Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why the Crowd is Not Wise: More Reasons to Disprove Bandwagon Fallacy

English: Crop of U.S. President Barack Obama s...
English: Crop of U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the press the same day the White House released the long form of his birth certificate to dispel conspiracy theories surrounding his place of birth
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A lot of bad argument relies on the simple "bandwagon fallacy", where just because a lot of people "believe" in something somehow makes it more "true". In fact, bandwagon fallacy is one of the earliest bad arguments covered on this blog, started a year ago. However, some recent surveys in the wake of Sandy Hook shooting had revealed why you CANNOT trust the crowd to do your thinking for you.

Did you know that according to a survey done in 2012, 63% of all Americans believe at least one political conspiracy?

  • 56 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Republicans say that at least of the following conspiracies is likely true. 
  • 36 percent who think that President Obama is hiding information about his background and early life 
  • 25 percent who think that the government knew about 9/11 in advance
  • 23 percent who think the 2004 Presidential election was stolen (by Republicans)
  • 19 percent who think the 2012 Presidential election was stolen (by Democrats)

Here's another interesting statistic... Republicans believe in more conspiracies, even when they know more about the situation, not less. Democrats, on the other hand, is LESS likely to believe in conspiracies if they know more about the situation.

How that affecting your thinking? Knowing that a MAJORITY of Americans believe in something that has no proof? Do you really want to "go with the crowd"?

But wait, there's more...

A survey in late April 2013, also by PublicMind, shows that a QUARTER of all Americans (25%) believe that Sandy Hook details were hidden, with another 11% "unsure". The better the education, the less the belief. (High School or less: 31%, vs. only 16% for college grads)   In other words, education halves conspiracy theories... mostly.

The same survey also shows that the gun control issue is divided strictly along party lines. 73% of democrats believe gun control legislations are needed, while 65% of all Republicans says they are NOT needed. (Independents are roughly half and half). But that's not the scary result.

The scary result is 29% of Americans (according to the same survey) believes that an armed revolution may be needed in the near future (next few years) to protect liberties. (with 5% "unsure").

That's a lot of Americans with that pretty crazy belief, man.

Do you still think the crowd is any smart?
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment