How do you think the brain and body work together? A lot of people reckon we figure out what we want to do first, then our brain moves into a kind of second phase and make the body do what we’ve decided we want to do. Seems logical, huh?
Well, it turns out it’s not like that. Here’s an interesting study which shows that the brain and the body work at the same time, not brain first, body later! A group of psychology researchers asked people (yes, college students again….you have to watch out for those psychology studies, they mostly use college students as their guinea pigs, and do you think college students are typical?), sorry, lost the thread a bit there, they asked people questions and observed what movements their arms made on the way to either the “no” or the “yes” buttons on the computer. They found that in response to the more ambiguous questions the students’ arms moved more between the buttons, than they did on straight forward questions. What that means is that they could be seen to dither a bit before answering the ambiguous questions. Their arms and brains were working together – simultaneously. It gets more interesting……..they dithered more towards “yes” when answering a “no” question than towards “no” when answering a “yes” question, suggesting that people have a general bias towards assuming a statement being true.
These dynamic data showed that participant arm movements had lower velocity and curved more toward the alternative response box during ‘no’ responses than during ‘yes’ responses—suggesting that we experience a general bias toward assuming statements are true,” the authors explained.
The authors conclude that this shows we lean towards “truthiness”.
You know, I’d never seen that word before, but when you go searching on the net about it you can find LOADS. Start here at wikipedia. The word seems to have been made up by, or at least given a specific, new definition by comedian Stephen Colbert. Here’s his explanation –
Truthiness is tearing apart our country, and I don’t mean the argument over who came up with the word…It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that’s not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It’s certainty. People love the President because he’s certain of his choices as a leader, even if the facts that back him up don’t seem to exist. It’s the fact that he’s certain that is very appealing to a certain section of the country. I really feel a dichotomy in the American populace. What is important? What you want to be true, or what is true?…
Truthiness is ‘What I say is right, and [nothing] anyone else says could possibly be true.’ It’s not only that I feel it to be true, but that I feel it to be true. There’s not only an emotional quality, but there’s a selfish quality.