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Critically Speaking

Jan 20, 2021

We all believe in something, from Santa Claus, to the global shape of the earth, to babies needing to be taken care of for survival. While some of our beliefs are intuitive or have evidence, many are not. Sometimes the evidence that we believe to be true is faulty. In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. James Alcock discuss how these beliefs are built, how we interpret situations to create beliefs, and why we, as a society, have so many common beliefs. As humans, we like to believe we are rational beings, but so many of our beliefs are happening automatically, without our conscious thought or from common teachings that we are all exposed to from those in authority. Therese and Dr. Alcock also discuss further complications regarding belief, such as conspiracy mentalities, imagination inflation, and memory contamination and the role that these elements of complication can play in trying to suss out what to believe in this world full of many shades of gray. 



 Key Takeaways:

  • We cannot learn everything in one lifetime so, as a society, we come to rely on authorities and shared, inherited beliefs. 
  • There is no evidence that people can bury trauma. The problem with trauma is people can’t forget. 
  • Due to mental desire to belief and idiosyncratic movements, humans often see things that are “magic” or “unexplainable” due to our own actions.



"The problem is, if we don’t have the capacity and we don’t have the motivation to critically examine the evidence, then we won’t distinguish between evidence that really is factual and evidence which is wrong." —  Dr. James Alcock



Connect with Dr. James Alcock:

Wikipedia Page: James Alcock  

Book: Belief: What it Means to Believe and Why Our Convictions are so Compelling 



Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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