Why we stick to false beliefs: Feedback trumps hard evidence

New study finds that feedback rather than hard evidence makes us more confident that we’re right

Ever wonder why flat earthers, birthers, climate change and Holocaust deniers stick to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? New findings suggest that feedback, rather than hard evidence, boosts people’s sense of certainty when learning new things or trying to tell right from wrong.

I’m not sure I see the connection of the experiment to the conclusion.

“If you use a crazy theory to make a correct prediction a couple of times, you can get stuck in that belief and may not be as interested in gathering more information,” said study senior author Celeste Kidd, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley.

That was speculation far beyond the evidence. Contra common sense, how could that explain the psychology Holocaust denial?

I think there is a very sinister motive behind Holocaust denial and it should not be grouped with willful ignorance such as flat earthism, etc. People don’t deny the Holocaust because they are ignorant of history. They always seem to deny it as a way of excusing the Nazis and then when confronted they will say if anything did happen the victims were somehow to blame. I fortunately have seldom encountered Holocaust deniers, but they plainly have evil motives.

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I dunno about this. Cognitive dissonance is a more likely explanation. They likely are subconsciously suppressing that which would overturn their identity. They are ignorant but they are choosing to be ignorant for the purpose of avoiding cognitive dissonance. This is a far more prevalent psychology than willful lying though that can happen too.

I think a simpler explanation is they are depraved. They viciously hate Jews and often others. I think they know the Holocaust happened but they think it was a good thing but they can’t come out and say they think it was a good thing to sane people.

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What ever the case, I think we can both agree that its not because:

I also think fear has something to do with it. You go along with the crowd or your childhood beliefs or with what is comfortable to you. You are afraid to search within and cause yourself pain.