses only information that supports one’s beliefs

incorrect inferences can be “reasoned” from accurate observations

Some common errors in reasoning:

discounting the role chance plays in everyday life, looking for causes instead

judging the frequency/probability of things based on how easily they come to mind

using personal experience (or lack thereof) to prove/disprove a claim

Consistency & False Reasoning

False premises we frequently rely on:

· truthfulness is always associated with consistency

· deception is always associated with inconsistency

· Pitfalls of these premises:

· people are not always very consistent in reporting reality due to:

· the problematic nature of memory

· the differences in the language used to describe events at various points in time

-one person’s “inconsistency” may be “perfectly consistent” to another

The Truth We Observe

Relies on sensory observations using sight & sound

Our senses serve as a way of “certifying” the truth of something

Jurors believe eyewitness testimony about 80% of the time

· eyewitness or heard testimony can even trump the testimony of experts

· eyewitness identification is most damning form of evidence used against defendants

· DNA evidence has exonerated numerous convicts, including some on death row

· 75% of first 292 convicts exonerated by DNA had been misidentified by eyewitnesses

Observation Accuracy: The Brain

Our eyes/brains do not record scenes as a camera would

We are subject to:

CHANGE BLINDNESS: Failure to observe large changes in objects/scenes

INATTENTIONAL BLINDNESS: Failure to perceive highly visible objects in our visual field

The brain continually tries to make sense out of myriad stimuli:

its goal is creation of a meaningful narrative

it overlooks/disregards stimuli that don’t fit the current narrative † See: Simons & Chabris (1999)

Observation Accuracy: Observers

• Stress level

• Biases/prejudices

• Expectations

• Age

• Gender

• Interest in object/scene being observed

• How motivated one is (or not) to observe closely


· Your motivation is going to be influenced. How closely you're paying attention. In the first place, how familiar familiar you are with thing, too much familiarity with what the thing or the person is can make it difficult for you to accurately observe it, because you feel like you already know it, and so you might not be paying that close attention subconsciously. We relax our attention in their environment on familiar topics.

· Bias- Think about instances where like, if a ref call is foul against the team, it really depends. If that's your fever because if it's your team you're gonna be like, let them play rep. And if it's the other team you're like, Oh, why are you going? Oh, why are you favoring them so much right?That's confirmation bias, too, because our motivations for serving behavior is really different.

· High stress situation where they're likely to need to all things later, a crime, a bat like a health emergency that's when we're least able to do it. And so that calls into the question the idea of eyewitnesses as well. Because we're asking people who are in a traumatic situation to accurately recall things

· And an important takeaway is that our verbal descriptions, talking about our memories change the memory, change the cognition itself. Active discussions. Something that happened in the past changes the way we remember it by having that conversation

Observation Accuracy: Conditions

• Viewing angle

• Lighting

• Distance

• Competing stimuli

• Length of observation

• [Not an exhaustive list]

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