The psychology of the CT believers

Marcus Mudd

Member
It's a very strong case of confirmation bias. They ALREADY believe a specific set of things, so when something comes along that touches on those things, then all the bits of that that tally with what they think are true, and anything that conflicts with it is not true.

Having a "fixed false belief" in psychiatry is normally classified as a delusion, and a symptom of a delusional disorder. This probably falls somewhere on the spectrum. There are always going to be people who are "lost to reason", and you need to identify them, and probably not waste time with them.

If someone actually has a psychiatric disorder, then you can't sure them by explaining to them over the internet.

NOTE TO CHEMTRAIL BELIEVERS: I'm not saying you are all crazy! Just that some crazy people believe in chemtrails.

Fixed false beliefs can apply to larger, more accepted delusions as well. Such as religions or theories with no proof. thus the method should not rely so much on strict rigidity and adherence to theory, as opposed to applying logic and interpretation to many theories.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Dave, he has a long standing grudge against the government. Employment problems, a lawsuit, passed over for promotions, somebody shat on his desk.
A lot of anger and resentment from the past. He will show them. In the end he will be a hero and save the world. They will all remember Francis Mangels. You can see and hear some of what drives him in this video:


You raise a very interesting point Jay. I remember reading one of the blogs by Max and he mentioned problems as a young man in the army so is there a link between disgruntled employees and CT?

On a personal note I am unsure. I hate my government and I hate the MOD. I am 45 and I took redundancy from the army a few years back on the assumption I would get a pension now. That has been moved to 54. Also last year I had a stroke as a direct result to bits of metal still in my head from a carbomb in Belfast. I am fighting for a war pension or payout through that (I had brain surgery thus Jan). Sufficed to say I hate the system and I would do anything to hurt it. But the one thing I hate more than the system, except my ex wife, is bull shit and fuckwits.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Maybe we should also have a thread on the psychology of debunkers.

In some ways debunker and believers are quite similar.
 

Gavriel

Member
From my experience so far, the mind of the average CT believer is very similar to the mind of a religious person. Some points we can raise:

- Tend to get very agressive when their beliefs are questioned;
- They feel they're part of "something else", possessing a truth still not perceived by most people;
- Usually their stories don't fit reality at all, and to support them anything is valid, even things such as "numerology";
- Absolute absence of homogeneity in the CT community, just like its corresponding metaphysical;
- General lack of knowledge in several areas;
- Cannot understand how anyone would devote time do debunk their theories, just like religious people can't comprehend "militant" atheists;
- Often are convinced through eloquence, not evidence.
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
From my experience so far, the mind of the average CT believer is very similar to the mind of a religious person. Some points we can raise:

- Tend to get very agressive when their beliefs are questioned;
- They feel they're part of "something else", possessing a truth still not perceived by most people;
- Usually their stories don't fit reality at all, and to support them anything is valid, even things such as "numerology";
- Absolute absence of homogeneity in the CT community, just like its corresponding metaphysical;
- General lack of knowledge in several areas;
- Cannot understand how anyone would devote time do debunk their theories, just like religious people can't comprehend "militant" atheists;
- Often are convinced through eloquence, not evidence.


I agree. In a more broader sense you can extrapolate each of those answers and apply them also to debunkers, who think they have answers and lob half truth from theoretical mathematics they themselves struggle to understand. What is necessary is the assimilation of the two, as I was discussing with mick. Since the two belief structures are so similar, the human condition must be where these believe systems arise. Understanding that WE ARE ALL subject to various levels of misunderstanding and false interpretation is key, instead of singling out a certain group for such broad and encompassing failings.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm reading "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind", by Gustave Le Bon. While it's rather dated, it's interesting that a lot of what he says about crowds resonates with my experience in dealing with conspiracy themed groups. Particularly in their general stifling of dissent, and the difference between talking to an individual, and talking to a group.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crowd:_A_Study_of_the_Popular_Mind
Le Bon claimed "that an individual immersed for some length of time in a crowd soon finds himself - either in consequence of magnetic influence given out by the crowd or from some other cause of which we are ignorant - in a special state, which much resembles the state of fascination in which the hypnotized individual finds himself in the hands of the hypnotizer."
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And it's not entirely a new observation of course. The ancient Greeks studies on rhetoric are somewhat related here.
 

