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13:00 - 14:00 16 January 2018

Experimental Psychology Seminar - "Belief Formation in a Post-Truth World"


Room 305 (link Map)
Bedford Way | London | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Student

Speaker: Ryan McKay, Royal Holloway University of London.

In 2017-8 we inhabit a “post-truth” world where scientific evidence and accurate information must compete with appeals to emotion and “fake news”. In this talk I will attempt to shed some light on the human tendency to believe “alternative facts”. For one thing, individuals tend to restrict the amount of information they collect when forming beliefs, “jumping to conclusions” on limited evidence. In an era where dubious claims are routinely propagated by highly visible individuals, it is little wonder that mistaken beliefs – “misbeliefs” – about empirical reality persist in the face of contrary scientific evidence. Alongside a generalised tendency to jump to conclusions when forming beliefs, however, is a pronounced failure to form beliefs dispassionately. Instead, humans are disposed to form “motivated” beliefs.


Antonietta Esposito
Please email | a.esposito@ucl.ac.uk


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