Social psychology has shown that people tend to generalize on incidents of good behavior for their in-group, but generalize on bad behavior for members of out-groups. This tendency leads to a form of racism I call "naïve" because the racist person has no idea that their minds are operating this way.
How do we change the minds of climate deniers? Could learning about the science of global warming ever persuade a skeptic? Or are humans just too irrational to be persuaded by facts and evidence? These are some of the questions we’re asking in this week’s show.
Crony beliefs are beliefs you have partly because you want to believe them. But is it really possible to form beliefs because you want to have them? Does that explain why so many people seem to believe things that serve their self-interest? Or is there another explanation for that?
Something has puzzled me for a long time about the psychology of those who deny climate change—about the denialists, as they’re called. I’m talking about the serious climate change deniers, the ones who go around making “research” presentations on the matter, like Lord Monckton. But I think I’ve just recently started to grasp what’s going on in their heads.
A debate rages in philosophy about whether intuitions can help us know the truth.
The intuitions in question are psychological states that arise in response to real or hypothetical examples. A classic example (mentioned on the recent intuitions show): imagine Jewish people are in your basement and a Nazi is at your door in 1942. Is it right to lie to the Nazi? Intuition in this case favors lying.
But is this intuition really showing us the truth? Do intuitions tell the truth in general?