Gavriel

Member
Understanding that WE ARE ALL subject to various levels of misunderstanding and false interpretation is key, instead of singling out a certain group for such broad and encompassing failings.

That's the purpose of this forum, isn't? Fixing misunderstandings and erroneous interpretations, as well as exposing false information. :)
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I agree. In a more broader sense you can extrapolate each of those answers and apply them also to debunkers, who think they have answers and lob half truth from theoretical mathematics they themselves struggle to understand. What is necessary is the assimilation of the two, as I was discussing with mick. Since the two belief structures are so similar, the human condition must be where these believe systems arise. Understanding that WE ARE ALL subject to various levels of misunderstanding and false interpretation is key, instead of singling out a certain group for such broad and encompassing failings.

Debunking focuses on claims of evidence, and sees if the evidence holds up. There are not two sides when it comes down to individual facts. Nor is it about thinking you have answers. It's about determining a mutually agreed truth about individual claims.

For example. Some people claim that contrails cannot persist more than a few seconds. It can be demonstrated that this is false. That is debunking.
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
lol you've examined a debunking and not a debunker. the psychology as to why a person sets out only to debunk like you said, deserves a similar thread.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
That's the purpose of this forum, isn't? Fixing misunderstandings and erroneous interpretations, as well as exposing false information. :)

Some misunderstandings are a bit hard to address though. For example some people think "science claims to have all the answers" - which you could just answer with "if it did, then it would stop". But the misunderstanding runs rather deeper than that - into science framed mostly as a dogmatic antagonist to open-minded new-age thinking.

It's easy to fix misunderstandings like "statue rotates by magic". It's harder to fix misunderstandings that form the basis of an entire world view.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
lol you've examined a debunking and not a debunker. the psychology as to why a person sets out only to debunk like you said, deserves a similar thread.

Only if you can first find such a person. Otherwise it's a straw man.

An I think you misunderstand what debunking is. It's about finding things that are wrong. Not setting out to prove something is wrong.
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
Some misunderstandings are a bit hard to address though. For example some people think "science claims to have all the answers" - which you could just answer with "if it did, then it would stop". But the misunderstanding runs rather deeper than that - into science framed mostly as a dogmatic antagonist to open-minded new-age thinking.

It's easy to fix misunderstandings like "statue rotates by magic". It's harder to fix misunderstandings that form the basis of an entire world view.
but that must be the goal, to derive broader understanding from debunking and acceptance.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Maybe we should also have a thread on the psychology of debunkers.

In some ways debunker and believers are quite similar.
I mentioned this a while past and some of the studies by Karen Douglas do look at the relationship.It does need a thread for itself but people tend not to be genuine when they introspect.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Timely article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-hill/judging-paranormal-claims_b_3792849.html?

...
Many paranormal "experts" are woefully ignorant of the history of their own field let alone the critiques of it. I try to encourage paranormalists to take a look at the skeptical literature on their favorite topic. If you don't know the arguments against your field, how can you say you KNOW your field at all. It's discouraging when I see this closed-mindedness to criticism.

When this deliberate ignorance of an important aspect of the subject is displayed, I lose so much respect for the so-called paranormal experts.

I was reminded of this as I recently read a piece by Dr. Harriet Hall, a retired physician and eminent contributor to the Science-Based Medicine blog as well as writing for other skeptical publications and presenting at events. Her SkepDoc rule of thumb is: Find out who disagrees with this, and why.

Simple and brilliant.

I try to push this to paranormally-minded folks. They most often ignore it, brusquely brushing off the idea that they should listen to a "debunker." Are they afraid? Do they not want to face the criticism? Do they only want reinforcement? I understand. It's uncomfortable to listen to the opposite side. But, at least occasionally, you have to do it to make progress and gain a more thorough understanding.

If you, Team Paranormal, state you are seeking the truth, you'd better walk the walk and have a good response to the arguments against your claim. You can't be the judge unless you have listened to both sides discuss the evidence.
Content from External Source
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
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Marcus Mudd

Member
seems like your thread detailing your personal history of debunking is already a psychological study of a debunker. it seems that fear is the absolute root. I think this is where the divergence occurs, between the two belief structures.
 

