Ever wonder why seemingly intelligent individuals who are members of organizations such as ICNIRP, steadfastly stick to the thermal paradigm rejecting all evidence that questions that viewpoint? Besides the deep seated financial/industry/military conflicts of interest that have dominated EMF/EMR standard setting since the 1950s, the following research suggests unbiased scientific objectivity can be a human fallacy. This should be further reason why the precautionary principle is so important to protect the public interest in technological controversies….
From World Science:
People only sometimes seek out opposing views, study finds
July 3, 2009
Courtesy University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
American Psychological Association
and World Science staff
PeoÂple tend to avoid inÂformaÂtÂion they don”™t agree with””but cerÂtain facÂtors can prompt them to seek out, or at least conÂsidÂer, othÂer points of view, new reÂsearch has found.
The analÂyÂsis, reÂported this month in the jourÂnal PsyÂchoÂlogÂiÂcal BulÂleÂtin, inÂcludÂed daÂta from 91 studÂies inÂvolvÂing nearly 8,000 parÂtiÂciÂpants. The auÂthors said it setÂtles a longÂstandÂing deÂbate over whethÂer peoÂple acÂtively avoid inÂformaÂtÂion that conÂtraÂdicts what they think, or whethÂer they”™re simply exÂposed more ofÂten to ideÂas that conÂform to their own beÂcause they tend to be surÂrounded by like-mindÂed peoÂple.
“We wanted to see exÂactly across the board to what exÂtent peoÂple are willÂing to seek out the truth verÂsus just stay comÂfortÂaÂble with what they know,” said UnÂiversÂity of IlÂliÂnois psyÂcholÂoÂgist DoÂloÂres AlÂbarÂracÃn, who led the study with UnÂiversÂity of FlorÂiÂda reÂsearcher WilÂliam Hart.
The studÂies they reÂviewed genÂerÂally asked parÂtiÂciÂpants about their views on a givÂen topÂic and then alÂlowed them to choose whethÂer they wanted to view or read inÂformaÂtÂion supÂportÂing their own or an opÂposÂing point of view.
The reÂsearchÂers found that peoÂple are on avÂerÂage about twice as likely to seÂlect inÂformaÂtÂion that supÂports their own point of view as to conÂsidÂer an opÂposÂing idea. Some, more closed-minded peoÂple are even more reÂlucÂtant to exÂpose themÂselves to difÂferÂing perÂspecÂtives, AlÂbarÂracÃn said.
The reÂsearchÂers alÂso found, not surÂprisÂingÂly, that peoÂple are more reÂsistÂant to new points of view when their own ideÂas are asÂsoÂciÂatÂed with poÂlitÂiÂcal, reÂliÂgious or ethÂiÂcal valÂues.
“If you are really comÂmitÂted to your own atÂtiÂtude ”“ for exÂamÂple, if you are a very comÂmitÂted DemÂoÂcrat ”“ you are more likely to seek conÂgenÂial inÂformaÂtÂion,” AlÂbarÂracÃn said. “If the isÂsues conÂcern morÂal valÂues or polÂiÂtics, about 70 perÂcent of the time you will choose conÂgenÂial inÂformaÂtÂion, verÂsus about 60 perÂcent of the time if the isÂsues are not reÂlatÂed to valÂues.”
PerÂhaps more surÂprisÂingÂly, peoÂple who have litÂtle conÂfiÂdence in their own beÂliefs are less likely to exÂpose themÂselves to conÂtraÂry views than peoÂple who are very conÂfiÂdent in their own ideÂas, AlÂbarÂracÃn said.
CerÂtain facÂtors can alÂso inÂduce peoÂple to seek out opÂposÂing points of view, she said. Those who may have to pubÂlicly deÂfend their ideÂas, such as politiÂcians, for exÂamÂple, are more moÂtiÂvatÂed to learn about the views of those who opÂpose them. In the proÂcess, she said, they someÂtimes find that their own ideÂas evolve.
PeoÂple are alÂso more likely to exÂpose themÂselves to opÂposÂing ideÂas when it is useÂful to them in some way, AlÂbarÂracÃn said.
“If you”™re goÂing to buy a house and you really like the house, you”™re still goÂing to have it inÂspectÂed,” she said. SimÂiÂlarÂly, no matÂter how much you like your surÂgeon, you may seek out a secÂond opinÂion beÂfore schedulÂing a maÂjor operaÂtÂion, she said.
“For the most part it seems that peoÂple tend to stay with their own beÂliefs and atÂtiÂtudes beÂcause changÂing those might preÂvent them from livÂing the lives they”™re livÂing,” AlÂbarÂracÃn said. “But it”™s good news that one out of three times, or close to that, they are willÂing to seek out the othÂer side.”Leave a reply →