Why do People Accept so Many Absurd Conspiracy Theories?
This Blog is For those seeking to be happier, and more effective, and self-aware and is taken from Lewis Harrison’s Peak Performance and Life Coach Training.
Q. Why do people accept so many absurd conspiracy theories?
A. The simple answer to this question is “they lack critical thinking skills.”
Critical thinking is the exploration of ideas using intelligence, problem solving, decision making, knowledge, metacognition, reasoning, rationality, and a moral component. Critical thinking, and precise and effective language are all powerful tools for maintaining a functional reality built on love, kindness, compassion, empathy, and wisdom. Through these thought tools we can avoid false or misdirected ideas be fed to us by negative influencers.
The ability to reason logically is a fundamental skill of critical thinkers, hence the study of the form of correct argumentation is relevant to the study and application of critical thinking. This is a skill that many conspiracy theorists lack. This is not to say that rigidly logical thinkers are the only skilled critical thinkers. This is far from true. This distinction is illustrated by a discussion of what had come to be known as “First wave” and “Second wave” logical thinking.
“First wave” logical thinking consisted of understanding the connections between two concepts or points in thought. It followed a philosophy where the thinker was removed from the train of thought and the connections and the analysis of the connections was devoid of any bias of the thinker. Kerry Walters describes this in his essay Beyond Logicism in Critical Thinking;
“A logistic approach to critical thinking conveys the message to students that thinking is legitimate only when it conforms to the procedures of informal (and, to a lesser extent, formal) logic and that the good thinker necessarily aims for styles of examination and appraisal that are analytical, abstract, universal, and objective. This model of thinking has become so entrenched in conventional academic wisdom that many educators accept it as canon”.
The adoption of these principals parallels themselves with the increasing reliance on a quantitative understanding of the world.
In the ‘second wave’ of critical thinking, as defined by Kerry Walters many authors moved away from the logocentric mode of critical thinking that the ‘first wave’ privileged, especially in institutions of higher learning. Walters summarizes logicism as “the unwarranted assumption that good thinking is reducible to logical thinking”.
“A logistic approach to critical thinking conveys the message to students that thinking is legitimate only when it conforms to the procedures of informal (and, to a lesser extent, formal) logic and that the good thinker necessarily aims for styles of examination and appraisal that are analytical, abstract, universal, and objective.”
As the ‘second wave’ took hold, scholars began to take a more inclusive view of what constituted as critical thinking. Rationality and logic are still widely accepted in many circles as the primary examples of critical thinking but other elements also need to be taken into consideration, and can often provide the key to solving certain problems that allude logic.
In our coaching school it is divergent thinking that is of greatest importance to the creative process for it opens the mind to new ways of thinking.
Learn about different types of knowledge in my book “Harrison’s Applied Game Theory: How to Solve Any Problem Effortlessly”.
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Lewis Harrison is an independent scholar on personal growth and human potential. He Coaches private clients in peak performance, transformation, and success coach.
He also teaches workshops and seminars on Eastern Wisdom, Zen and Taoist Thought, Applied Game Theory, and Personal Growth and is the senior guide at Lewis Harrison’s Transmodern Shaman Academy
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If you have an interest in having a basic understanding of how Applied Game Theory can help to totally transform your life coaching process, and bring you greater levels of EEPPSA (efficiency, effectiveness, precision, and self-awareness) here is an interview I did with James Selman, a pioneer and innovator in Leadership research and one of the individuals who helped create the EST Training in the 1970s.
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Listen here as Lewis explain the Problem-Solving Project and how we can give up unnecessary struggle through visionary thinking in this insightful interview with award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes about the concept of the RealUGuru.
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