David Fraser

Senior Member.
seems like your thread detailing your personal history of debunking is already a psychological study of a debunker. it seems that fear is the absolute root. I think this is where the divergence occurs, between the two belief structures.

But no it isn't. You are taking one persons view rather than a group
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
To me, the distinction between a conspiracy theorist and a debunker, is that a debunker seeks employ a cogent argument to make their case.

The dictionary defines cogent as compelling, convincing, and having a powerful appeal to the mind.

An argument is cogent if:

1) It is valid
2) It has true or acceptable premises
3) All relevant information has been examined
Content from External Source
Whereas the CT community rely on 'gut feelings and instincts' as a means of understanding the world around them. Based on the Briggs Myers typology I would guess that the CT'ers are mostly fall into the 'Feeling' classification, rather than the 'thinking' classification. Perhaps it would be revealing to have the Metabunk members take the test and share their results, in order to see if this is the case? I happen to be an INTJ.
 
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Marcus Mudd

Member
But no it isn't. You are taking one persons view rather than a group
All of you fellas are English? but that's what the thread creator did, take one person and apply him to the whole. micks accent sounds like hes from bury st Edmond or tha area I cant remember what the name of the area is. I can imagine there being more DBs in England than CTs. I have no affinity for either, persay, because I cant stand when someone just believes something without looking into it, just like I hate people that try to use math or theory to not believe in something. I consider myself a DB that investigates when a theory cant be debunked, and if critical investigation is achieved and valid points are drawn, then comes incorporation and reevaluation.
 

captfitch

Senior Member.
I can't speak for everyone here certainly but I can speak for a couple of us here who are full time pilots: this is a seemingly complex issue full of technical and scientific knowledge, a lot of which I don't understand. What I do know, however, is that my circumstance has provided me the knowledge to, without question, refute the main point or points. So the psychology of this debunker isn't too complex. I have an answer and I'm interested in telling everyone. The only possible area of discussion is why aren't more pilots spending time on this like I do? I can't say but it probably comes down to the fact that this theory is so far removed from reality that they don't bother spending time with it. As if someone is yelling the sky is pink.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I consider myself a DB that investigates when a theory cant be debunked, and if critical investigation is achieved and valid points are drawn, then comes incorporation and reevaluation.

Debunkers don't debunk theories in the sense you mean. They "debunk" individual claims of evidence.
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
I am sure that my friends on FB get tired of me 'debunking' the urban legend/hoax that they just had to share. Yesterday's were "Russian men using selling books to find children", 'Dog dies after picking up poison filled nerf ball at dog park' and another older one. With some of these there is something that is a foundation for them. There is a company that employs college students to sell a set of children's books, door to door. At one time they hired a lot of American students, today it is European students that they hire. On the dog, there is a recent case of poisoned meatballs being scattered in San Francisco, that did kill at least one dog.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
lol the difference between a DB and an investigator. Thanks for the clarify!

You don't seem to have got it though. You still seem to think a debunker is someone who just takes an opposing position on certain subjects, and tries to argue against it.

Debunkers don't do that. They find bunk, and they expose and remove it.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Another delusion seemingly only suffered by DBs is the willingness to be limited by semantics

So you feel the meaning of words should not constrain your interpretation of them? You think it's a good idea to arbitrarily assign personal meaning to words?

Communication would suffer if that were so. Better to clearly explain what you mean, if semantics become an issue.

But I'm not sure what your issue is exactly, could you clearly explain it?
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
And debunking often does require investigation. I really learned that out during the well blow out in the Gulf. First there was the story, that even showed up on 'Good Morning America' that most of the Exxon Valdez workers were dying or dead from their exposure to Corexit during the clean up. A friend's uncle was one of those workers and she wondered if he needed to be tested or followed up because of it. I had the time, so I went looking for more information on it.

