Episode 6 Part 1- Flat Earthers, trust and cognitive bias.
I have been thinking about the flat earth movement lately. Born in the 60's I spent my childhood believing that by the time I reached the grand old age of 51 there would at least be a colony on the moon and space travel would be routine. Instead we have a growing movement of people who believe the world is flat - a question that I thought got sorted out long ago. It got me thinking about the nature of belief, and how much belief is tied up in trust - and why are we just so trusting anyway?
Here is a fascinating insight into the evolution of trust - this is a thought provoking game that explains so much about how we interact...I think it is truly profound.
So ask yourself, do you believe the world is round or flat? And why do you believe that - because you have proven it - or because someone who you trust has told you? And why is it that I trust NASA but a Flat Earther doesn't....and how does this apply to health? To the belief in vaccines, or drugs or natural remedies, or the belief that for you, smoking won't kill you.
Just when you think the answer is to assess and solve each question based on facts and rational thoughts, I will upset the applecart by reminding you of your cognitive biases.
And here is a link to a page about cognitive biases - the little tricks our minds play that allow us to come to quick conclusions that unfortunately are often wrong.
Researching this podcast has made me less sure of myself and more inclined to listen with respect when people tell me stuff that I think is completely wrong. They just have a different trust structure to me, and laughing at them or belittling them is never gonna change that. Earning trust is the only way forwards; something so many of our leaders seem to have forgotten.
See you next time - please send me an email if you have any thoughts or comments.