People and their Perceptions!!

proof of surgical strike

The debate on the quantum of the damage of the air strikes is raging unabated and shows no signs of a decline. No amount of clarification has succeeded in dousing the discussion. The supporters of the Congress and the BJP are fighting it out, both in the studios and in the social media. Have you ever wondered why some people are stuck with old views and long held opinions despite the world trying its best to change them? Blame it on what psychologists say, ” backfire effect”. A large section of the world’s population is afflicted with this syndrome. The myth is that when your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking. But, the truth is that when your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your older beliefs get stronger.

In America, when Clinton – Lewinsky affair broke out, the section of the public, which believed Clinton to be a good guy, dubbed Lewinsky as a woman of easy virtue, untrustworthy, home wrecker etc. They refused to acknowledge that Clinton was, in deed, a consensual partner in the crime. Similarly, despite putting forth all the evidences, a section of Americans refuse to believe that Obama was, in fact, born in America!!!! No amount of documentary evidence has been able to satisfy those non-believers. More you confront such people with contrary evidence, more he is likely to dig in. The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight. The mind doesn’t follow the facts. Facts, as few psychologists say, are stubborn things, but our minds are even more stubborn. As a result of the confirmation bias, we tend to undervalue evidence that contradicts our beliefs and overvalue evidence that confirms them. The reasons for such a behavior, as some say, is due to cognitive deficit or growing insecurity or lack of self-confidence. However, it has not been established conclusively. But what has been established clearly is, “The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour on it, the more it contracts”. According to psychologists, a good percentage of men and women suffer from this syndrome.

The BJP supporters, desperately trying to convince the Congress supporters must remember that although a majority of their own party people disliked both Hillary Clinton and Trump, eighty-nine percent of Democrats voted for Clinton and 88 percent of Republicans voted for Trump!!

Therefore, a psychologist was once asked about any medicine for this madness, if existed. He simply quipped, “leave them to themselves and wish them well”.

“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change,” after all!!!!

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