Wednesday, April 5, 2017

This is Your Brain on Bias

These days it seems like Trump and his supporters are living in their own alternate universe. If you've ever tried to talk to a Trump voter about politics, you know how frustrating it can be. It's like they refuse to accept basic facts about reality, even when the proof is right in front of their eyes, but they're willing to believe whatever "fake news" they read online, or whatever crazy thing Trump says, even if there's no evidence at all.

What do we do about this?

Clearly conservatives just need to stop being dumb and admit that we’re correct, right? Our views are supported by science and data; theirs are not.

But it's not that simple.

Remember This?

To me, this is obviously a white dress with gold trim. Maybe you agree with me, or maybe you're one of those people who sees it as a blue dress with black trim. While the internet was losing its collective mind arguing about this in 2015 someone found out that the dress really is blue and black. But even after learning that, I still can't help but see is as white and gold, no matter how hard I try. If you're part of team "blue and black" I probably sound crazy.

How can different people disagree so profoundly about something so simple as the color of a dress? 

"The Dress" highlights a quirk on how all of our minds work. When we perceive things in the world, like a picture of a dress, we don't just "see it," we construct it.