Friday, October 12, 2012

Cognitive Bias: Continued Influence Effect

Once you believe something, even when you've been told that this "something" was wrong, you may continue to believe in it for a while and ignore the corrections, esp. if the issue is emotionally charged. This is known as the continued influence effect.

In a recently published study, people were first presented with a fake bit of news about a warehouse fire believed to have been caused by improperly stored materials. They were quizzed on their retention of the facts. Then they were shown an explicit retraction and correction. Then after a little while, quizzed again. Only 50% remembered the retraction and correction.

[ Read more about continued influence effect ]

There is also a related phenomenon known as the backfire effect, where after being exposed to the "correct" information, instead of correcting the wrong information, the believer actually believes the "wrong" things even more.

[ Read more about backfire effect ]

Both effects are HEAVILY relied upon by scammers to keep you believing in the scam so they can extract every last penny out of you, and/or have you refer ever more victims.

First the scammer tell you a lie, but you don't know that it's a lie at the time. You thought it was the truth. You may even have repeated it to all your friends and relatives. Join this (scam)!

The Judas Goat
The Judas Goat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Later, you were exposed to the truth (that the scammer had lied to you, that it's a scam), but according to the study, this will only sink in 50% of the time, and in other cases, will cause you to actually believe in the scam EVEN MORE SO, and classify any one who told you the truth to be liars out to 'get you' in some way.

You became emotionally invested in the scam, and no longer thinking with a clear head. Scammers really love that, because you will defend the scam FOR them. You are now part of the scam, and a willing accomplice, without them needing to pay you anything more for doing so.

You are now the judas goat leading more sheeple to slaughter. And you volunteered.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment