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PseudoscienceThe Conspiracy Against Science$
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Allison B. Kaufman and James C. Kaufman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037426

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037426.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

The Challenges of Changing Minds: How Confirmation Bias and Pattern Recognition Affect Our Search for Meaning

The Challenges of Changing Minds: How Confirmation Bias and Pattern Recognition Affect Our Search for Meaning

Chapter:
(p.451) 21 The Challenges of Changing Minds: How Confirmation Bias and Pattern Recognition Affect Our Search for Meaning
Source:
Pseudoscience
Author(s):

Indre Viskontas

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037426.003.0021

While hosting a television show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, I had the opportunity to investigate 12 claims of miracles, experienced by a wide swath of Americans. This chapter is a summary of some of the takeaway lessons that I learned during that time, as I observed how extraordinary events can be interpreted as evidence for the existence of the supernatural. In particular, our drive to find meaning combined with a faulty memory system, a bias towards confirming our beliefs and our uncanny ability to pick out patterns make it difficult for us to change our minds even in the face of new and contradictory evidence.

Keywords:   Miracle Detectives, miracle, supernatural, confirmation bias, patterns, memory

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