The first clue that there was something wrong with that story, showed up when I found out that Corexit was used on only one island, and in fact that dispersant were not used a lot there. Then I didn't find any evidence of a mention of the 'health issue' in the Alaskan state agency that is still dealing with it. I did find a comment from a researcher that doing followups on the health of the workers was impossible, since there was no master list of the cleanup workers kept. I found a lot of references to the story, all seemed to be quoting other sources, none seemed to lead directly to a study. It did seem that all the stories originated with Dr Riki Ott. So I then started looking for any transcripts of talks she had made, interviews with her, and such. After about 6 hours of this, I found where she mentioned that it came from a survey taken by a Yale grad student in 2004. Then to look for that, and it turned out that the survey was never published (huge RED flag there). The survey consisted of phone calls to 79 workers, the student managed to locate. No where was there any mention of what the question was other that it was about 'respiratory problems'. Nothing about if it was corrected for smoking and any pre existing condition.

That sir, WAS an investigation. BTW, I sent a synopsis of what I had found to 'Good Morning America' and I did get a thank you from them and the interview where it was mentioned was edited to remove it.
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
So you feel the meaning of words should not constrain your interpretation of them? You think it's a good idea to arbitrarily assign personal meaning to words?

Communication would suffer if that were so. Better to clearly explain what you mean, if semantics become an issue.

But I'm not sure what your issue is exactly, could you clearly explain it?
In the thread where you cross reference evolution with abiogenesis as two terms, I feel, is limiting the gradual perception that the same process that began evolution, also may be active and guiding evolution. this specific interpretation hinders research into a unifying concept, by artificial separation. Ive explained this concept before and I think it is applicable in several other situations but especially poignant in this one. It is illogical to search for a completely alternative method of creation aside from sustainment. This is the same conversation I was having with dan Wilson earlier, intuitive science vs irrational science.

There of course is a scale and random interpretation cannot be arbitrarily assigned, but logical inference must be followed.
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
What is most important to understand is that we don't know what began life, and we shouldn allow an interpretation to hinder research, which I feel the above is an example of.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
What is most important to understand is that we don't know what began life, and we shouldn allow an interpretation to hinder research, which I feel the above is an example of.

But it's not. You are just saying that it is. There's nothing at all that prevents concepts in evolutions from being used in abiogenesis and vice versa.

There is a precise understanding of terms there. Nobody is trying to confuse matters, they are trying to describe them.

But I think this discussion falls under the philosophy of language and deconstruction. Not debunking. Your feelings about the language scientist use are really not of import here.
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
But it's not. You are just saying that it is. There's nothing at all that prevents concepts in evolutions from being used in abiogenesis and vice versa.

There is a precise understanding of terms there. Nobody is trying to confuse matters, they are trying to describe them.

But I think this discussion falls under the philosophy of language and deconstruction. Not debunking. Your feelings about the language scientist use are really not of import here.
lol remember you asked me. we are discussing my opinion. But you are right this is way off topic!
 

Marcus Mudd

Member
As a life long student of physics ive always looked at the construction of the universe in awe, and marveled upon discovering that it all could be described mathematically. Ive thought to myself, then if it can be described this way, then that's all it is. Is this far from the truth? Is there anyway to know? the search for these answers led me across many fields of study and into many theories and ive discovered that they are all flawed. And are all conspiracies, just some are better funded than others :)
 

Gavriel

Member
the search for these answers led me across many fields of study and into many theories and ive discovered that they are all flawed.

You should organize all your findings into papers and publish them, I'm sure you'll gain international fame. :)
 
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Marcus Mudd

Member
You should organize all your findings into papers and publish them, I'm sure you'll gain international fame, if you succeed. :)
Lol I am writing a scientific novel, of sorts lol. Hell I figured if darwin could do it so can I. Im using this board to refine my ideas and gain some insight into them. I am also testing them against a debunking crowd, so far so good!
 

Cairenn

Senior Member.
ENTP
Extravert(44%) iNtuitive(50%) Thinking(1%) Perceiving(44)%

You have moderate preference of Extraversion over Introversion (44%)
You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (50%)
You have marginal or no preference of Thinking over Feeling (1%)
You have moderate preference of Perceiving over Judging (44%)


I think it nailed me.

Marcus, since you have admitted to being here for your own promoting instead of for the purpose of the forum, I am putting you on my ignore list. Go find your 'test subjects' elsewhere. I am too busy for that,
 
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